BY Anthony Dion 08:18PM 05/07/2014

Mariners fade in 2nd game, but trip a 7-2 success

The chance to create one of the greatest road trips in club history faded in the East Bay twilight of a long day, the Mariners unable to muster a second comeback win over Oakland in the same afternoon, losing 2-0 after a reserves-filled lineup managed just three hits. But the road trip was a huge success, winning seven of nine, including three of four against the division-leading A’s.

Following a 6-4 triumph in the first game, the Mariners were stymied by Oakland starter Drew Pomeranz. Sitting Corey Hart, Mike Zunino and James Jones, Seattle got nothing going against the tough left-hander making his first start of the season.

Making a spot start out of the bullpen, Pomeranz (2-1, 1.45 ERA) allowed two hits over five innings. He struck out five and didn’t walk anyone.

The Athletics opened the scoring for the first time in the four-game series. In the third inning, Craig Gentry reached on an infield single and scored when left fielder Cole Gillespie and shortstop Brad Miller were unable to corral a shallow pop fly off the bat of Jed Lowrie. In the fourth inning, Yoenis Cespedes hit his sixth homer of the season, a solo shot over the left field wall.

That was all the scoring Oakland (20-15) mustered against Erasmo Ramirez, who was recalled from AAA Tacoma to make the start. Ramirez looked much sharper than he has in five previous starts. In 24 earlier innings, Ramirez posted a 6.75 ERA with a 20-11 strikeout to walk ratio. That led manager Lloyd McClendon to demoting the right-hander near the end of April.

Wednesday, Ramirez (1-4, 6.00 ERA) pitched six solid innings of six-hit, two-run ball. He walked one and struck out four on 105 pitches. His work allowed the Mariners to rest most of their bullpen. Tom Wilhelmsen pitched two scoreless innings.

Jim Johnson pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning to earn his second save for Oakland.

While the loss snapped the Mariners’ five-game winning streak and prevented the team from sweeping a four-game series against Oakland for the first time in franchise history, they did move within two games of the first-place Athletics.

The Mariners begin Monday a seven-game homestand, four against the Kansas City Royals and three vs. Tampa Bay Rays.


YourThoughts

  • Estip

    That was the greatest road trip this season. Who’s complaining?

  • Matt712

    This road trip was astounding, and almost makes up for the eight game slide. Timely hitting and quality starts from the makeshift rotation were the story. I still don’t think we’ve seen the 2014 Mariners as planned. I think they have very achievable improvements to make: If the three high quality arms get back into the rotation and the team batting average can get up to .250, the M’s will be competitive. I still believe Brad Miller will snap out of his funk, but he should be on borrowed time by now.

  • jafabian

    Great to see the club coming together, but the past few seasons have seen a June swoon by the club. If they can get past that then maybe they’ve got something going.

  • Long-Time Mariners Fan

    This stretch of good baseball is heartening – it shows us that the team is willing to fight to stay in the race in April/May versus sliding downwards and then having a good July/August when the only thing to play for is a .500 record. I would temper this good feeling by considering the question that kept nagging me during Wednesday’s first game: What’s up with Felix? A quick glance at the stats for his eight starts shows a disturbing trend:

    First four games – Felix 3-0/Team 4-1

    Last four games Felix 0-1/Team 1-4 – hits/earned runs/walk are up; strikeouts are down.

    Speculation: If the rotation is ailing, Felix may think that the whole team is relying on him to be perfect – that stopper every five days that guarantees a victory. When the rotation gets healthy and back to full strength, Felix can relax and pitch within himself. Or he can relax and work on any control issues he might be having. But winning is a good tonic all round; coming from behind and winning on Wednesday after Felix left the game is a good sign that this team has a lot of competitiveness within.