Servais proves prophetic ahead of Marte's HR

Mariners discuss inside-the-park homers before shortstop hits one vs. LA

Servais proves prophetic ahead of Marte's HR

PEORIA, Ariz. -- With tongue firmly planted in cheek, Mariners manager Scott Servais said it was all a well-planned occurrence when shortstop Ketel Marte legged out an inside-the-park home run in Saturday's 7-6 win over the Dodgers.

The Mariners talk about one of their coaches as part of each day's morning meeting with the club and Saturday's focus was bench coach Tim Bogar, with one of the points of interest being that the former big league infielder had three inside-the-parkers among his 24 career home runs.

"We talked about it at the morning meeting and then I'll be danged if we didn't see it out here today. It's crazy how that works out," Servais said with a smile. "We coached 'em up. We talked about it and then he went out and did it. It's as easy as that."

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Of course, it wasn't quite that easy for Marte, who collapsed on his back after sliding across home plate after digging around the bases at full speed in the fifth inning after center fielder Trayce Thompson fell while the ball caromed off the wall away from left fielder Jacob Scavuzzo.

The 22-year-old Marte is just coming back from a bout with a head cold and flu that caused him to miss three days earlier in the week.

"I almost died because I'd been sick and my nose feels bad," he said.

Marte took the wind out of Bogar's inspirational tale, however.

"We talked about it this morning. You can see that it happens. I wasn't thinking about it though," he said. "When I go to home plate, I'm not thinking about anything other than getting a good at-bat and making a good swing. That's it."

Marte never before had hit an inside-the-park homer in his career, but figured his time would come.

"I was looking for that a long time ago, because I'm a fast runner," he said. "I can run. But he just fell down. I can't control that. I just put the ball in play and made a good swing, that's it. But it was pretty fun."

The Mariners haven't hit an inside-the-park home run in a regular season game since June 15, 2007, when Willie Bloomquist pulled it off in a game at Houston.

Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.