OAKLAND -- Leonys Martin isn't supposed to be a power hitter. Nor does he have a history of faring well against A's ace Sonny Gray.
So of course it was Martin who launched a two-run homer off Gray in the third inning on Tuesday to kick-start Seattle's 8-2 victory over Oakland on a night Robinson Cano and Kyle Seager also went deep to help the Mariners clinch their sixth consecutive series and move into a half-game lead over the Rangers in the American League West at 15-11.
Martin was 4-for-30 with 10 strikeouts against Gray coming into the game, but put together a 2-for-4 night that included both the home run and a bunt base hit in his three at-bats against the A's standout.
"That's a very good pitcher," Martin said. "He keeps the ball down and every time you go to home plate you've got to fight. Thank God he made a little mistake and I hit that homer."
The long ball was Martin's fifth in 25 games this season, matching the total he hit last year in 95 games for Texas.
The Mariners acquired Martin for his stellar defense and strong arm in center field, but they also believe he's capable of hitting much better than his current .185 and manager Scott Servais was just as pleased with the bunt Martin dropped in the fifth.
"Sonny Gray is a tough, tough pitcher and made a mistake and Leonys jumped on it," Servais said. "He's been spending a lot of time working [with hitting coach Edgar Martinez] and it was great he got us going there. But I also liked the bunt he got down. He's had a couple-hit nights and hopefully that gets him going."
Meanwhile, Cano kept doing what he's done all year, going 2-for-4 with a home run and double as he moved into a tie for the American League long-ball lead with nine and increased his league-leading RBI tally to 25.
And the Mariners were pleased to see Seager get into the act as well as he put a bow on the night with a three-run bomb in the eighth to cap his own 2-for-4 night with a homer and double. While Seager is hitting just .181, he now has six homers and 17 RBIs of his own.
It all added up to a lot of smiles in the Mariners clubhouse, where six straight series wins have the confidence on the rise.
"The feeling we've got right now is amazing," Martin said. "Everybody is doing the little things to win ballgames. Everybody is on the same page together and fighting for every single pitch. This is an amazing feeling. We worry about today, not tomorrow or what happened the day before."
Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.