Kyle Lewis sparked Seattle’s rally with a two-run homer and walked with the bases loaded in the sixth inning, helping the Mariners top the Oakland Athletics 6-5 on Monday in the opener of a doubleheader.
The game was played with a haze of smoke hovering above the field at T-Mobile Park, even with the retractable roof of the stadium closed. Wildfires on the West Coast have suffocated much of the Pacific Northwest with unhealthy air conditions that brought into question whether the games would even be played.
“I’m a healthy 22-year-old. I shouldn’t be gasping for air or missing oxygen. I’ll leave it at that,” Oakland starter Jesus Luzardo said.
Seattle trailed 5-0 after home runs by Sean Murphy and Marcus Semien off Marco Gonzales. But Seattle chipped away and scored twice in the sixth against Oakland’s bullpen to move in front for good.
The win pulled Seattle within one game of idle Houston for second place in the AL West.
“There’s a lot of good vibes in this clubhouse right now,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “It’s a lot of fun to be around.”
Tim Lopes’ third double of the game drove in Phillip Ervin with two outs, tying it at 5. Oakland’s Joakim Soria (2-2) struggled with his control and walked three straight batters after Lopes’ double, the last one on four pitches to Lewis.
“He’s pitched with traffic and pitched us out of jams and this time just didn’t do it, so this is a tough one for us. This is a game we usually win,” Oakland manager Bob Melvin said.
Lopes was the extra player added to Seattle’s roster because of the doubleheader and inserted into the lineup with the left-handed Luzardo on the mound.
“There was some extra motivation for sure having been sent down,” Lopes said. “Just trying to help the team win today and get good pitches to hit.”
Luis Torrens and Jose Marmolejos each hit a solo drive off Luzardo to start Seattle’s rally. Lewis hit his 10th homer in the fifth inning to pull Seattle within 5-4 and end Luzardo’s day.
The doubleheader was a makeup of three games scheduled for earlier this month that were postponed after Oakland had a player test positive for the coronavirus. The third of the three games to be made up will take place on Sept. 26 in Oakland as part of another doubleheader.
Despite giving up a season-high five earned runs, Gonzales (6-2) earned the victory. He pitched six innings and allowed six hits and struck out seven. Gonzales retired eight of his final nine batters after Semien’s home run.