Gamel does it all in highlight-reel night

Gamel does it all in highlight-reel night

PHILADELPHIA -- Ben Gamel has only played in 45 Major League games to date, so his list of memorable moments is understandably brief. But the rookie right fielder is rapidly adding to that collection.

And the 24-year-old didn't have to think long when asked if Tuesday's performance in the Mariners' 10-9 win over the Phillies was his best yet in the bigs.

"Probably at any level, to be completely honest," Gamel acknowledged after going 4-for-5 with four RBIs and capping it off by throwing out the potential go-ahead run at the plate in the bottom of the eighth.

Gamel throws out Nava at home

Gamel raised his batting average to a healthy .362 and his four hits included a three-run homer in the fourth that momentarily lifted the Mariners into a 5-4 lead and a run-scoring double that tied it at 9 in the seventh in the roller-coaster game

He became the first Mariner with four hits and four RBIs in a game since Adam Lind on May 25 last year.

"He's had a few breakout games," manager Scott Servais said. "But this was an awesome night. The four hits, the big throw out at the plate, he's in a really good spot. He's seeing the ball well and not trying to do too much."

Gamel only got the call up to Seattle on April 26 because Mitch Haniger had strained the oblique in his right side in the same game Felix Hernandez went down with a shoulder issue. Since then, the Mariners also lost James Paxton to a strained forearm. And on Tuesday, with Nelson Cruz already limited to a pinch-hitting role because of a sore hamstring, Robinson Cano had to leave the game in the fourth with a strained quadriceps.

But Gamel? The youngster has torn it up at the plate in Haniger's absence, with five doubles, two homers and 11 RBIs in 12 games, along with a .455 on-base and .596 slugging percentage.

"I'm very thankful for this opportunity here," said Gamel, who was acquired last August from the Yankees. "They're just letting me go out and play and it's been awesome."

Tuesday's homer was a 384-foot launch with an exit velocity of 106.5 mph and the RBI double was a ringing shot off the wall to the opposite field in left on a 104.2 mph line drive, both ranking among the hardest hits he's registered so far in his young career.

"When he was here last year, we talked at the end of year what he might do if given the opportunity," Servais said. "And I did think there was a chance he could hit home runs. A lot of times, guys don't hit home runs [in the Minors]. I believe it's easier to hit home runs in the big leagues. The lights are better, the ballparks are sometimes smaller, the bats are harder, the balls are harder, pitchers are around the plate a little more.

"I think he's got a good swing. So I'm not totally surprised by the power he's shown. I don't think he's going to hit 30 home runs, but he can drive it out of the yard when he gets his pitch."

As for throwing out Daniel Nava?

"I had a lot of momentum," said Gamel. "I was playing pretty deep, so I had some time to get behind it and just collect myself. I was pretty shallow, so I knew if I made a good throw, I had a good chance of getting him out."

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.