SAN DIEGO: It’s a phrase that won’t be forgotten. It’s been said in hope-ful and wistful memory of a golden time in franchise history. It’s been said in bitter sarcasm and biting snark during the many failures of past seasons.
But in this surprising start to the 2016 season, it has been said on several occasions in earnest belief.
“Two outs? So what.”
That long-ago battle cry of past Seattle teams that produced wins and playoff appearances might just become prescient again. No game will represent that rejuvenated mindset more than the Seattle Mariners’ improbable 16-13 victory over the San Diego Padres on Thursday night at Petco Park.
Down 12-2 after an abysmal start from pitcher Wade Miley and less-than-stellar relief work from Mike Montgomery, the Mariners looked destined for their first road series loss of the season as well as their first back-to-back road losses.
Instead, they somehow rallied to take the lead, scoring a total of 14 runs over the sixth and seventh innings to take their first lead since the top of the first inning. The most absurd aspect of it came in the nine-run seventh inning. Yes, all nine runs were scored with two outs.
Having scored five runs in the sixth inning to make it 12-7, the Mariners seemed on the cusp of adding more to make things respectable, loading the bases with one out in the seventh. But when Nelson Cruz lost a 10-pitch battle with lefty Ryan Buchter, striking out swinging for the second out of the inning, the possibility of a miracle was fading.
But the Mariners wouldn’t allow that third out of the inning to be made. Instead they ripped off seven straight two-out hits to push across the nine runs. It played out like this:
Kyle Seager, two-run single to right, 12-9.
Padres replace Villanueva with right-hander Matt Thornton.
Dae-Ho Lee, RBI single to right, 12-10.
Chris Iannetta, line drive RBI single to left, 12-11.
Stefen Romero, pinch-hit line drive to center on a 3-2 count, 12-12.
Another pitching change.
Shawn O’Malley, RBI single to center, 13-12.
Norichika Aoki, ground ball single to center t o score a run, 14-12.
Franklin Gutierrez, two-run single on a ground ball up the middle, 16-12.
Robinson Cano finally made the last out of the inning with a ground out to second. The Mariners scored nine runs on eights hits while the Padres used three pitchers, who threw a total of 66 pitches.
Given a four-run lead, the Mariners were able work around a run allowed by Nick Vincent in the seventh.
The win helped ease the awful outings by Miley and Montgomery. Miley worked 4 2/3 innings, giving up nine runs on 12 hits with two walks and two strikeouts. Montgomery gave up three runs in after replacing Miley in the seven-run fifth inning.
Seattle’s comeback really started in the sixth when they picked up the five runs. Seager had a two-run bases-loaded double and Lee belted a pinch-hit three-run homer to make it 12-7 and give the Mariners a pulse.