The Mariners have lost many ways this season. Friday they added a new twist, falling to the St. Louis Cardinals 2-1 in 10 innings on a walk-off passed ball, losing their fifth in a row in an unusually feckless fashion to spoil an outstanding outing by Hisashi Iwakuma.
The Mariners (65-82) are 6-14 in their last 20 and 6-13 in extra innings. This is the third Seattle losing streak of at least three games since Aug. 23, and keeps the Mariners steaming to 90 or more losses. Not only was it the 12th walk-off defeat of the season, but for the superstitious, the Mariners are 1-8 in their last nine Friday the 13th games.
The Mariners took a 1-0 lead in the fifth inning on Mike Zunino’s third homer of the season, a 435-foot shot. They seemed in a position to win behind Iwakuma until the eighth, when the Cardinals tied it, victimizing Charlie Furbush. The Mariners squandered the frame with an error and a missed double play.
Second baseman Nick Franklin misplayed a pop up, allowing Brock Peterson to reach. Pete Kozma, running for Peterson, stole third. Jay hit a ground ball to second that looked like a double play in the making, but shortstop Brad Miller’s throw got past Kendrys Morales at first, allowing Kozma to score the tying run.
In the bottom of the 10th, Seattle reliever Chance Ruffin struck out David Freese and Kolten Wong, but Kozma singled to center. Seattle manager Eric Wedge yanked Ruffin in favor of Oliver Perez, who was not up to task, walking Matt Carpenter and John Jay. Perez then threw a fastball inside to Matt Holliday that Zunino failed to handle, the ball skipping past him. Kozma slid across the plate with the winning run.
Iwakuma threw one of his more effective games of the season, scattering three hits over 7.0 inning with one strikeout and two walks. He threw 62 of his 94 pitches for strikes.
ARMS: Charlie Furbush’s blown save was his fourth of the season and Chance Ruffin’s loss his second.Iwakuma lowered his ERA from 3.02 to 2.87.
BATS: The Mariners had 10 hits, including multi-hit games by Kyle Seager, Morales and Zunino, but stranded seven and went 2-for-7 with runners in scoring position.
NOTES: Felix Hernndez is still ailing from a minor oblique strain in his left side. He threw on the side Friday and is scheduled to toss a bullpen session in Detroit Monday. Hernandez could start Wednesday against the Tigers if all goes well during the bullpen session. If it does not go well, the Mariners will consider shutting down Hernandez for the rest of the season.
NEXT: The seris continues Saturday at 4:15 p.m., PT. LHP James Paxton (1-0, 1.50) will pitch for Seattle opposite RHP Michael Wacha (3-0, 2.72). Following the series, the Mariners will play four at AL Central leader Detroit and then three at the L.A. Angels in the final road trip of the season.