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Leonys Martin's WALK-OFF homer in eleventh inning pushes M's past White Sox



7/20 vs CWS by TOM HAYDEN

SAFECO FIELD, SEATTLE, WA. ----

Make that 6 walk-off home runs for the Seattle Mariners so far this season, a Major League high. In fact, the Mariners have hit 6 walk-off homers in a single season before, back in 1986. Seattle is certainly on pace to beat the 1986 record of 6 walk-off homers this season, for there are still many games left to be played. It was CF Leonys Martin in this one who connected for his second walk-off HR of the season for the M's, and the third of his career so far. RHP Felix Hernandez took the hill for the Mariners on Wednesday afternoon, his first start since May the 27th because of a right calf sprain. The King wasn't sharp, but he got the job done in this BIG Mariner win to end the home stand strong.

On the mound on Wednesday afternoon, RHP Felix Hernandez made his 11th start of the 2016, and his first since a game against the Minnesota Twins on May the 27th. Hernandez started off the game rough after giving up a 3-run blast to CWS 3B Todd Frazier. Felix went 6.2 in his outing, giving up 5 runs on 10 hits (all earned runs) while walking 2 and striking out 2 White Sox on the day. The King had a no decision start, so he maintains an individual W-L record 4-4 in 69.2 innings pitched so far this season. His ERA is now a decent 3.23. In relief of Hernandez were RHP Tom Wilhelmsen (8.46 ERA), RHP Edwin Diaz (2.18 ERA), RHP closer Steve Cishek (2.93 ERA), and LHP Vidal Nuño (3.08 ERA). Edwin Diaz was LIGHTS OUT again as he struck out the side, recording 3 strikeouts. In Diaz's last 6 batters faced, he has struck out all 6. In 20.2 innings pitched this season, Edwin Diaz has struck out 42 batters. Vidal Nuño earned himself his first win of the season (now has a W-L record of 1-1) as he struck out a pair of White Sox in the ninth inning. Steve Cishek also struck out a pair in his outing.
Offensively on Wednesday afternoon, the Mariners put up 9 hits on CWS RHP Miguel Gonzalez, LHP Zach Duke, RHP Nate Jones, and LHP Dan Jennings. It was CF Leonys Martin who is no doubt my pick for the Mariners player of the game as he went 2-5 at the plate with 2 home runs. Martin's first HR came in the third inning when he notched a 2-run blast to score the first Mariner runs, and his second of the day, of course, in WALK-OFF fashion in the eleventh inning via a solo blast to right. The 2 homers now gives Martin (.245 AVG) a total of 13 on the season, whereas his previous career best in a single season was 8 HR in 2013. Martin now also has a total of 29 RBI on the season. That's good stuff. Despite Shawn O'Malley, everybody in the Mariners starting lineup on Wednesday afternoon recorded at least 1 hit. 1B Adam Lind (.231 AVG) connected for his 15th HR of the season in the eighth inning of the game as he belted a solo blast to left to tie things at 5 with Chicago. Lind's solo blast now gives him a total of 43 RBI on the season. C Mike Zunino (.273 AVG) who now has 3 HR in just 2 major league appearances this year, connected for a 2-run blast off of the left field stairs in the seventh inning of the ball game. Zunino now has a total of 5 RBI in 2 major league games so far this year with the Seattle Mariners.

WHAT'S NEXT? :

The Mariners will now look to win another series, and keep the ball rolling into what will be the start of a set of 8 games on the road for the Mariners. The Mariners will get ready to start a series on Friday night at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Canada with the 54-42 Toronto Blue Jays. The Blue Jays are certainly contenders in that AL Eastern division. Just like us, the Blue Jays can hit the long ball, so expect to see a lot of homers as these two teams collide for a 3-game weekend series in the great city of Toronto. Be sure to tune into ROOT Sports NW for watching or listen in on 710 ESPN Seattle radio. LHP James Paxton (2-4, 4.56 ERA) is set to take the ball for his tenth start of the 2016 season. Paxton and the M's will face well known TOR RHP Marco Estrada (5-3, 2.93 ERA). Be sure to tune in and catch all of the Game 1 action from the Rogers Centre, first pitch start time- 4:07 PM PAC, 7:07 PM ET!

Mariners 365 Notes:
The Mariners have recalled INF Luis Sardiñas from AAA Tacoma after LHP Mike Montgomery's trade to the Chicago Cubs opened up a spot in the roster. SS Ketel Marte is still dealing with an illness, so having Sardiñas as a back up option on the roster is a good idea right now for Scott Servais, Jerry Dipoto, and the rest of the Mariners squad.

This is Tom Hayden signing off saying Go Mariners! Stay #TrueToTheBlue.

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