After a 13-2 loss to the Houston Astros Tuesday night, the Mariners held a players-only meeting designed, according to spokesman Raul Ibanez, to get the flailing ball club righted for the final 17 games. Turns out, it was a waste of time. The Mariners not only lost their fourth in a row Wednesday, they were swept by the feeble Houston Astros, the nadir of the 2013 season.
The Mariners barely factored in a 6-1 loss, scratching out just four hits as they dropped to 65-81. This is Seattle’s third losing streak of at least three games since Aug. 23. The Mariners are 3-8 over their last 11 and 6-13 over their last 19. They need eight wins in the final 17 to avoid another 90-loss season.
That will be tough to accomplish with a road trip that includes three games at St. Louis (Friday-Sunday) four at Detroit (Monday-Thursday) and three at Anaheim against the Angels (Sept. 20-22).
The Astros, already with 96 losses, will finish last in the AL West, but toyed with the Mariners during the three-game series, outscoring hapless Seattle 25-7 (on 36 hits). Maybe worse, they beat the Mariners nine times this season.
The Astros tallied twice in the second on an RBI double by Marc Krauss and an RBI single by Carlos Corporan and added three more runs in the third, highlighted by Chris Carter’s two-run single that scored Brett Wallace and Matt Dominguez.
Kendrys Morales cut into Houston’s lead in the fourth with his 21st home run on a 1-and-1 count.
ARMS: Seattle starter Brandon Maurer, who did nothing to show that he belongs in Seattle’s 2014 pitching plans, lasted only 3.0 innings. He allowed five earned runs on seven hits and saw his ERA escalate to 7.18 . . . Former closer Tom Wilhelmsen worked one inning and struck out the side.
BATS: The Mariners had four hits, two each by Morales and leadoff hitter Brad Miller. The Mariners stranded eight. Morales’ home run was his third of the series.
NOTES: The home run hit by Kendrys Morales was the 100th of his major league career . . . Rookie Abraham Almonte sat out Wednesday’s game after leaving in the eighth inning of Tuesday’s loss to the Astros. Manager Eric Wedge said Almonte was not injured and that the team was just being cautious in sitting him.
NEXT: The Mariners have their first day off in 20 days Thursday and will begin a three-game series at St. Louis Friday. That will be followed by four in Detroit and three in Anaheim as the Mariners conclude their final road trip. Seattle returns Sept. 23 for three against the Kansas City Royals and three against the Oakland A’s. Friday, RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (12-6, 2.97) will oppose RHP Adam Wainwright (16-9, 3.03). Felix Hernandez, bothered by back spasms, is not scheduled to pitch during the St. Louis series.