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Scott Servais discusses verbal exchange with Jeff Banister

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The Seattle Mariners notched their first victory under Scott Servais with Tuesday night’s 10-2 victory over the Texas Rangers. And something the first-year skipper did following an incident during the game earned him a lot of respect from his players.

The Mariners opened up a big lead in the eighth inning against Tom Wilhelmsen when both Robinson Cano and Seth Smith hit homers off of the former M’s reliever. Wilhelmsen proceeded to plunk Chris Iannetta with the first pitch after Smith’s round-tripper, igniting a tense exchange between the two players that was followed by a tense exchange between Servais and Rangers skipper Jeff Banister which appeared to include a dose of salty language (via Larry Brown Sports):

Servais attempted to downplay the unpleasantries exchanged after the game, simply stating, “It’s just baseball; leave it at that.”

Even if Servais was a man of few words following the game, the words he did employ during his verbal sparring with Bannister was appreciated by his players, as he was praised afterward for going to bat for them.

“It was nice to see Scott fired up,’’ said Nelson Cruz, via The Seattle Times. “It showed us he has our back. In a situation we needed him, he stepped up. It showed a lot.”

“I like that stuff,’’ added Robinson Cano. “I like when your manager gets fired up. That’s good. He’s protecting his guy. That’s what you want. You don’t want a manager that doesn’t take care of his players.

“He’s one of those, and I have more respect for him now.”

Servais, meanwhile, indicated that he should be expected to defend his players and it will require a total team effort to get the Mariners on the right path.

“If we want to get where we want to go, it’s going to take everybody,’’ he said. “Myself, the coaching staff, players. … It’s a serious game. You want to take it seriously. A lot of guys’ livelihoods are at stake. But it’s time to get after it. Obviously there’s some things that went back and forth tonight. It’s part of the game.”