SEATTLE — Swung on and belted! It was almost possible Monday night to hear the late Dave Niehaus bellowing those words again.
Adam Lind’s two-out, three-run homer capped an improbable four-run rally in the ninth inning for a 4-3 walk-off victory over the Chicago White Sox at Safeco Field.
"That’s why you play the game," Lind said later as he turned and gestured toward his young son in the clubhouse. "Like he said, it’s `super awesome.’"
It was all that and maybe more.
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The victory came after the Mariners managed just one hit through eight innings against White Sox ace Chris Sale — and just one day after a miserable 8-1 loss to the Houston Astros.
"We needed something like this, no doubt, to take off," designated hitter Nelson Cruz said. "It’s a great victory. This is one to remember."
My, oh my…
The Mariners came to life in the ninth inning against Chicago closer David Robertson, who had 22 saves in 24 previous opportunities.
"(Sale) had done his job at that point," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "We thought we had scored enough. (Robertson) was fresh, and they ended up getting to him."
Franklin Gutierrez led off with a single and, after Robinson Cano grounded into a force, Cruz drew a walk.
Dae-Ho Lee struck out, but Kyle Seager punched an RBI single into center. That got the game to Lind, who was batting for catcher Chris Iannetta.
"I’ve got a lot of (career) at-bats against (Robertson)," said Lind, who was 3-for-12 with four walks in 16 previous plate appearances. "It’s not like I hadn’t faced him before.
"I felt comfortable knowing what type of pitches he had."
Robertson jumped ahead 0-1 in the count before Lind sent a drive to deep right-center field.
"I knew I hit it well and I hit it true," Lind said. "The backspin. But, no, I didn’t know if it had enough. But it carried out."
Barely — but no matter. The homer sent the remnants from the crowd of 20,598 into a frenzy and brought the Mariners swarming out of their dugout in celebration.
"Great job to hang in there," manager Scott Servais said. "It’s real easy to give up and say it isn’t our night and move on. We got the right guy up in the right spot. He got a good pitch, and he didn’t miss it."
David Rollins (1-0) got his first major-league victory after pitching a scoreless ninth as the Mariners climbed back over .500 at 47-46. Robertson (0-2) was the loser.
The Mariners’ best scoring chance against Sale came in the seventh inning, when he hit two batters. But Seager ended the threat by striking out on a sweeping slider — a nearly unhittable pitch for a left-handed hitter.
"That’s him," Cruz said. "He’s that good."
But when Sale followed his seventh-inning escape by working around two walks in the eighth, Ventura opted for Robertson.
"The way the last couple of innings went," Ventura said, "I just didn't want to send him back out there that fourth time around (the lineup)."
Mariners starter Wade LeBlanc gave three runs in seven innings; a quality start and a solid outing that might be good enough to keep him in the rotation when the unit temporarily trims next week to four pitchers.
LeBlanc gave up a pair of no-doubt homers; an absolute boomer to Tim Anderson in the first inning, and a two-run drive by Todd Frazier in the fourth inning.
"Again a guy like Chris Sale," LeBlanc said, "I could have lost that game on the sixth pitch I threw. Just a couple of mistakes that they really capitalized on, but the offense did a great job of fighting in the ninth.
PLAY OF THE GAME: Adam Lind’s homer was the fifth walk-off blast of his career and second of the season. He also hit a three-run walk-off homer on June 24 in a 4-3 victory over St. Louis.
Wade LeBlanc was the Mariners’ starter in that game, too.
"I don’t know if he’s my good-luck charm," LeBlanc said, "or if I’m his."
PLUS: Kyle Seager collected his 100th hit of the season with an RBI single in the ninth that preceded Adam Lind’s three-run homer…Franklin Gutierrez had the only hit against Chris Sale and started the ninth-inning rally with a single against David Robertson…Wade LeBlanc pitched a season-high seven innings and has three quality starts in four outings since arriving in a June 22 trade from Toronto.
MINUS: Left fielder Daniel Robertson committed an error by misplaying J.B. Shuck’s one-out single in the ninth inning…Robinson Cano was hitless in four at-bats with a strikeout and three weak grounders with men on base.
STAT PACK: The Mariners have five walk-off homers, which leads the majors. The four previous game-winners: Dae-Ho Lee on April 13 vs. Texas; Chris Iannetta on May 11 vs. Tampa Bay; Leonys Martin on May 25 vs. Oakland; and Adam Lind on June 24 vs. St. Louis.
The club’s season record is six in 1986.
QUOTABLE: Nearly lost in the celebration surrounding Lind’s walk-off homer, reliever David Rollins collected his first major-league victory. Rollins pitched a scoreless ninth inning before the Mariners rallied.
"I didn’t get the home run ball," Rollins noted wryly, "but I got the scorecard. It’s pretty cool to get my first win and get to keep something from it."
SHORT HOPS: Adam Lind is the 13th player in franchise history to hit two walk-off homers in the same year. The last was Ryan Langerhans in 2009…the Mariners are 15-18 in one-run games. Their 33 one-run games are tied with Houston for the most in the majors…the Mariners are 4-37 when trailing after eight innings…the Mariners have 19 comeback victories, 10 victories in their last at-bat and five walk-off victories.
Bob Dutton: @TNT_Mariners