Corey Seager tried his best to stay in the moment and keep his cool. But then he approached third base, saw his brother out of the corner of his eye and couldn't suppress a grin.
"You're still trying to win a game," Seager said Monday, "but when you got around him, it was hard not to see your brother in the opponent."
Corey Seager, the Los Angeles Dodgers' shortstop, hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the second, and Kyle Seager, the Seattle Mariners' third baseman, hit a solo home run in the top of the third. It marked the first time that two brothers on opposing teams homered in the same game since Felipe and Cesar Crespo did it June 7, 2001.
The Dodgers won the game 11-9.
Corey is playing in his sixth major league season and Kyle is in his 10th, but Monday's game at Dodger Stadium marked the first time they had ever faced each other. The only other time the Mariners played the Dodgers with both of them in the majors, in August 2018, Corey was recovering from Tommy John surgery. Prior to that, in 2015, Corey was still a few months away from being called up.
"I probably should apologize for that one," Corey said before the game. "That's honestly probably my fault that it hasn't happened sooner."
Corey came into the game hoping that Kyle "has four hits tonight and we still win." He was close. Kyle was 3-for-3 with a walk heading into his ninth-inning at-bat against Kenley Jansen, but he struck out looking while representing the go-ahead run as the Dodgers claimed their sixth consecutive victory.
"He only got three [hits] -- that's his fault," said Corey, who was 2-for-4 with a walk. "But we'll take the win."
Kyle, 32, and Corey, 26, have combined for three trips to the All-Star Game, two Silver Slugger Awards and one Gold Glove. Corey, the youngest of three boys, played on high school teams with middle brother Justin, a 28-year-old previously in the Mariners' system, and followed Kyle's path through the University of North Carolina.
The two began their joint videoconference haggling over who used the word "avocado" in an interview first and would thus claim a $20 prize from Justin. When both are healthy, Corey and Kyle usually bet on who will hit the most home runs (Kyle usually wins those) and who will compile the most doubles (Corey wins those).
"I think it comes out to be pretty fair bets across the board," Corey said.
"He's also beaten me pretty badly in the postseason numbers," Kyle added. "He's got an edge on me there, too."
The two typically check each other's box scores nightly, and Corey said they lean on each other "substantially." Until Monday, Kyle said, all they had to commemorate their time together as major league players was one photo from spring training. Kyle -- a skilled "antagonizer" growing up, according to Corey -- has become especially appreciative of opportunities like these.
"It's really special for me, being the older brother, to get to work out and train in the offseasons with both my brothers," Kyle said. "That's something that I really, really enjoyed. Me being a little bit older, I never got to go to school with them. I never played with them or anything like that. That time that we were spending the winters together, where we would work out every day, where we'd hit in the cage every day, when we had those times, those were really special to me."