The Mariners lost 4-2 Sunday to the Angels, their fourth consecutive loss after returning to Seattle a season-best three games over .500.
Back when Mariners’ optimism had reached its peak, five days ago, manager Scott Servais looked ahead to the celebratory weekend for Edgar Martinez’s jersey retirement.
“It’s a great honor to have Edgar’s number retired, and our fans will be very fired up,” Servais said then. “But we’ve given them more than just the retirement to be fired up about.”
They certainly had — and then they returned home. The Mariners lost 4-2 Sunday to the Angels, their fourth consecutive loss after returning to Seattle a season-best three games over .500. By the end of the weekend, the Mariners no longer owned one of the American League’s two wild-card spots, had fallen below .500 at 59-60 and had watched the Twins, the Angels and the Royals leapfrog them in the standings.
Baltimore @ Mariners, 7:10 p.m., ROOT Sports
“Our fans were fired up for the weekend with everything around Edgar Martinez and his number getting retired,” Servais said Sunday. “So disappointing there.”
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“We can’t let it become more than that: We have to keep it at a bad weekend,” Kyle Seager said. “It was a really bad weekend. It’s really a shame with all the Edgar stuff going on here. What a great a tribute they’ve been doing here. For us to come out and not back that up is really disappointing.”
Sunday’s loss was not the most gut-wrenching of the weekend — that honor could go to the four-run blown lead Friday or Saturday’s late-game collapse — but that’s the point: The Mariners lost in a variety of ways this series.
On Sunday, starter Ariel Miranda continued slumping. Miranda lasted only 42/3 innings. He gave up four runs and a season-high six walks.
He also allowed a solo home run in the third inning, the 30th home run Miranda has allowed this season, tied for the most in the majors.
Miranda entered the game in an extended funk. In his past six starts, he had a 7.16 earned-run average and allowed 11 home runs. He’d allowed at least two home runs in eight of his past 10 starts.
Servais said Miranda’s quality “comes and goes.”
“You’ll see it for a few hitters or an inning here or there,” Servais said. “And then it comes and goes. The consistency, that’s what separates winning teams from teams that are losing. … We’ve got to find a way to get him back on the right track because it has been a struggle for Miranda.”
Said Miranda, “Obviously, it hasn’t been a good stretch. I feel good mentally and physically. It could be a little bit of tiredness in terms of the length of the season. But I feel pretty good.”
Miranda exited with two on and two outs in the fifth inning. Reliever James Pazos walked the first batter he faced and then allowed a two-run single with the bases loaded.
The Mariners’ bullpen blew a four-run lead Friday and a two-run lead Saturday.
“Guys coming out of the pen, that first hitter you face is the absolute most important,” Servais said. “And we didn’t do a good job out of the bullpen with the first hitter. We gave up a lot of walks, deep counts, instead of coming in and attacking. We have to get back in that mentality again.”
The Mariners didn’t do much offensively, either.
Nelson Cruz drove in a run in the first inning on a sacrifice fly. But the Mariners didn’t threaten again until the ninth inning, when Robinson Cano led off with a single and Cruz doubled.
Cano scored on a single from Jarrod Dyson, who had earlier been thrown out at second on a baserunning mistake. But with runners on the corners, Guillermo Heredia and Leonys Martin both flew out.
The Mariners are 4-41 when they score three runs or fewer.
“We’ve got to get it going back in the right direction again, which we will. I have no doubts about the character of our club and our guys getting back after it again,” Servais said.
Said Seager: “That’s the name of the game. That’s our jobs. If we dwell on this then it spirals into a couple weeks. Our job is to try to turn the pitch and try to flip the script as fast as we can.”
Falling in the race
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