Lee gifts win to Mariners with two home runs

Lee gifts win to Mariners with two home runs

SEATTLE -- Dae-Ho Lee's teammates weren't quite sure about the charm necklace he gave them as a gift, but they're not questioning its effectiveness.

Lee, a 33-year-old rookie after 15 seasons in Korea and Japan, hit two home runs off Derek Holland on Friday night to pace the Mariners to a 7-5 victory over Texas to open a three-game series at Safeco Field.

Earlier in the day, he had distributed the necklaces with a dangling charm attachment.

"Offensively, it's the big boy," said manager Scott Servais, sporting one of the charms Lee distributed. "It's Dae-Ho Lee's night. Unbelievable what he's done. I look up and he's got 10 home runs. That's not easy to do in this ballpark, in this ball park. Obviously he gave us a big lift tonight."

Servais said Lee brings a Korean gift for his teammates about every two or three weeks, starting with sunglasses, but wasn't quite sure what the necklace represented.

"It's from Korea," Lee, who was still wearing the necklace, said through an interpreter. "I gave it to all my teammates as well. It helps the blood circulation. It helps you hit well, as well."

Kyle Seager, who also homered, didn't wear the necklace, but said he might have to consider it.

"After he hit two home runs, I think everybody on the team's going to wear one tomorrow," Seager said. "It was working, it was circulating, I guess. It was a good night."

The right-handed Lee, who platoons at first base with lefty-hitting Adam Lind, has hit 10 home runs in just 103 at-bats. His 10 homers through the first 61 games are tied for third-most among rookies in club history, equaling Ken Griffey Jr.'s total in 1989. Alvin Davis hit 14 home runs through 61 games in 1984 and Ruppert Jones 12 in 1977.

Lee, who signed with the Mariners in February, hit 323 home runs during parts of 11 seasons in Korea and four in Japan.

Mariners starter Hisashi Iwakuma, who allowed three runs on seven hits in seven innings to improve to 5-5, pitched against Lee in Japan.

"I faced him before in Japan. He's a very tough out," Iwakuma said through an interpreter. "He knows how to make contact. He has a very good approach after two strikes. You just have to paint the black and hopefully he'll miss."

Iwakuma laughed when asked how he fared against Lee.

"He hit a double. Like I said, he's a good hitter."

Jim Hoehn is a contributor for MLB.com based in Seattle. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.