Lopez added to the best season of his young career with a pair of homers on Friday night in the Mariners' 10-8 win over the Oakland Athletics.
Lopez ignited a pair of five-run innings for Seattle, hitting a three-run shot in the third and adding a solo homer in the fifth. Coming into 2008, Lopez hoped for 15 homers, 80 RBI and 40 doubles, displaying an ability to be productive after previous up-and-down seasons.
Time for some new goals. All of those have been accomplished.
"When you play every day, every year you learn something different," Lopez said. "I wasn't looking for homers. I was looking to hit the ball hard all the time."
Rob Johnson added his first career home run and Ichiro Suzuki added another milestone to his impressive resume as the Mariners won for just the second time in the last 16 games. The win ensured that 2008 won't be the worst season in Seattle's history. That mark will remain with the 1978 team that lost 104 games, although this year's squad is the first team with a $100 million payroll to lose at least 100 games.
But Lopez is a bright spot. His two homers on Friday raised his batting average to .297, 30 points above his career average entering this season. It was his second career multihomer game.
"Power is the last thing that comes. A lot of players in their development that's the last thing that comes and I think it's coming," Seattle manager Jim Riggleman said.
Lopez's three-run shot in the third capped Seattle's first five-run inning. His homer into the Oakland bullpen just eluded the leaping glove of Oakland left fielder Travis Buck, who twice in the inning came up short diving for sinking fly balls.
After Oakland took a 6-5 lead in the top of the fifth, Lopez opened the bottom of the inning with a solo shot that also landed in the A's bullpen. He was intentionally walked in the sixth to a chorus of boos.
"He was swinging at pitches I didn't think he could get to and he did," Oakland starter Sean Gallagher said.
Suzuki matched Lou Gehrig's major league record with his eighth season of at least 200 hits and 100 runs. Suzuki scored for the 100th time in the third inning on Raul Ibanez's RBI single. With 210 hits, he achieved the 200-hit, 100-run mark for the eighth consecutive season. Gehrig reached those benchmarks in 1927-28, 1930-32, 1934 and 1936-37.
The offensive outburst made a winner of Brandon Morrow, who was all over the strike zone in his final appearance of the season. Making just his fifth start, Morrow threw a career-high 114 pitches and matched his highs with five walks and eight strike outs.
Morrow (3-4) also allowed a solo homer to Jack Cust in the second and a three-run shot to Buck with two-out in the fourth. Buck finished with four RBI. But Morrow, who made the transition to being a starter in early August, came up with key strikeouts with runners in scoring position in the second and fifth innings.
"There was just times I was really flying open out on the mound and pulling off," Morrow said. "The ball was cutting and dying and not going where I wanted."
Roy Corcoran pitched the ninth for his third save in six chances.
Gallagher (2-3) mowed through the Mariners lineup in the first two innings, only to struggle through one of the worst performances in his young career. He was tagged for 10 hits and eight earned runs, failing to finish the fifth inning after Miguel Cairo's two-out double scored Jeremy Reed to give Seattle a 7-6 lead.
Gallagher gave up a career-high 11 hits and 10 earned runs last month against Minnesota, but had settled down in his last three starts, giving up just four total runs.
"We scored eight runs," Oakland manager Bob Geren said. "You get eight runs at this ballpark, you should win."
- Gallagher is 0-6 for his career on the road. He has never won away from his home park.
- Seattle will start RHP R.A. Dickey in Sunday's season finale. LHP Ryan Feierabend was schedule to start, but has a tender shoulder.
- Seattle LHP Erik Bedard underwent surgery on his left shoulder Friday. The surgery revealed no tears in his labrum or rotator cuff and Bedard could be recovered before the start of the 2009 season.