This has been a fun week for the Mariners. They've won five of their last six contests, including a two-game sweep of the Atlanta Braves and a 13-3 blowout against the visiting Chicago White Sox. As they vie for a series win against the Sox -- and one Hector Noesi -- let's take a look back at some of their more impressive wins.
August 2, 1983: Dave Henderson, Steve Henderson, Spike Owen, and Domingo Ramos combine for the most home runs in a single game.
Prior to 1983, no Mariners lineup had accumulated more than four home runs in a single game. Their 1983 roster was no likelier to break this record, as they were averaging 3.4 runs over their previous five games and sitting a comfortable 15.5 games back of the division lead.
From the start, it looked like the baseball gods had a particularly gory outing in store for both starting pitchers. Spike Owen led off the first inning with a solo home run, while Pat Putnam and Scott Henderson picked up an extra two runs on an RBI double and throwing error. Dave Henderson polished off the inning with a two-run shot off of Krueger, putting the M's up 5-1.
As encouraging as the lead was, it was impossible to hold for very long. The A's took their cue from the Mariners, batting around in the second inning and forcing Seattle left-hander Bryan Clark out of the game before he recorded a single out. By the end of the second inning, the M's fighting a three-run deficit.
In the third, the Hendersons returned to enact their vengeance on Krueger, going back-to-back with a solo home run and an inside-the-parker. As soon as reliever Chris Codiroli emerged from Oakland's pen to take control of the situation, Domingo Ramos whacked another solo shot to tie the game. After three, the Mariners led 10-9, the winning run a simple RBI single by second baseman Tony Bernazard.
So it went for four innings. Instead of a blowout, the Mariners and A's were locked in a hitter's duel (if such a thing can be said to exist). By the eighth inning, the Mariners led 14-12, and it looked as though Seattle right-hander Roy Thomas had finally found a way to keep the Athletics quiet. Although Ramos' homer in the third inning already broke Seattle's record for most home runs in a single game, Scott Henderson mustered a final solo home run off of Oakland closer Keith Atherton, excusing an exhausted bullpen and bringing this 15-12 game to a close.
August 7, 1987: Mariners record biggest shutout in team history.
In 38 seasons of Mariners history, there have been 320 shutouts. Some of them were nail-biting, one-run shutouts. Some were no-hitters or complete game shutouts. One was a perfect game. But there has never been a shutout quite like this one.
Mark Langston took the mound for his 20th start of the season, with an 11-9 record and one shutout already in the books. Despite his team's losing record, it would be a good year for the 26-year-old, who had just received his first career All-Star nomination and would finish with a league-leading 262 strikeouts. As he crafted one scoreless frame to the next, however, the focus shifted to the Mariners' offense behind him.
Ken Phelps was the first to strike against California right-hander Kirk McCaskill, hitting a three-run homer to give Langston an early lead in the second inning. In the fourth, Phelps ran into a forceout, but the Mariners escaped the inning with seven runs after a throwing error allowed Mike Kingery to score and Phil Bradley hit a three-run homer.
Still, a seven-run lead wasn't enough. While Langston struck out eleven Angels, Phil Bradley, Scott Bradley, and Alvin Davis knocked in six more runs on base hits and a pair of throwing errors. Phelps hit his second home run of the night off of reliever Gary Lucas. When the dust settled and Langston had recorded his final out, the Mariners were the proud owners of a 14-0 complete game shutout -- a feat that would take them 13 years to replicate.
September 5, 2001: Lou Piniella becomes the first manager to lead the Mariners to 100 wins in a season.
Obviously, this event did not take place over the last week of Mariners' history, but with Lou Piniella's induction into the Mariners Hall of Fame this afternoon, I thought it fitting to pay homage to the club's winningest manager.
The game in question was the series finale to a very lengthy set against the visiting Tampa Bay Devil Rays. In their previous two match-ups, the teams battled in extra-inning affairs, splitting the games evenly after a Stan Javier walk-off and a six-run implosion from Seattle reliever Jose Paniagua.
This time around, the Mariners had little trouble snagging that elusive 100th win. After five and a half frames, both Seattle's Aaron Sele and Tampa's Ryan Rupe had been forced out of the game, while their respective offenses were sitting on a combined 13 runs. With a one-run deficit to make up, it could've easily played out as another extra-inning debacle if not for the Rays' extraordinarily generous defense, who gifted the Mariners three throwing errors and six runs on four hits, a pair of bunts, and an intentional walk.
"We finally won 100 games as an organization," Lou Piniella was quoted in ESPN following the M's 12-6 victory. "I think we've lost 100 games before, so this is very gratifying."
The Mariners had three 100+ loss seasons under their belt by 2001, though none of them came under Piniella's direction. Not only was it a milestone for the club, but it marked the first time that Piniella had won 100 games with a team in his 15-year career as a major-league manager.