Mariners designated hitter Nelson Cruz broke a homerless drought Wednesday and now stands on the threshold of a career milestone.
Cruz’s home run in the third inning of Wednesday’s 9-6 loss to Kansas City was the 299th of his career. It was also his first homer since June 4 — the third-longest drought of his career.
Two innings later, Cruz barely missed No. 300 when he sent a drive to center field that hit off the top of the wall.
"I hit it top spin," he said, "so I knew it could go either way."
No. 300, whenever it comes, will make him the 10th active player to reach that milestone. He was also become the seventh player to hit No. 300 while playing for the Mariners.
The other six: Willie Horton (1979), Ken Griffey Jr. (1998), Jay Buhner (2000), Edgar Martinez (2004), Richie Sexson (2008) and Raul Ibanez (2013).
Griffey (417), Martinez (309) and Buhner (307) are the only players to hit 300 or more homers as Mariners.
Cruz has hit 102 of his 299 homers as a Mariner.
Second baseman Robinson Cano need five homers to join the 300 club. He has hit 91 of his 295 homers as a Mariner.
The nine active players in the 300 club: Albert Pujols (603), Miguel Cabrera (457), Adrian Beltre (450), Carlos Beltran (431), Edwin Encarnacion (327), Jose Bautista (322), Matt Holliday (307), Adrian Gonzalez (309) and Curtis Granderson (306).
Outfielder Jarrod Dyson reached 20 stolen bases for a sixth consecutive season Wednesday — and did it in style by beating a throw from former Kansas City teammate Salvy Perez.
The Dyson/Perez matchups were, for years, a highlight each spring when the Royals staged intrasquad games before opening their Cactus League schedule.
Dyson joins Texas shortstop Elvis Andrus as the only players to steal at least 20 bases in each of the last six seasons, although Houston second baseman Jose Altuve needs just four more to gain that distinction.
Bob Dutton: @TNT_Mariners