SEATTLE — There continue to be times this season — yes, still too few — when Adam Lind flashes the impact bat the Mariners envisioned when they acquired him last December from Milwaukee for three minor-leaguers.
It’s a tantalizing sight.
Wednesday was the best yet. Lind hit two home runs, had four hits and drove in six runs as the Mariners followed up Tuesday’s walk-off victory by battering the Oakland A’s 13-3 in the series finale at Safeco Field.
"I’ve definitely been building to something," Lind said. "It was just a good night. There have been incremental improvements throughout the last two-to-three weeks. Tonight, it all worked out."
Lind erased a 1-0 deficit with a solo homer in the second inning and capped a six-run third inning with a three-run blast. Both of those came against Oakland rookie right-hander Zach Neal.
And after the Athletics chipped away against Mariners starter Hisashi Iwakuma with two runs in the fifth, Lind stemmed the comeback with a two-out RBI single later in the inning. He also had an RBI double in the seventh.
"We need him," said designated hitter Nelson Cruz, whose three hits included a 422-foot homer that cleared the left-field scoreboard.
"With good teams, you always have somebody who gets hot. That’s important. If we get the whole lineup hot, it would be great, but you always need one guy who steps up. We’ve got a lot of guys who can do that."
Iwakuma (3-4) worked around a few shaky moments by pitching through the seventh inning before Joaquin Benoit and Steve Johnson closed out the blowout victory.
The Mariners improved to 28-18 and maintained a 1 1/2-game lead over second-place Texas in the American League West.
It wasn’t just Lind.
The Mariners finished with a season-high 17 hits, including Cruz’s ice-the-cake bomb in a four-run seventh inning against reliever Andrew Triggs. Robinson Cano closed the scoring with a no-doubt homer in the eighth.
The only sobering note was Leonys Martin — Tuesday’s hero with a two-run homer with two outs in the ninth inning — left the game after three innings because of a "tweak" in his left hamstring.
The injury isn’t believed to be serious.
"It got a little bit tight," Martin said. "They decided to get me out of the game to be smart. I hope to be back in a few days. We’ve got a day off (Thursday), and we’ll see how that (helps). It will be all right."
Other than Martin’s injury, this was a pretty much a SoDo party with Lind in the middle of everything. The Mariners rocked Neal (0-1) for seven runs in four innings and then roughed up the bullpen.
"Outstanding night for our offense," manager Scott Servais said. "It was great to see and, certainly, it was great to see Adam Lind have that kind of night.
"He’s capable of that. He’s capable of carrying a club for a few weeks. He has the kind of offensive ability. He needed one of those nights."
PLAY OF THE GAME: Second baseman Robinson Cano threw out Billy Burns at third base for the final out of the third inning. Burns pulled a ball into the right-field corner and appeared to have an easy triple.
But Burns chose not to slide and slowed down coming into the base. That provided a chance for Cano, who took a relay from right fielder Seth Smith.
Third baseman Kyle Seager helped with a no-movement deke before catching Cano’s throw and applying the tag. Burns was initially called safe, but the Mariners challenged — and a replay overturned the call.
The Mariners scored six runs in the bottom of the inning. Karma.
PLUS: Hisashi Iwakuma got his 50th career victory (50-29) in the big leagues. He is the 10th pitcher to win 50 games as a Mariner. Iwakuma was 107-59 in 11 seasons in Japan…Nelson Cruz had three hits and two RBIs and raised his average to .293…Robinson Cano didn’t just make a killer relay that nailed Billy Burns at third base. He also had a single in the fifth that extended his streak of reaching base at least once to 24 straight games. Cano closed the scoring with a homer in the eighth…Luis Sardinas went 2-for-4 in his first game after being recalled from Triple-A Tacoma.
MINUS: Catcher Chris Iannetta needs the open date more than anyone. He was hitless in four at-bats an is now in an 8-for-51 slide. He also took a foul tip off the collarbone.
STAT PACK: Adam Lind has 11 multi-homer games: 10 with two homers and one with three homers. One of those two-homer games came against the Mariners, on Sept. 26, 2009 for the Blue Jays in Toronto…the Mariners are 5-0 in the rubber games of three-game series…The Mariners are 10-1-1 in their last 12 series.
QUOTABLE: Pitcher Wade Miley walked past as Nelson Cruz was responding with a shrug to a question about his 422-foot homer that cleared the left-field scoreboard.
Miley interrupted, "He got jammed. Let me show you where he hit that that ball." Miley grabbed a bat and pointed to a spot near the label. "That’s where he hit the ball."
Asked whether that was sobering for any pitcher to witness, Miley shook his head and walked away.
SHORT HOPS: The Mariners held a moment of silence prior to the game in memory of Tacoma baseball legend Stan Naccarato…the Athletics activated infielder Jed Lowrie and recalled right-hander Zach Neal from Triple-A Nashville prior to the game. Neal then started the series finale. Oakland cleared roster space by optioning infielder Max Muncy and reliever Daniel Coulombe to Nashville.
Bob Dutton: @TNT_Mariners