KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A season-long struggle to hit with runners in scoring position has really manifested itself during this losing Mariners trip.
The Mariners entered play Wednesday just 1 for 28 with runners in scoring position over their prior four contests. That trend appeared to be bucked early on Wednesday, when Franklin Gutierrez singled to score the game’s opening run in the third inning.
But the Mariners continued to struggle in such situations the rest of the night.
“It’s something that sticks out, obviously,” Mariners manager Eric Wedge said before the game. “The last four games, it hasn’t been about not getting on base. We’ve gotten on base. We’ve had situations where, early in the inning, you get a couple of guys on and nobody out and you don’t get anything done. Or, you kind of create something in the middle part to the end of the inning where you’ve got two out and runners on second and third and you don’t get anything.
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“So, you’re one execution, you’re one hit away.”
The Mariners entered the night batting .241 overall and .231 with runners in scoring position. They are hitting .203 in such situations with two out.
Over the four-game drought, the Mariners had scored just seven runs total. But three of those came in the first inning of Saturday’s contest in Houston.
Wedge has become increasingly vocal, both to his players and with the media, about expecting the team’s younger core members to be doing more to drive runs in at this stage of their careers.
“Especially some of the guys who have been here for two or three years, they’re to the point now where they need to have a better feel for themselves and what they need to do to be successful,’’ Wedge said.