Lloyd McClendon conceded Wednesday that his offense is in a “funk,” and that seems like an outlandish understatement. Ranked last in the AL in batting average (.237), the Mariners scratched out five hits, twice came up empty with the bases loaded, and lost to the Yankees 3-1 in front of 32,701 at Safeco Field (box score). Seattle (24-29) has dropped a season-high five consecutive games, is 1-6 on the home stand, and sinking in the AL West (season-worst nine games behind division-leading Houston).
Trailing 3-1 in the eighth after Mark Teixeira (solo, second inning) and Garrett Jones (two-run shot, eighth) pounded home runs off Seattle starter Taijuan Walker, the Mariners loaded the bases against New York closer Andrew Miller with one out. Logan Morrison worked the count to 3-and-0, but wound up fanning on a breaking ball. Austin Jackson then banged into a force play, virtually cementing the Yankees’ sweep.
The Mariners scored six runs in the three-game series . . . Seattle batters fanned 13 times Wednesday (three times each by Morrison and Kyle Seager), nine of them looking . . . Morrison’s single in the third extended his hitting streak to a season-high 11 games . . . Robinson Cano went 2-for-14 in the series and fanned in the ninth Wednesday on three pitches. His average dropped to .244 . . . After reaching base six times Tuesday, Jackson went 0-for-4, snapping his six-game hitting streak . . . After going 0-for-2 in such situations Wednesday, the Mariners are 5-for-39 for the season with the bases loaded . . . Garrett Jones, who broke a 1-1 tie with a two-run homer in the fourth, hit the 11th-inning homer that beat the Mariners Tuesday night.
Walker (2-6, 5.80) produced another effecting outing, scattering five hits over eight innings with seven strikeouts and one walk. But the Teixeira and Jones home runs did him in . . . Pitching for the first time since going on the DL April 29, Masahiro Tanaka threw a gem for the Yankees, allowing one run on three hits over seven innings. Tanaka didn’t walk a batter and fanned nine, including seven looking.
“We’re in a funk offensively right now, but I’m certain we’re going to come out of it. I know that sounds like a broken record” — McClendon.
“It was a tremendous outing for him and it’s nice to see him turning a corner” — McClendon on Seattle starter Taijuan Walker
“I feel real confident right now and real comfortable with my pitches” — Walker.
The Mariners scored their only run Wednesday in the third when Brad Miller tripled and scored on Dustin Ackley’s double. Ackley had a chance to score on Morrison’s single, but was cut down at the plate on a perfect throw by Yankees left fielder Ramon Flores. That ended Seattle’s only real opportunity to beat Tanaka . . . The Mariners fell to 23-25 against the American League and 8-6 in day games, including 4-3 in day games at Safeco . . . Seattle has had 36 games decided by two or fewer runs . . . The Mariners are 6-9-2 in series played.
The Mariners begin a four-game series with the Tampa Bay Rays Thursday at 7:10 p.m. LHP Roenis Elias (2-2, 3.07) will start for Seattle opposite former Mariner Erasmo Ramirez (3-2, 5.63).