Mariners set record for players used, and a former top prospect delivers memorable home run

The Seattle Mariners made history on Tuesday night by using their 65th player of the year -- the most ever deployed by a team in a single season. While No. 65 was officially infielder Donnie Walton, the memory most will carry from the M's game against the Cincinnati Reds will entail No. 64, debuting outfielder Kyle Lewis, who homered for his first career big-league knock.

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Lewis, for those unaware, was once considered to be among the game's most promising prospects. He was selected 11th in the 2016 draft, and then hit .299/.385/.530 in his introduction to pro ball. Unfortunately, 30 games in, Lewis tore his ACL and medial and lateral menisci in his right knee on a collision at the plate.

Lewis entered the next spring ranked highly on prospect lists (MLB.com had him at No. 29; Baseball America at No. 34), but he appeared in just 49 games and struggled when he played. In the years since, he hasn't been able to regain his old prospect shine, and has instead had to undergo a subsequent operation on his knee.

None of that mattered on Tuesday, as Lewis jumped on a Trevor Bauer fastball that broke up a no-hitter and tied the game at 1-1. The Mariners would win by a 4-3 final.

There's no telling if Lewis will have a significant big-league career -- he's already set a new career-best in appearances this season, though the results at the Double-A level weren't altogether impressive -- but for his sake we hope that he does. And that he gets to author more joyful moments like the one that launched his big-league career.

CBS Sports Staff

R.J. Anderson joined CBS Sports in 2016. He previously wrote for Baseball Prospectus, where he contributed to five of the New York Times bestselling annuals. His work has also appeared in Newsweek and... Full Bio

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