SEATTLE (AP) — Dae-Ho Lee handed out silver-colored necklaces from his native South Korea before Friday night’s game against the Texas Rangers.
After Lee hit two home runs, including a three-run blast off Rangers starter Derek Holland, to lead the Seattle Mariners to a 7-5 victory, everyone on the team may be wearing the necklaces starting Saturday.
“He brings in a Korean gift about every two to three weeks,” manager Scott Servais said. “Sunglasses, then he went with some other USB thing from Korea. Today, these showed up. You see all our guys wearing them. Dae-Ho had it on today. Don’t know exactly what it is but if he hits two home runs every time I wear it I’ll be good with it.
“He adds a lot of character and personality to our club.”
Hisashi Iwakuma (5-5) allowed three runs — all solo home runs — over seven innings for Seattle. Steve Cishek earned a four-out save, his 14th of the season.
Lee gave the Mariners the early lead with a solo shot off Holland (5-5) in the second inning. Ian Desmond tied the game 1-1 in the third with a line drive home run off the out-of-town scoreboard in left field.
A leadoff walk to Robinson Cano and single by Nelson Cruz set the stage for Lee’s second blast. He crushed a slider from Holland to nearly the same spot over the wall in center field to give the Mariners a 4-1 lead. Lee’s four RBIs matched a career-high.
Kyle Seager followed with a solo home run to right to extend the lead to 5-1.
“I think everyone on the team is going to be wearing one tomorrow,” Seager said of the necklace.
It was the first time this season Seattle hit back-to-back home runs and served as the first extra-base hit allowed by Holland to a left-handed batter this season. Over his last 33 starts, Seager and Cano are the only left-handed hitters to homer off Holland.
“I made a mistake on Dae-Ho Lee, and these guys are paid to do what they did,” Holland said. “Seager, he got a hold of me on that one, hats off to him. I made the pitch I thought I needed to do and he turned on it and got the home run. It just wasn’t my night. I made a couple bad pitches and they cost me.”
Holland allowed five runs and five hits with two walks and three strikeouts over five innings.
After retiring 10 straight batters, Ryan Rua and Mitch Moreland homered off Iwakuma in the seventh inning to narrow the gap to 5-3.
Iwakuma allowed seven hits with a walk and three strikeouts.
“Really nice job by Kuma tonight,” Servais said. “Outstanding effort. He went right after them. He pitched well against them 5-6 days ago and to come back again today and do it against a really hot club was great.”
Jurickson Profar singled and came around to score on an RBI double by Desmond to close the deficit to 5-4 in the eighth inning.
A wild pitch from Shawn Tolleson allowed Cruz to reach first base after striking out to lead off the bottom of the inning. A groundout by Lee moved Cruz to second and Seager was intentionally walked. Chris Iannetta slapped a single into left field and Cruz was held at third, but the throw from Rua missed the cutoff man and bounced past Tolleson and catcher Robinson Chirinos as Cruz sprinted home to give Seattle a 6-4 lead.
Seth Smith’s sacrifice fly gave the Mariners an insurance run heading to the ninth.
Moreland added another solo shot off Cishek in the ninth inning.
With Lee’s two home runs Friday night, Seattle became just the third team in major league history to have a player hit two home runs in four consecutive games. Against Cleveland, Cruz hit two home runs on Tuesday, Iannetta hit two on Wednesday and Cano hit two on Thursday before Lee’s two home runs against Texas on Friday night. The 1998 Chicago Cubs and 2000 Cleveland Indians also accomplished the feat. However, Seattle is the only team to do so with four different players.
Rangers: 3B Adrian Beltre isn’t expected to play in this weekend’s series in Seattle after suffering a strained left hamstring on Wednesday. Beltre was only available in an emergency situation on Friday night. … RHP Yu Darvish threw a bullpen session on Friday and is on schedule to start Monday against Oakland. He left Wednesday’s start early due to neck soreness. … OF Shin-Soo Choo (hamstring) is scheduled to play two rehab games Friday and Saturday with Triple-A Frisco. If all checks out, Choo could come off the DL on Monday in Oakland.
Rangers: RHP Colby Lewis (5-0, 3.20 ERA) has a 1-0 record with four runs allowed in 12 innings in two starts against Seattle this season. Took a no-decision in his last start against Houston, allowing four runs, three earned, and eight hits over six innings.
Mariners: LHP James Paxton (0-2, 3.72 ERA) will make his third start of the season after being called up to replace an injured Felix Hernandez in the Mariners’ rotation. Despite taking the loss, Paxton pitched well last time out against Cleveland. He allowed one earned run and five hits with 10 strikeouts.
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