• Kyodo


Norichika Aoki extended his hitting streak to eight games and former Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks slugger Lee Dae-ho hit a two-run walk-off home run in the 10th inning, as the Seattle Mariners beat the Texas Rangers 4-2 for their first home win of the season on Wednesday.

Aoki had his second multi-hit game of the campaign, going 2-for-5 and scoring a run.

An RBI single from Adrian Beltre gave Texas the lead in the top of the third, but Aoki, who had a double in the first inning and a single in the seventh, came home on Seth Smith’s single to tie the score in the bottom half.

Robinson Cano had a solo homer in the fifth to put Seattle ahead 2-1, before Delino DeShields hit one for Rangers in the eighth.

Lee, who helped Softbank win a second straight Japan Series title last season before signing with Seattle as a free agent, gave the Mariners the win when he homered on an 0-2 fastball off Jake Diekman.

“I don’t know how he got on top of that pitch,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said of Lee. “But that says a lot for his ability.”

Lee was just happy to help the team.

“I just was thinking that I’m so happy to stop that losing streak,” Lee said. “Now I hope it’s a winning streak.”

Aoki was delighted that the Mariners were able to snap their five-game skid and heaped praise on Lee.

“We had not won at home and I am delighted with this victory,” said Aoki. “We can leave for New York (for a three-game series against the Yankees starting Friday) with a great mindset.”

Lee joined the Mariners on a minor league contract with an invite to spring training. He performed well in 24 preseason games and signed a big league deal with the team on March 27.

“Lee Dae-ho has come up from the minors and delivered results and that makes you want to support him. He has got a massive job done on the biggest stage,” said Aoki.

Servais was also appreciative.

“He is fitting in very nicely with our club,” Servais said of Lee. “And if he keeps hitting homers, he’ll fit in even better.”

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