Dee Gordon’s 12-game hitting streak with the Mariners and his 18-game hitting streak dating back to last season was snapped in the 2-1 loss to the A’s.
Dee Gordon’s 12-game hitting streak with the Mariners and his 18-game hitting streak dating back to last season was snapped in Sunday’s 2-1 loss to the A’s.
Gordon went for 0 for 3.
But it took a ridiculous play from Oakland third baseman Matt Chapman and an instant-replay review that left a few folks grumbling for Gordon’s hit streak to end.
In the eighth inning, with the Mariners trailing by a run and pinch runner Andrew Romine on first base, Gordon tried to drop down a bunt for a hit on the third-base line against lefty Ryan Buchter. It’s one of his best skills as a leadoff hitter and utilizes his sprinter-level speed.
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The ball tapped off his bat and rolled just far enough into the grass toward third for catcher Bruce Maxwell to not have chance. Chapman came racing in and fielded the ball, transferred it to his bare hand on the run and fired to first without slowing down.
First-base umpire Carlos Torres called Gordon out. The Mariners challenged the replay call and it looked like it might have been a tie and that first baseman Matt Chapman didn’t catch it cleanly. But the review in New York said the call was “confirmed” and boos cascaded down from many of the 25,822 at Safeco Field.
If Gordon is safe, the Mariners have runners on first and second with only one out and Jean Segura coming to the plate. With two outs, Segura flew out to deep center to end the inning.
“That’s part of Dee’s game,” Servais said. “Not many people get down the line faster than Dee Gordon. Chapman is an outstanding defensive player. I’ve seen Matt for a long time, and he’s got one of the best arms in the league. That’s kind of his play. He got after it. It was bang-bang at first. We thought it was going to go our way, but it didn’t. Big play in the game. If we have first and second there with one out, we’ve got some momentum. It just didn’t happen.”
Chapman made a similar play on a Gordon bunt earlier the series.
“They are definitely top plays, especially with that guy running,” said Mariners infielder Taylor Motter. “You can’t mess up anything. It’s got to be perfect. It has to be a hard throw over there and a perfect throw over there. It’s one of the tougher plays to make as a third baseman.
Iwakuma inching closer
Hisashi Iwakuma threw an extended bullpen session on Saturday as he continues to progress from offseason shoulder surgery.
The 37-year-old right-hander has experienced no significant setbacks in his recovery and rehabilitation.
The plan is to graduate Iwakuma to facing hitters with live batting-practice sessions or simulated games. Expect Iwakuma to go through at least two of those situations and then go on a rehabilitation stint.
Because of his time away, it seems likely that the Mariners won’t rush Iwakuma back and it could take up to the full 30 days allotted.
“We’re still very optimistic that he’ll help us at some point,” Servais said.
Since Seattle signed Iwakuma to a minor league contract, they can send him to Class AAA Tacoma even after the rehab assignment and not be forced to put him on the 25-man roster. Iwakuma does have opt-out clauses in his contract for certain dates if he is stuck in the minor leagues.
• Mike Zunino (strained oblique) flew to California to join High-A Modesto for a rehab stint. The plan is for Zunino to play three games before returning to the team. He’ll catch 5-6 innings on Monday, play the entire game at designated hitter on Tuesday and catch a full game on Wednesday.
The Mariners decided to send Zunino to Modesto because the Nuts are at home for all three days. Class AAA Tacoma is playing Sacramento on Monday and in Tacoma on Tuesday.
• Ben Gamel (strained oblique) went 0 for 3 with three walks and two runs scored in Tacoma’s 15-5 win over Sacramento on Sunday. Gamel will likely play one more game with the Rainiers and get activated from the disabled list on Tuesday.
• Robinson Cano worked his 12th walk of the season in the first inning against A’s starter Sean Manaea. Cano has reached base in all 13 of Seattle’s games this season. He’s also drawn a walk in five straight games. He has a .537 on-base percentage.