On the seventh day, the streak didn’t rest. Fernando Rodney was in the center of the maelstrom again, having given up the game-winning homer in the top of the ninth inning of Friday’s 1-0 loss to Tampa Bay, but he wasn’t the only goat for the Mariners. 2B Robinson Cano is getting plenty of chances to play the hero, but he failed again on several occasions Friday – most noticeably, during a routine groundout with the bases loaded in the seventh. Afterward, Cano was greeted with a chorus of boos like he hasn’t heard since his last trip back to the Bronx.
There was an eerie sense of anxiety when Rodney came out to open the top of the ninth inning. Restlessness turned quickly turned to boos when he served up a leadoff homer to 2B Logan Forsythe. The solo shot broke a scoreless tie and added evidence to the Dump Rodney campaign. But Lloyd McClendon is not in that camp, and he’s the only one who matters.
Starter J.A. Happ turned in another strong outing after rebounding from some shakiness in the top of the first. But he had to settle for his fifth consecutive no-decision. Happ threw seven scoreless innings before handing the game to the Seattle bullpen with a 0-0 score. Then Fernando Rodney happened. Again.
Not even an injury to Tampa Bay’s starter, Jake Odorizzi, could wake up the Seattle bats. Eight scoreless innings were bad enough, but getting a leadoff triple in the ninth and leaving the runner at third was the worst blow of all. Cano certainly hasn’t been earning his Bill Gates-ian paycheck as of late. He had another frustrating performance Friday (0 for 4, six runners left on base). New addition Mark Trumbo grounded out to end a first-inning threat, struck out his next two times up and grounded into an inning-ending double play in the eighth. Welcome to life as a Mariner, Trumbs.
Odorizzi cruised through four shutout innings before coming out with a strained left oblique muscle . . . CF Austin Jackson wasn’t in the lineup Friday because he was supposed to be resting the ankle that put him on the disabled list for three weeks in May. But Jackson came on to pinch-run in the seventh and tripled in the ninth . . . RHP Hisashi Iwakuma is getting closer to making a rehab stint, the next step toward coming off the disabled list. Iwakuma, who has been on the DL since April 24, came out of his Thursday bullpen session well and could throw again Sunday . . . 1B Logan Morrison was back in the lineup Friday, when he batted leadoff for the third time in his career. All three games have come during the homestand . . . J.A. Happ was the fourth consecutive left-handed starter to face the Rays. That streak will end Saturday, with RHP Felix Hernandez on the mound for Seattle.
Hernandez certainly didn’t look like a king his last time out (4.2 IP, 6 H, 5 BB, 7 ER), but he has a history of success against the Rays. His perfect game Aug. 15, 2012, came against Tampa Bay; Hernandez’s only two complete-game shutouts since then came earlier this season. Hernandez (8-2, 2.63 ERA) is scheduled to go against the Rays and RHP Alex Colome (3-2, 5.05 ERA) Saturday.