In a 5-4, rain-delayed loss to the Baltimore Orioles Thursday at soggy Camden Yards, the Mariners (18-22) blew one scoring chance after another. In addition to stranding 13, they went 3-for-15 with runners in scoring position, twice failing to capitalize with the bases loaded. By dropping the series 2-1 (box score), the Mariners also failed to make up ground on Houston, a 6-5 loser to Detroit, and trail the Astros by eight games in the AL West.
There were two: Batting .193, Baltimore’s Steve Pearce hit a first-inning grand slam (first of his career) off Seattle starter J.A. Happ. After the Mariners rallied to tie 4-4 in the seventh, the Orioles came back in the eighth with a run-scoring single by J.J. Hardy. On the play, Seattle center fielder Justin Ruggiano threw poorly up the baseline to catcher Wellington Castillo, allowing Chris Davis to plate the winning run.
Kyle Seager (2-for-3) extended his hitting streak to seven games before his ejection in the fifth for arguing balls and strikes. Seager’s absence meant that third-base replacement Willie Bloomquist twice came up — in the seventh and eighth innings — with the sacks full. Bloomquist struck out and grounded out.
The Mariners had other notable failures with runners poised to score: Dustin Ackley (.184 BA) fanned in the second with a runner on second (1-for-24 with RISP); Brad Miller whiffed with a runner on third in the fourth; Ruggiano fanned with the bases full in the seventh; Robinson Cano fanned with runners at the corners in the eighth
Happ worked only two innings due to the rain delay, but his ERA jumped from 2.98 to 3.61 after he allowed the slam to Pearce. Tom Wilhelmsen fanned three in his two innings. Joe Beimel struck out the side in the sixth. Danny Farquhar took the loss and fell to 0-3, 5.48.
“It’s unfortunate that Seager was thrown out of the game. I’d like to say that’s baseball, but it’s not. I thought it was unwarranted. I guess I’m not supposed to say that on TV, but it was a tough ball game. The thing that’s tough is that the hitter (Seager) was walking away from a confrontation (with the umpire) and he got thrown out.” — manager Lloyd McClendon.
“We had a lot of opportunities, but we couldn’t come up with the big hit. We just couldn’t come through.” — McClendon on 3-for-15 with runners in scoring position.
“He did a real nice job working with six different pitchers. He caught a real good game.” — McClendon, on Castillo’s Seattle debut.
Rain delayed the game for two hours, five minutes . . . The Mariners have a 4-7-2 series record, are 6-3 in day games and 7-12 on the road . . . Acquired from the Chicago Cubs Tuesday or RHP Yoervis Medina, Castillo went 1-for-4 with an RBI (sac fly in the second inning). . . After Seager struck out looking in the fifth, he was ejected by umpire John Tumpane for arguing balls and strikes, the first ejection of his career.
The Mariners commence a three-game, weekend series at Toronto Friday. Seeking his seventh win, Felix Hernandez (6-1, 2.30) will oppose Marco Estrada (1-2, 3.55). Following three in Toronto, the Mariners conclude the nine-game road trip with three at Tampa Bay.