Recently called up from AAA Durham, Jason Bourgeois ended a nightmarish ninth for Danny Farquhar and the Mariners Wednesday with a bases-loaded, walk-off single that gave Tampa Bay a 5-4 victory over the Mariners at Tropicana Field. The loss snapped Seattle’s two-game winning streak and ended the Rays’ season-longest stumble at six in a row.
The Mariners held a 4-1 lead after five innings and nursed a 4-3 lead through eight, but Farquhar, five-for-five in career save opportunities entering the game, couldn’t extend his streak of 14.2 scoreless innings, during which he had 23 strikeouts and four walks.
In fact, it was brutal. In the ninth, Farquhar gave up a triple, an RBI single, a double, an intentional walk and, finally, Bourgeois’ single without recording an out. The walk-off loss was Seattle’s ninth of the season and 11th defeat in 17 games. The Mariners (55-64) are 7-12 since the end of their eight-game winning streak.
The ninth seemed to set up perfectly for Farquhar after Yoervis Medina escaped a bases-loaded jam in the eighth in the oddest of fashions. After walking the bases full with Seattle holding a 4-3 margin, Medina whiffed Ryan Roberts on three consecutive sliders to end the inning.
But Farquhar, for the first time since replacing Tom Wilhelmsen in the closer’s role, wasn’t up to the task. Facing the top of the Tampa order, he gave up a triple to Ben Zobrist, whose shot smacked off the top of the wall in right, and then yielded a base hit to Matt Joyce against a drawn-in infield to tie.
An Evan Longoria double sent Joyce to third and an intentional walk to Wil Myers loaded the sacks for Bourgeois, whose single over Endy Chavez’s head in right lifted his batting average all the way up to .167.
Farquhar’s ninth-inning flub denied Seattle starter Aaron Harang his sixth win and negated another splendid effort from rookie Brad Miller. The Florida native keyed Seattle’s surge in the fifth with a two-run triple, which stood up until Farquhar melted down.
“Those guys (Tampa Bay) saw Danny last night (his fifth save) and when the lineup flipped back to the top of the order it gave them a little life,” said acting manager Robby Thompson. “That came into play. Overall we played a good game but just came up short at the end. We’ll be giving Danny the ball again. It would have been nice to come away with a win against (David) Price, but it didn’t happen.”
The defending American League Cy Young winner, Price allowed four earned runs on five hits — the key blow Miller’s triple — in 7.0 innings. He struck out seven, walked one and didn’t factor in the decision. The Mariners are 3-5 this season in games against former Cy Young winners.
After Kyle Seager reached on a hit-by-pitch in the first, stole second and advanced to third on Price’s wild pitch, Kendrys Morales brought him home with a single for a 1-0 Seattle lead. The Rays tied it in the fourth on singles by Joyce and James Loney, and then Seattle erupted for three in the fifth with two outs.
After Dustin Ackley walked on a full count and Humberto Quintero reached on an infield single, Miller tripled, clearing the basis, and Nick Franklin doubled, bringing home Miller.
But Seattle’s 4-1 lead didn’t hold. A two-run homer by Myers, following Longoria’s double, trimmed the margin to 4-3 and chased Harang, who departed having allowed three earned runs on seven hits with five strikeouts and two walks in 5.0 innings. Reliever Charlie Furbush got out of the inning without allowing further damage.
Medina endured a scary eighth, walking Loney, Yunel Escobar and Jose Molina before disposing of Roberts.
The series finale is 4:10 p.m. Thursday. LHP Joe Saunders (10-11, 4.69) will work for Seattle opposite RHP Alex Cobb (6-2, 3.01). Cobb will be making his first start since coming off the 60-day disabled list.
The Mariners begin a three-game set with the Texas Rangers in Arlington Friday before moving on to Oakland for the final of a nine-game road trip.
NOTES: Four Mariners — Franklin Gutierrez (3), Michael Saunders (2), Jason Bay (2) and Brad Miller (1) have hit leadoff homers for the Mariners this year. Seattle is he first team since the 2009 Arizona Diamondbacks to have four with leadoff homers . . . After hitting 24 home runs in Seattle’s first 71 games, Raul Ibanez has gone 22 games without a long ball . . . The Mariners have 143 home runs, tied with the Atlanta Braves for third most in the majors. Last year, Seattle hit 149 home runs.