Skip to main content

Originally published September 3, 2014 at 8:24 PM | Page modified September 3, 2014 at 9:04 PM

  • Share:
  • Comments (0)
  • Print

Mariners’ Corey Hart rewards Lloyd McClendon’s faith with a home run

Corey Hart homers for the first time since May 5 as the Mariners pick up a big win in Oakland.

Seattle Times staff reporter


OAKLAND, Calif. — It was an important game, a possible playoff preview.

But when the Mariners’ lineup was released on Wednesday morning, there was a double-take at first.

Manager Lloyd McClendon rolled out a right-handed heavy lineup with Dustin Ackley and Logan Morrison on the bench, Kendrys Morales at first base, Chris Denorfia and Stefen Romero in the outfield, and Corey Hart at designated hitter.

It was the 122nd lineup McClendon has used this season, and it left some fans scratching their heads, particularly about Hart at DH. The veteran hitter has been hobbled by injuries much of the season, making two trips to the disabled list for a hamstring strain and a knee contusion and missing a total of 68 games. He hadn’t played in a major-league game since Aug. 1, when he went on the DL, and had only been playing rehab games in Class AAA Tacoma the past few weeks.

So why did he get the start?

“He’s healthy,” McClendon said before the game. “He swung the bat well down in Triple-A. Corey Hart can be an X factor against left-handed pitching.”

Hart made McClendon’s decision pay off. Moments after Kyle Seager tied the score at 1-1 with a solo homer to right field off Jon Lester in the seventh, Hart followed with a solo homer to left on a 1-0 fastball. It was Hart’s first home run since May 5.

“Corey has a track record,” McClendon said. “He’s been an all-star player.”

Hart knows it’s been a lost season with injuries, and he knows he isn’t going to be playing every day.

“It’s just nice to be back and feeling good,” he said. “I got in there. I don’t know what’s in store for me for the rest of the month. But I told Skip that whatever he throws at me and if he needs me to be there, then I’m in there.”


• McClendon, pitching coach Rick Waits and the rest of the coaching staff all monitored Chris Young’s bullpen session before Wednesday’s game. They were watching very closely to see if Young is healthy and if they think he can give them a chance to win on Saturday in Texas. Young struggled in his outing on Monday, making it just two-thirds of an inning and giving up five runs on four hits with two walks.

“He had a good bullpen,” McClendon said. “I will talk to Jack (Zduriencik) today and we’ll have a decision tomorrow. I just wanted to make sure he was healthy. He was hitting his spots. Everything was good.”

• With his outing on Wednesday, Felix Hernandez became the first pitcher in team history to pitch more than 200 innings and total more than 200 strikeouts in six seasons. The previous record was five by Randy Johnson.

Four weeks for 99 cents of unlimited digital access to The Seattle Times. Try it now!

Also in Sports

News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon



Celebrate that amazing NFC win with a poster or tee shirt featuring The Seattle Times Jan. 19 front page. Order now!


Partner Video


The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►