When the Mariners conduct an autopsy on the 2016 season, they will doubtless have massive regret about the past week. Tuesday night, they fell behind 4-0, rallied largely against ace Cole Hamels to take a 7-6 lead into the ninth, but lost to the Rangers 8-7 when Rougned Odor crushed a two-run, walk-off homer off Edwin Diaz (box). Seattle (69-63) dropped its fourth in a row and seventh in eight contests.
The Mariners fell 10.5 games behind the Rangers in the AL West race, which is really no longer a race, and four games behind the Baltimore Orioles, a 5-3 winner over Toronto, for the second wild card slot. Houston also won (3-1 over Oakland), shoving the Mariners deeper into in the division standings.
In a 4-0 hole, the Mariners tallied twice against Hamels in the fourth on a pair of bases-loaded walks. They took a 6-4 lead in the fifth on a two-run single by 3B Kyle Seager and RBI hits by 1B Dae-Ho Lee and CF Leonys Martin.
Texas tied it in the seventh, but Robinson Cano’s sacrifice fly in the eighth staked Seattle to a 7-6 lead. Diaz had a chance for a six-out save and escaped a two-baserunner jam in the eighth. But in the ninth, Odor hit a middle-middle fastball over the fence in dead center with ex-Mariner Adrian Beltre aboard.
Stat to consider: the Rangers are 30-8 in one run games, the Mariners 23-25.
While the Mariners scored the go-ahead (7-6) run in the eighth on Cano’s sacrifice fly, they also loaded the bases with one out and couldn’t come away with more than Cano’s sacrifice fly.
The Mariners had 11 hits, seven off Hamels, who had beaten them four consecutive times, and were 4-for-12 with runners in scoring position, stranding nine . . . SS Ketel Marte (2-for-5), Cano (2-for-4) and Lee (2-for-4) all produced multi-hit games . . . Seager knocked in two runs and lifted his average to .288.
Seattle starter James Paxton lasted only five innings and to gut that out after shearing off a fingernail in the third inning, placing his next start in doubt. It’s the same injury and finger that put him on the disabled list a season ago. He allowed four earned runs on eight hits with four strikeouts and one walk. He threw 86 pitches, 53 for strikes, and left with a 6-4 lead.
Nick Vincent pitched one inning of scoreless relief, but Steve Cishek came on in the seventh and allowed an RBI single to Beltre . . . Diaz (0-3) had his first blown save.
“We left it all out there tonight. We went after it. Down four runs, we battled back and felt good about Diaz being out there. But Odor got the big hit. What can you say? We competed our tails off and had our best guy out there on the mound. We’ll take that any night. It just didn’t work out.” — Mariners manager Scott Servais
Seattle fell to 1-5 on its seven-game road trip, to 23-29 vs. the AL West and to 4-10 against the Rangers . . . The Mariners are 20-15-8 in overall series, including 9-8-5 on the road . . . The Mariners kept Nelson Cruz out with a nerve problem in his left hand that has been bothering him since the weekend. He will probably get two days off . . . The Mariners Tuesday outrighted RHP Jarrett Grube to AAA Tacoma, leaving the 40-man roster with 39 players.
The series concludes Wednesday at 11:05 a.m. PT at Globe Life Park. RHP Felix Hernandez (9-4, 4.14) will pitch for Seattle opposite LHP Martin Perez (8-10, 4.45). The Mariners are off Thursday and will begin a three-game series with the Angels Friday night at Safeco Field.