SEATTLE -- The Mariners did something during a four-pitch sequence in the fifth inning Friday night that they hadn't done in nearly eight years -- hit back-to-back-to-back home runs.
The out-of-the-blue power surge triggered a home run barrage that led the Mariners to a 7-5 victory over the Royals before 35,690 at Safeco Field.
Six home runs in one game was not too shabby for a team ranked last in the American League in home runs this season.
It all started on a two-strike pitch to catcher Miguel Olivo with one out. Royals starter Zack Greinke, sailing along with a four-run lead, hung a slider that Olivo sent into the visiting bullpen in left-center field for the first of his two home runs.
After ducking to get out of the way of a pitch, rookie shortstop Jose Lopez drove the next pitch 392 feet into the same bullpen. And two pitches after that, center fielder Hiram Bocachica hit an opposite-field home run to right.
The way Bocachica figured, it was a worldly accomplishment.
"A Dominican, a Venezuelan and a Puerto Rican," he said. "It feels good to be part of that and it was good for the team.
"I've never been a part of something like that and I was pumped."
The last time the Mariners had three consecutive home runs was on Sept. 21, 1996, when Alex Rodriguez, Ken Griffey Jr., and Edgar Martinez hit home runs off Athletics right-hander Dave Telgheder.
"That was the Kingdome," manager Bob Melvin said. "This is a real park."
Miguel Olivo / C
Weight: 215 lbs
Bats: R / Throws: R
On this particular night, Safeco was a launching pad. Olivo had the first multihomer game of his career, the 20-year-old Lopez had his second Major League home run trot around the bases and Bocachica took advantage of a rare start.
But if not for the two-run home run second baseman Bret Boone hit in the eighth inning that turned a one-run deficit into a one-run lead, and an ensuing dinger into the right-center-field seats by first baseman Scott Spiezio, the Mariners more than likely would have been rocked by what would have been their fifth straight loss.
In the top of the eighth, Abraham Nunez's solo home run to left field off reliever George Sherrill put the Royals ahead, 5-4.
"I have missed a lot of pitches this year, but he (D.J. Carrasco) gave me a good pitch to hit and I didn't miss it," Boone said. "Any team that hits six home runs in a game is pretty darn rare and it was nice to come back and win the game."
As for the back-to-back-to-back jacks, Boone said, "That was pretty awesome to watch."
The six home runs were the most in one game since May 2, 2002 in Chicago, when former center fielder Mike Cameron hit four home runs and he and Boone went back-to-back in their first two at-bats of the game.
Olivo's first career multihomer game probably won't be his last.
"When he gets a hold of one, he is a strong young man," Melvin said. "I think there is no question that he projects out to be one of those 20-to-25-home run guys. When he starts staying on the ball a little more and tracking the breaking ball a little more, no question."
Olivo, acquired in the trade that sent right-handed pitcher Freddy Garcia and catcher Ben Davis to the White Sox, has 13 home runs in 243 at-bats this season.
When Olivo wasn't hitting home runs Friday night, he was guiding four Mariners pitchers through the Royals' lineup that also flexed some muscles. The AL's other 80-plus loss team came into the game with 117 home runs (third lowest in the league) and hit three out of the park.
Two of them came in the fifth inning when Alberto Castillo slugged a solo home run with one out and David DeJesus hit a two-run home run that gave
KC a four-run lead.
Gil Meche / P
Weight: 200 lbs
Bats: R / Throws: R
But in the end, the best month of right-hander Gil Meche's season ended with a no-decision.
He entered the game as one of the Mariners' few bright spots in August, going 3-0 in his four starts since being recalled from Triple-A Tacoma. He surrendered just two runs each time as he regained the confidence he had the first half of last season, when he had 10 wins at the All-Star break.
"I thought he had good stuff all night, but got hurt a couple of times when he left the ball up," Melvin said.
Meche worked six innings, walked two and struck out four.
Right-hander J.J. Putz pitched the ninth inning for his fourth save of the season.
Though the six home runs were the big story for Seattle, right fielder Ichiro Suzuki had two more hits. He singled in the first and seventh innings, giving him 202 hits this season and 46 hits in August.
He needs four more hits in the remaining four games this month to have at least 50 hits in three months of the same season.
Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
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