The Mariners (3-5) led the Dodgers the entire way Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium until the last pitch, when closer Fernando Rodney served up a fatty to Mariners nemesis Howie Kendrick. He smoked a two-run, bases-loaded single to right that scored Carl Crawford from second base with the decider in a 6-5 win (box score) — the second one-run loss in a row to LA (4-3).
Rodney hadn’t blown a save since July 20 but he did Tuesday, giving up two singles and a walk to set up Kendrick’s first-pitch heroics. It reversed some bullpen derring-do in the seventh, when reliever Yoervis Medina came on with two on and no outs to get a strikeout and a double play to thwart what looked to be the Dodgers’ best chance at a late-inning rally.
2B Robinson Cano hit his first homer of the season with CF Austin Jackson aboard in the first. The next man up, RF Nelson Cruz, also homered — for the fifth time in four games, tying his career-best of four games in a row April 2011 with Texas.
LF Rickie Weeks singled in a fourth run in the fourth inning. After the Dodgers’ Alex Guerrero hit a two-run homer in the the fourth to close the gap to 4-3, 1B Willie Bloomquist’s infield out in the fifth produced a 5-3 lead.
After 15 strikeouts Monday, the Mariners had another dozen Tuesday, four by C Mike Zunino, who on the final tag play at the plate appeared to hurt his left wrist. But no report was immediately available on the injury’s extent.
Hisashi Iwakuma had his second subpar start, giving up four runs on six hits and three walks in five-plus innings. His 95th and final pitch was a home run to OF Andre Ethier to open the sixth. His slider was not working well and his main weapon, the sinker, wasn’t getting depth.
The runs were the first in a National League ballpark Iwakuma had given up in 24 career innings.
Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon: “I thought (Rodney’s) stuff was good . . . We hit some balls hard, but when you score five runs, you should win a ball game. Our approach is just fine. Zunino is pressing; we gotta get him to relax a little.
“It’s very disappointing. We gotta right the ship. But I caution you, we’re 3-5 in a 162-game season. The rest of this team is fine.”
Felix Hernandez is due to start Saturday, but his quadriceps muscle is still bothering him and McClendon hasn’t committed to starting him until he sees results from a bullpen session Wednesday. ”He played catch yesterday and felt fine,” McClendon said before the game. “He’ll throw tomorrow, and we’ll make a decision. I don’t foresee any setbacks, but I just want to cover myself.” Hernandez (three runs, eight hits, one strikeouts) came out after five innings Sunday Oakland after feeling leg tightness. He also twisted an ankle in the first inning, but said the ankle was OK . . . Entering the game, Iwakuma was 4-1, 3.22 ERA (18 ER, 50.1 IP) in 12 interleague games . . . OF Dustin Ackley hit 13 home runs in his last 51 games dating back to July 31, 2014 . . . in that span, his 13 home runs rank T5th in the American League and T8th in the majors . . . Prior to Tuesday, Seattle played extra innings in three consecutive days on the road. The last time to play extras in three straight days on road was Sept. 10-12, 1986.
The series concludes with a 7:10 p.m. game Wednesday when RHP Taijuan Walker starts for Seattle against RHP Brett Anderson.