A potent post-All-Star break Mariners offense was stifled by a journeyman pitcher in a 4-1 loss to the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park Monday. The second loss in its past eight games Seattle dropped into a tie with the Tigers for the American League’s second wild card.
The last time Seattle (67-57) saw Jerome Williams, the 32-year-old right-hander was mopping up a 10-4 loss his Houston Astros took June 30. In two innings of work, the Mariners got to Williams for two runs on three hits.
Williams fared much better in his second start for the Phillies since he was acquired earlier this month. He held the Seattle to three hits and three walks over seven-plus innings.
Two of those hits came from leftfielder Dustin Ackley, who responded from 4-for-28 slide to go 3-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI. Ackley drove in the lone run in the eighth inning after manager Ryne Sandberg pulled Williams with one on and no outs.
Ackley doubled off reliever Ken Giles to score Chris Taylor and bring the tying run to the plate with one out. Giles responded with strikeouts of Robinson Cano and Kendrys Morales to end the inning.
Williams earned his sixth win in eight decisions against Seattle. He improved his season ERA to 5.91 over 70 innings while earning his first win with the Phillies.
The Mariners recalled Roenis Elias (9-10, 4.09 ERA) from Class AAA Tacoma to take the ball Monday. It is a high priority for Lloyd McClendon to limit the amount of innings (139.2 entering Monday) and the stressful pitches Elias throws. That was the goal as the organization optioned him to Tacoma after his last start Aug. 7, an M’s win over the White Sox.
Philadelphia (55-70) did its part Monday to assist the Mariners’ effort to keep down Elias’ innings. The Phillies forced Elias to throw strikes as he struggled with his command. Six walks and a hit batter later, Elias exited after four innings and 90 pitches.
Despite all the free passes, the Phillies managed only one run on three hits. In the third inning, Marlon Byrd’s double scored Carlos Ruiz.
The big hit came from light-hitting shortstop Andres Blanco with one out in the fifth against Dominic Leone. Blanco delivered a three-run homer, helping the Phillies capitalize on their ninth free pass of the game. It was his first home run since July 2011.
The homer off reliever Leone marked the first time a Seattle reliever has allowed more than two runs since the All-Star break. The bullpen shut Philadelphia down over the next three innings to create a chance in the eighth.
The loss was Seattle’s first in four franchise games in Philadelphia. It previously swept a series at Philadelphia in 2003 . . . Felix Hernandez (hip bruise) will make his next scheduled start Friday.