The Mariners stumbled to their eighth loss in nine games as they crawl toward the end of the season, much as they started it. Oakland’s 4-2 win Friday night at Safeco (box score) left Seattle with 85 losses, marking the fifth time in six seasons that the Mariners have lost 85 or more games.
Oakland 3B Danny Valencia, the second batter Seattle reliever Danny Farquhar faced after coming on for starter Hisashi Iwakuma in the eighth, hit a two-run homer to break a 2-2 tie. That gave the A’s (67-96) the lead for good.
In what may have been his final start as a Mariner, Iwakuma was solid. Only one of the two runs he allowed was earned – the other came on a two-error play by SS Ketel Marte in the third – while striking out eight without a walk over seven innings. Farquhar dropped to 1-8, even though he retired the final six batters he faced after the Valencia homer. The former closer had four losses over 161 career appearances entering this season, when he doubled that total in just 43 games out of the bullpen.
Getting a mere seven hits off the struggling Oakland staff made for another grim day for the offense. CF Brad Miller had three hits, including his 11th home run, and C Jesus Sucre was credited with a double on a misplayed fly ball to left, but otherwise the Seattle bats were nearly silent.
“That’s what I call alley-ball. There’s no excuse for that.” – manager Lloyd McClendon
on the two-error play from SS Ketel Marte to bring in Oakland’s first run in the third
inning, which included a missed catch at second base and a poor throw to home.
The Mariners finally have a medical explanation on 2B Robinson Cano. He will undergo postseason surgery after being diagnosed with a sports hernia. Cano, who was in the lineup Friday, had abdominal issues throughout the season. The surgery will require about six weeks of recovery time, meaning Cano’s spring training should not be affected . . . Nelson Cruz (most valuable player) and Felix Hernandez (most valuable pitcher) won the top honors during a pre-game ceremony by the local chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America. Brad Miller was selected for the Unsung Hero Award, while the Heart & Hustle Award went to Kyle Seager . . . 1B Jesus Montero and Class A OF Tyler O’Neill were named co-players of the year when the Mariners disclosed the club’s minor-league award winners earlier Friday. Montero hit .355 with 18 home runs and 85 RBIs in 98 games at Triple-A Tacoma before being called up in September. RHP Edwin Diaz, who went 7-10 with a 3.82 ERA between Class A Bakersfield and AA Jackson, was named the organization’s starting pitcher of the year. Tacoma OF Jabari Blash (Heart & Soul Award), LHP Paul Fry (relief pitcher of the year) and Everett SS Drew Jackson (Northwest League player of the year) were also honored.
The season winds down with the final night game of 2015 at 6 p.m. Saturday. LHP Roenis Elias (5-8, 3.89 ERA) will pitch for the Mariners, while Oakland offers LHP Sean Nolin (1-2, 5.25 ERA).