SEATTLE – Over the past three seasons, Mike Carp had five separate callups with the Seattle Mariners, spinning his wheels in each one.
It's all different in his sixth stint.
The 25-year-old first baseman and cleanup hitter, still considered a rookie, had two home runs, including going back-to-back with Casper Wells in the eighth inning, to lead the Mariners to a 6-5 comeback victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday night.
Carp, who also homered in the third inning, has a 15-game hitting streak and 17 RBIs in August, most in the majors for the month. It was his first two-home run game and the 18th for a rookie in club history.
Carp, called up twice briefly in 2009 and twice briefly in 2010, spent three weeks with the club in June, hitting just .200. He was recalled July 19 and is hitting .371 with six doubles, six home runs and 26 RBIs.
"We wanted to make sure we committed to him the second time up," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. "We were unable to do it for multiple reasons when he was here prior, and he has taken advantage of it. You have to stick with guys, be patient and give them opportunities but ultimately it's up to those guys to take advantage of the opportunity."
That's all Carp wanted all along, just a genuine opportunity, not spot duty.
"You have confidence knowing that you're going to be in there," Carp said. "If I go 0 for 4, the next day I'm playing instead of wondering when I'll play again.
"It's been fun the last couple weeks since I've been up. I'm having some success and I'm going to ride it out as long as I can."
Wells homered in his third straight game. He hit a 1-2 pitch from Jon Rauch (5-4) into the bullpen in left.
"I think it was a slider, pretty good pitch. I don't know. I just closed my eyes and swung, I guess. I don't really know," said Wells, who arrived in a July 30 trade with Detroit, 11 days after Carp's recall. "He's (Carp) been unreal since I've been here. He stays short and quick and hits to all parts of the field. I like having him batting in front of me, that's for sure."
Eric Thames and Adam Lind had two-run home runs for the Blue Jays and Brett Lawrie had a solo shot.
Tom Wilhelmsen (1-0) earned his first major league win by working a 1-2-3 eighth inning.
"I was always thinking or hoping this might come," said Wilhelmsen, who was out of baseball for five years before returning in 2009. "I figured it would come one time or another. And sure enough."
Brandon League, a former Blue Jay, earned his 30th save in 34 opportunities.
It was a rollicking first four innings, with nine runs and four lead changes.
The Jays got to Michael Pineda quickly. Yunel Escobar drew a game-opening walk and Thames connected on a first-pitch fastball, sending it deep into the seats in right field for his seventh homer.
The Mariners responded with three runs in the second off Henderson Alvarez, who was making his second major league start. Alvarez hit Wells in the back to open the inning. With one out, Trayvon Robinson drove a fly ball over the head of Thames in left. He stretched for it at the warning track but it caromed off his glove for a RBI double.
Kyle Seager walked then Jack Wilson directed a single through a hole on the right side to scored Robinson and send Seager to third. Ichiro Suzuki followed with a sacrifice fly that made it 3-2.
Pineda brewed the same formula for trouble in the third, walking Jose Bautista followed by Lind's two-run shot that just cleared the wall in right, his 21st.
Carp tied it with his fifth home run over the wall in left-center with one out in the third. He has reached base safely in 24 straight games.
Lawrie then hit his third home run in just his 10th game for the Jays, a leadoff shot in the fourth for a 5-4 lead.
Alvarez went five-plus innings, allowing four runs and six hits. He walked one and struck out three.
In the Mariners' 120 games, 63 have been decided by two or fewer runs. They are 20-21 in one-run games.
Notes: Lawrie stepped into a media crush when he arrived at Safeco Field. He is from nearby British Columbia, drawing the Canadian media contingent. The local press was also interested because his sister, Danielle Lawrie, was the national player of the year and led the University of Washington to the 2009 NCAA softball title. In his 10 games, Lawrie is hitting .343 with three home runs and eight RBIs. "In situations where the dramatic can possibly happen," manager John Farrell said, "he's been in those situations and he's executed." ... Mariners fifth-round draft choice Tyler Marlette, a high school catcher from Oviedo, Fla. who signed Saturday, took batting practice before the game. "I saw him swing the bat a little bit." manager Eric Wedge said. "He has some raw power. He looked good." ... INF Adam Kennedy was given a third straight game off because of a bruised heel. ... LHP Jason Vargas (7-10) takes the mound for the Mariners on Tuesday. In his last start, he went seven innings against Texas, allowing six hits and three runs. "He was really impressive, against that lineup, in that ballpark." Wedge said. Vargas is 0-1 with a 4.96 ERA in three starts against Toronto. ... Rookie LHP Brad Mills (1-2, 6.46) will be making his fourth major league start for the Blue Jays.