St. Louis raked Mariners pitching for eight runs over the fourth and fifth innings, especially victimizing Seattle starter Erasmo Ramirez, in a 12-2 victory at Busch Stadium Sunday. After a 4-1 win Saturday to snap a five-game losing streak, the Mariners were steamrollered. The Cardinals pounded 19 hits.
The Mariners (66-83) have dropped six of their last seven. They have lost 15 of 22 and finished interleague play 8-12.
The Cardinals roughed up Ramirez. In the fourth, St. Louis batted around, getting to Ramirez for four runs on five hits. Ramirez didn’t help his cause by plunking two batters.
The Mariners have to go 7-6 to finish with fewer than 90 losses. The Mariners have two first-place teams in their final four series. Seattle plays four against the Tigers (AL Central) and three against the Athletics (AL West).
Detroit ranks No. 1 in the American League in batting and No. 3 in ERA.
Catcher Yadier Molina hit his 12th home run in the second inning to stake the Cardinals to a 1-0 lead, which Seattle countered in the fourth on Franklin Gutierrez’s RBI single.
In the fourth, the Cardinals dispatched 10 men to the plate and came away with four runs on five hits and two hit batters for a 5-1 lead. A Matt Carpenter single drove in two.
That did it for Ramirez, who allowed five earned runs on eight hits. Only 45 of his 80 pitches went for strikes.
The Mariners got a run back in the fifth on Abraham Almonte’s sacrifice fly, but St. Louis ripped into Carter Capps in their half for four. Matt Adams had the big blow, a two-run homer, for a 9-2 Cardinals lead.
St. Louis added three in the seventh on Matt Holliday’s run-scoring double and Carlos Beltran’s two-run single.
ARMS: Capps threw six pitches Sunday and allowed three earned runs on three hits without recording an out . . . Chance Ruffin also allowed three earned runs but managed to work 2.0 innings.
BATS: The Mariners delivered five hits, two by Gutierrez . . . With Brad Miller sidelined (hamstring), Dustin Ackley moved back into the leadoff spot, where he started the season. He went 1-for-3 . . . Almonte went 1-for-3 and has recorded a hit in 12 of his past 13 games.
QUOTES: “He really lost command of the baseball in the fourth inning and then we’ve got a lot of uncertainty in our bullpen. (Carter) Capps threw six or seven pitches and they were all fastballs up, and you’re not going to get away with that here. We just weren’t able to hold them down today” – Eric Wedge, Mariners manager, on Ramirez and the bullpen.
NOTES: Rookie shortstop Brad Miller was not in the Seattle lineup Sunday and will miss the next several games due to a strained left hamstring suffered Saturday. Carlos Triunfel took over at shortstop until Miller returns . . . Justin Smoak also didn’t play Sunday because of a sore quadriceps muscle and because Wedge wanted to keep Kendrys Morales’ bat in the lineup.
NEXT: The Mariners open a four-game series in Detroit Monday with LHP Joe Saunders (11-14, 5.18) scheduled to pitch against RHP Rick Porcello (12-8, 4.56). Following the Detroit series, the Mariners will move to Anaheim for three against the Angels in the final road series of the season.