Their failures to hit with runners in scoring position for most of the night were halted long enough to reward the fans at packed T-Mobile Park a reason to celebrate and cheer after offering few reasons to do so for the first eight innings.

But after rallying from a three-run deficit in the bottom of the ninth to send the game to extra innings much to the delight of the 42,654 in attendance, the Mariners couldn’t score a free runner from second base in the bottom of the 10th inning Friday night to avoid a disappointing 4-3 loss to the Angels.

“Nothing surprises me with what this team does in the late innings,” manager Scott Servais said. “We were right there at the end. We just couldn’t get it done.”

Inexplicably tied at 3-3 after nine innings, the Angels executed with perfection in the top of the 10th inning. With automatic runner Magneuris Sierra on second base and Paul Sewald on the mound for the Mariners, Andrew Velazquez bunted him to third and Taylor Ward hit a fly ball deep enough to score the run.

The Mariners couldn’t do the same.

Eugenio Suarez started the inning on second base and never left it as Carlos Santana hit a soft ground ball back to the pitcher and J.P. Crawford and Cal Raleigh hit weak pop flies for outs.

Seattle fell to 57-50 and missed an opportunity to gain ground in the wild-card race with the Guardians and Blue Jays losing. With Tampa winning, the Mariners fell to the third wild-card spot, a half-game back of the Rays and 1 1/2 ahead of the Orioles.


“I want to try to focus on the big hits in the ninth,” Servais said. “We’ve been playing really good baseball. That’s why I keep saying every game means the same. Whether you beat the Yankees in New York, or whether you win or lose here. They’re all the same. I know some feel bigger, but a win is a win and a loss is a loss. We’re not going to win every game the rest of season. We need to respond tomorrow and get after it and do more offensively for sure.”

The big hits in the ninth might not have been the focus if Seattle could have done something earlier in the game with runners in scoring position. It’s been a familiar theme for the Mariners this season.

Down 3-0 and having looked inept at the plate most of the night, the Mariners seemed destined to be shut out for the first time since, well, the infamous brawl in Anaheim. Angels starter Patrick Sandoval, who pitched 5 1/3 innings, and three relievers kept Seattle scoreless through eight innings

But with the Angels having traded closer Raisel Iglesias to the Braves at the deadline, they rolled out well-traveled veteran Jesse Chavez to handle the save situation in the ninth.

Jesse Winker worked a one-out walk and pinch hitter Jake Lamb singled in his first at-bat as a Mariner to put runners on first and second.

After pinch hitter Jarred Kelenic popped out in foul territory, Adam Frazier gave the Mariners hope with a double into the right-field corner to score Winker.


It brought Ty France to the plate with runners on second and third.

Making his first start since last Saturday when a sore left wrist forced him out of the lineup for the last game vs. the Astros and all three games vs. the Yankees, France looked understandably out of rhythm at the plate. His first three at-bats produced ground balls and the third one was an inning-ending double play that left him spiking his helmet in disgust.

But he came through, singling up the middle to score both runs and bring the crowd to their second standing ovation of the night.

“What you saw in the ninth inning is a guy who still doesn’t have his timing,” Servais said. “You saw a guy who’s a really good competitor. Like a lot of our guys on our team, they find a way. He doesn’t feel great at the plate after not playing for five days. He knows he’s not on top of it and has to find a way to get the ball in play. He’s had the magic wand and he found a hole for a huge hit.”

Unfortunately, it was the last time the fans had something to stand and cheer about.

After struggling in his previous two outings, both against the Astros, Robbie Ray returned to his old form, carving up an Angels lineup that is missing Mike Trout, the notorious Mariners torturer.


Ray pitched seven innings, allowing one run on five hits with two walks and 10 strikeouts.

“I’ve put those behind me,” Ray said of the two previous starts. “I came in to prepare for this game, prepare for the Angels. I just take it one pitch at a time, one game at a time. I’m not really focusing on what happened in the past and just looking forward.”

He struck out leadoff hitter Ward three times and reigning American League MVP Shohei Ohtani three times.

That one run allowed, which came in the first inning, seemed somewhat avoidable. With two outs, Luis Rengifo hit a ball into left field that appeared it would be a single. But Winker took a circuitous route to gloving it and Rengifo recognized it, hustling to second for a double.

That extra base proved costly when Jo Adell managed to muscle a broken-bat blooper into left field that allowed Rengifo to score.

The Angels might have made it 2-0 with two outs in the second inning on another ball into the left-field corner. Winker sprinted over to corral the ball off the bat of Sierra, once a ballyhooed prospect for the Cardinals, but stumbled awkwardly near the foul line.


Sierra saw Winker’s belly flop for the ball and kept on running, not settling for a triple and looking for his first career big-league home run.

But Winker was able to recover enough to get the ball to Crawford, who got rid of the ball quickly with a strong throw home.

The ball rocketed past Sierra, but was offline. Raleigh did an outstanding job of catching the ball off one hop and making the tag at the plate to end the inning. 

Ray wouldn’t allow another to reach scoring position over the next five innings.

But as fans might well remember, Felix Hernandez was a frequent victim of such anemic run support. Over his brilliant career with the Mariners, Hernandez had 39 starts of seven-plus innings pitched with one run or fewer allowed where he didn’t get a win. That included 34 no-decisions and five losses, four by the score of 1-0.

The Angels’ lead ballooned to 3-0 in the top of the ninth. Lefty Ryan Borucki started the inning off by hitting Mickey Moniak with a 2-2 fastball and then served up two-run homer to Max Stassi that made it 3-0.