BY SPNW Staff 11:23PM 07/26/2013

Felix Throws Gem, But Mariners Lose in 13th, 3-2

Chris Colabello smashed the first pitch he saw from Yoervis Medina in the 13th inning for a long home run over the right field fence, lifting the Minnesota Twins to a 3-2 victory over the Mariners Friday night at Safeco Field. Colabello’s blast, the first homer of his career and a shot coming after an Aaron Hicks single, ruined a night that should have belonged to Felix Hernandez.

Hernandez had the Twins on the ropes with a near-complete game in the bottom of the ninth and seemed headed to his 12th win of the season. But nursing a 1-0 lead, Hernandez gave up a bloop single to left to Pedro Florimon and another excuse-me hit to pinch-hitter Trevor Plouffe on an 0-2 pitch that tied the score.

That sent the game into extra frames and Minnesota finally broke loose in the 13th when Colabello took Medina deep. Kendrys Morales socked his 16th homer in the bottom of the 13th, his fourth of the year batting right handed, to cut Minnesota’s lead to 3-2, but Seattle could not add to that.

Following the Morales homer, Kyle Seagler singled to right and Justin Smoak had a scoring opportunity with no outs. But he banged into a double play and then Dustin Ackley bounced out to end the game.

The Mariners fell to 6-9 in extra innings and 49-54 overall. Despite the loss, the Mariners have won nine of their last 11, 14 of their last 21 and are 6-2 since the All-Star break.

Pitching as effectively as he has all season, Hernandez was on the cusp of adding another endorsement to his Cy Young candidacy with his first complete-game shutout of the year when the two ninth-inning singles spoiled his night.

Hernandez, who led 1-0 on Nick Franklin’s fifth-inning RBI single, worked 9.0 innings, allowed five hits, struck out 11 and didn’t walk a batter. He lowered his ERA from 2.43, an American League best, to 2.34. He has thrown 96 career games allowing one or fewer runs.

The Mariners gained the lead after Ackley singled, Brendan Ryan hit into a fielder’s choice and Henry Blanco singled, putting runners on the corners. After Jason Bay flew out to left, Franklin produced his second hit of the game, a single to center, to plate Ryan.

The Mariners placed runners on second and third with two outs in the seven when Ryan reached on an error and pinch hitter Endy Chavez doubled. But Franklin flew out to center, ending the threat.

The series’ third game is at 1:10 p.m. Saturday. Aaron Harang (5-8, 5.06) will work for Seattle opposite RHP Samuel Deduno (6-4, 3.50). Harang has delivered quality starts in three of his past four outings. Due to Saturday night’s Seafair Torchlight Parade and the fact that it falls within FOX’s national broadcast window, Saturday’s game will not be televised.

NOTES: The Mariners Friday placed C Mike Zunino on the 15-day disabled list with a broken hamate bone in his left hand. Zunino, batting .324 over his last 11 games, had an MRI Friday morning that confirmed the fracture, which occurred during Seattle’s 8-2 win over Minnesota Thursday. Zunino is expected to miss six weeks, and if that schedule holds the Mariners will have only three weeks remaining in the season when Zunino returns . . . To replace Zunino on the active roster, the Mariners signed veteran catcher and free agent Humberto Quintero, 33. He spent 11 years in the majors with San Diego (2003-2004), Houston (2005-2011), Kansas City (2012) and Philadelphia (2013), appearing in 446 MLB games. Quintero was designated for assignment by Philadelphia July 24. He’s a career .235 batter . . . When Nick Franklin hit his eighth home run Thursday, he became the second AL second baseman in the last 75 years with eight or more homers in the first 75 games of a career. Jason Kipnis of Cleveland hit 10 in his first 50 in 2011-12. Joe Gordon hit 11 for the Yankees in his first 50 in 1938.


YourThoughts

  • Long-Time Fan

    The management of this game disturbed me and part of it can be summed up in the quote from the article above:

    “Following the Morales homer, Kyle Seagler (sic) singled to right and Justin
    Smoak had a scoring opportunity with no outs. But he banged into a
    double play and then Dustin Ackley bounced out to end the game.”

    The score is 3-2, man on 1st, nobody out. Smoak does not have a “scoring opportunity,” he has a sacrifice opportunity. Bunt the runner over into scoring position and play for the tie first, the win second. You are AT HOME, and you play for the tie first, the win second.

    This business of “get the winning run to the plate and have him (Griffey, Buhner, Edgar, A-Rod, whomever-over-the-years) hit a big-ass home run and Save-The-Day(tm)!” has been the downfall of the Mariners in the past. That attitude exists in the article above, in the radio booth, and down in the dugout. But guess what? A run is a run is a run. Get that one run and live to play another inning.