SAN DIEGO — OK, now we know. The Mariners can take a punch. Get up. And deliver a knockout.
The Mariners produced the biggest comeback victory Thursday night in the franchise’s 40-year history when they erased a 10-run deficit in 16-13 victory over the San Diego Padres at Petco Park.
"I don’t think I’ve ever been a part of anything like that," said third baseman Kyle Seager, who had three hits and five RBIs. "That was incredible."
Seven straight two-out hits, all singles capped a nine-run seventh inning. Stefen Romero tied the game with a pinch single before Shawn O’Malley drove in the go-ahead run with another single.
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"Anytime in a game like that," catcher Chris Iannetta said, "you don’t think you’ve really accomplished anything until you tie it. Obviously, you can feel momentum being created.
"But until you actually tie it, you’re not really there."
The Mariners trailed 12-2 after San Diego sent 13 batters to the plate in a seven-run fifth inning against starter Wade Miley and reliever Mike Montgomery.
Then it started.
Dae-Ho Lee’s three-run pinch homer capped a five-run sixth inning. Even then, the Mariners still trailed 12-7.
"It was crazy," Romero said. "Lee comes in with the three-run homer and, at the time, it was like, `OK, we’ve got a little bit of momentum going now.’ Then guys started stringing together good at-bats, and we got closer."
Nori Aoki started the improbable seventh inning with a one-out single against reliever Ryan Buchter. The Mariners loaded the bases with two outs but still hadn’t scored.
Seager started the scoring carousel by lining a two-run single. Lee and Iannetta followed with RBI singles before Romero and O’Malley delivered. Aoki then made with 14-12 with another RBI single.
When Franklin Gutierrez followed with a two-run single, the Mariners led 16-12.
"When guys took big swings," manager Scott Servais said, "guys were yelling from the bench: `Be humble. Take a single.’ It got to that point. Don’t try to hit the big home run and be the hero.
"That’s what we’ve talked about all year. Just do your job. Keep the line moving. Trust the guy behind you. That’s what you saw tonight."
Previously, the Mariners’ biggest comeback victory came on April 15, 1996, when they erased an eight-run deficit in an 11-10 victory over the Angels at the Kingdome.
San Diego got one run back against Nick Vincent later in the seventh inning, but Joaquin Benoit pitched around a two-out double in the eighth before Steve Cishek closed out the remarkable comeback.
"I had a little more juice than I’ve had in a while," Cishek said, "because they was just no way I can let that get away. That was the most incredible thing I’ve ever seen."
The victory sent the Mariners to Texas at 31-22 and tied with the Rangers for first place in the American League West Division. The two clubs play six times over the next 10 days.
Boy, it didn’t start well.
Wade Miley gave up nine runs and 12 hits in 4 2/3 innings, including four runs in the first inning that had the Mariners looking at a replay of Wednesday’s 14-6 loss.
The Mariners’ previously reliable bullpen also sprouted leaks for a second straight game when Mike Montgomery gave up three runs in one-third of an inning after replacing Miley.
It was a mess. A 12-2 mess. Then it all turned around.
Right-hander Cody Martin (1-0) got the victory by pitching one scoreless inning before the Mariners’ nine-run seventh. Ex-Mariner Brandon Maurer (0-2) got the loss. He faced three batters in the seventh and retired none.
"The Dae-Ho Lee home run gave us a little adrenaline," Servais said. "It was like, `Hey, we might have a shot here.’ Then the huge rally in the seventh. We didn’t have any extra-base hits. It was just hit after hit.
"Down 12-2…I’ve been around a lot of big-league games. I’ve never seen a 10-run comeback. I think I’ve seen a seven- or eight-run comeback. But never 10."
PLAY OF THE GAME: Second baseman Robinson Cano ranged far to the left side of second base in the ninth inning to turn Melvin Upton’s grounder into the inning’s second out.
PLUS: The Mariners were 11-for-12 with runners in scoring position…Dae-Ho Lee was 3-for-3 with a homer and four RBIs after entering the game as a pinch-hitter in the sixth inning. His average is up to .301…Nelson Cruz hit a 445-foot homer onto the "Sun Diego Beach" beyond the wall in right-center field…Robinson Cano’s single in the first inning extended his streak of reaching base at least once to 31 games, which is the longest such streak in the majors…the trio of Nick Vincent, Joaquin Benoit and Steve Cishek limited the Padres to one unearned run over the final three innings.
MINUS: Wade Miley gave up four runs in the first inning and nine overall in 4 2/3 innings before escaping with a no-decision. The Mariners are 8-3 when Miley starts despite his 5.85 ERA…Mike Montgomery gave up three runs in one-third of an inning after allowing only five runs in 30 innings over his 19 previous appearances…the Mariners allowed a season-high 20 hits.
STAT PACK: The Mariners had not allowed a triple this season before Adam Rosales led off the fourth inning with a line drive into the left-center gap. Every other club, prior to Thursday, had yielded at least two. The Mariners have hit eight triples.
QUOTABLE: "Honestly, I started getting into our candy bag," closer Steve Cishek said. "It’s not looking good. Down 10 runs. Then all of a sudden, Dae-Ho hits a three-run bomb, and my head went up.
"I thought, `I wouldn’t be shocked if our offense put together something big.’ Sure enough. Just hit after hit after hit."
SHORT HOPS: Dae-Ho Lee is the first rookie in the franchise’s 40-year history to hit two pinch-hit home runs…the 29 runs are the most ever scored at Petco Park, which opened in 2004. The 36 hits matched a Petco Park record for a nine-inning game…the Mariners scored 10 runs with two outs, including all nine in the seventh inning.
Bob Dutton: @TNT_Mariners
Mariners, Largest Comeback Wins - All-Time
Game Date/Opponent # Runs Comeback Began Outcome
6/2/2016 at SD 10 Top 6 Trailing 10-2 W, 16-13
4/15/1996 vs Cal 8 Bot 4 Trailing 9-1 W, 11-10
4/11/2011 vs Tor 7 Bot 7 Trailing 7-0 W, 8-7
7/03/1999 at Tex 7 Top 5 Trailing 9-2 W, 13-12
5/14/1994 vs Cal 7 Bot 2 Trailing 7-0 W, 10-7
9/27/1991 at CWS 7 Top 4 Trailing 7-0 W, 10-8 (11)