The two brothers emerged from their dugouts at 6:15 p.m. Monday, met halfway, and chatted as the Dodger Stadium grounds crew finished the preparations for their first big league game against each other.
Corey and Kyle Seager posed for a few photos, smiles wide and embraced before returning to their respective sides for the upcoming clash. The Dodgers versus the Seattle Mariners. On one side, Corey, the youngest of the three Seager brothers and the Dodgers shortstop. On the other, Kyle, the oldest sibling and the Mariners third baseman.
The result was a 11-9 victory for the Dodgers, extending their winning streak to six games, and an unforgettable night for the Seagers.
Both brothers homered, becoming the first siblings to hit home runs in the same game since Felipe and Cesar Crespo homered for the San Diego Padres and San Francisco Giants in June 2001. Corey Seager went two for four with a home run, a walk and three RBI. Kyle Seager finished three for four with a home run, a walk and a stolen base.
The Seager family dreamed of this day for years. It just didn’t happen when or how they envisioned. It took until Corey’s sixth major league season, when cardboard cutouts, not their parents and other family members, populated the stands for a game played during a pandemic.
“Everyone would love to be here,” Kyle Seager, 32 and in his 10th major league campaign, said before the game. “It’s kind of unfortunate with all this. You don’t get to do as much as a party as it would’ve been, maybe.”
Kyle Seager batted fourth for Seattle and was instrumental in the Mariners (7-17) scoring two runs with two outs in the first inning off Dodgers starter Ross Stripling. With a runner at second base, the elder Seager lined a ball to left field that bounced off AJ Pollock. The error allowed Kyle Lewis to score and Kyle Seager to reach second safely.
Corey Seager hit second for Los Angeles and got a first-hand look at Mookie Betts clubbing a leadoff home run to slice Seattle’s lead in half. It was Betts’ 21st career leadoff home run and first as a Dodger. He’s hit each of his nine home runs off right-handed pitchers.
Betts added a bloop RBI single in the second inning to tie the game at two before Corey Seager lifted a three-run home run over the right-center-field wall. Corey looked down as he jogged past his brother, suppressing the urge to say anything, for his sixth homer this season.
Kyle Seager held back a smile and responded with a solo home run in his next at-bat in the third inning. Seager returned the smirk during Kyle Seager’s brisk trot. It was the second of the Mariners’ three home runs in a five-run frame against Stripling. The right-hander exited after giving up seven runs, six earned, in three innings.
The Dodgers (17-7) posted a second five-run blitz in the seventh inning to retake the lead, capped off by Kiké Hernández’s first home run since opening day, and held on. Kenley Jansen allowed the first two hitters to reach base in the ninth inning but recovered to secure his seventh save.
Kyle Seager grew up antagonizing Corey and their middle brother Justin, a former Mariners minor leaguer. As adults, he’s served as a vital resource for Corey. He was already a major leaguer when the Dodgers drafted Corey Seager in the first round in 2012. The younger brother leaned on him for help as he rose through the ranks. Corey Seager thinks the tutelage afforded him an edge.
Now the brothers work out together during the winter. In season, they keep tabs on each other. They offer scouting reports on pitchers and make bets on their statistics at year’s end.
But their only previous encounters in uniform were in the Cactus League. The first regular-season meeting should’ve happened in 2018, but Corey Seager missed most of that season after undergoing elbow and hip surgeries. This year was in danger when the younger Seager injured his back and missed five games last week.
“I wasn’t thinking about that until actually I came back,” Corey Seager said, “and I realized, ‘Man, I cut that one pretty close, almost doing this again to us.’”
“He’s finding ways to dodge me,” Kyle Seager joked in response.
The brothers sat at opposite ends of a table during a pregame Zoom conference call with the media. Their parents, Jody and Jeff, were watching from their couch back home in North Carolina. Not even a family gathering to celebrate the long-awaited event was possible during these uncertain times.
Kyle Seager said it was a sad day for their parents. Jody and Jeff had eagerly anticipated this day. But there was one bright spot as they watched from across the country.
“Fortunately, they only have to use one TV today,” Corey Seager said. “So, they’re probably happy about that. They don’t have to switch back and forth.”