Mariners climbing up all-time HR streak list
The Mariners have hit home runs in 23 straight games going into Saturday’s 4:10 p.m. PT game in Houston. If they hit one tonight, they’ll be tied with the 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers for the fifth-longest home run streak in MLB history (dating back to 1916) and just three back of the record 27 straight games with a homer by the 2002 Rangers.
Manager Eric Wedge said the mark is something to take pride in for a club that is tied for second in the Majors in most home runs this season.
“It’s something that’s never been done before with the Mariners,” he said. “There have been so many great teams and players here I think it says a lot about our current roster. It’s a level of consistency, which is rare, to be driving the ball and hitting the ball out of the ballpark. And you have to put together good ABs, a volume of good at-bats together to get your hits. It’s not just hitting the ball hard and making it go a long way. There’s a lot more that goes into it than that. I think it’s one hell of an accomplishment.”
The Mariners led all teams in home runs this spring in Cactus League play, breaking records along the way, but their leading home run hitter in spring was Michael Morse with nine and he’s been sidelined through the current streak with a strained hamstring. Franklin Gutierrez, tied for third in spring with five homers, is also on the DL.
Veterans Raul Ibanez and Kendrys Morales have been a key factor in the current streak, but rookies Brad Miller, Nick Franklin and Mike Zunino have all been contributing as well.
“It’s interesting because you still had your Millers and Franklins and Zuninos there in spring training, even though they didn’t break with us early on,” Wedge said. “Those kind of things come into play a little bit. There are a couple guys that are hurt, not having a Gutierrez or Morse or even a [Jesus] Montero that you were counting on early to be some of your hitters, that says a lot about these other guys and how they’ve stepped up.”
One other interesting thing tonight, as Seattle faces former Mariners lefty Erik Bedard for the second time since he was traded away in 2011. Bedard threw four scoreless innings against the Mariners on April 9 in his first start of the season for Houston, but was removed after throwing 66 pitches.
He faces Hisashi Iwakuma, fresh off his first All-Star appearance.