Mariners finish 4-4 on their trip after Tim Lincecum holds them to two runs in nearly six innings of work. Brad Miller accounts for Seattle’s offensive output with a homer and RBI single.

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SAN FRANCISCO — As offensively challenged as the Mariners have been for much of the season, they were within striking distance and the possibility of at least forcing extra innings Tuesday afternoon.

But any hopes of that ended in the bottom of the eighth.

With the Mariners down by a run, reliever Tom Wilhelmsen gave up three runs with two outs and there was no coming back from that in a 6-2 loss to the Giants.

The Mariners mustered two runs against Giants starter and Renton native Tim Lincecum and nothing against the stingy San Francisco bullpen, falling to 29-36 and finishing their eight-game trip with a 4-4 record.

They had chances to sweep Cleveland, win the series in Houston and finish out the trip with a winning record but lost all three of those decisive games.

“A win today would have made it a great trip,” Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said. “And 4-4 is just an average trip. Perception and reality: The perception is we are treading water. The reality is we aren’t playing as well as we should be playing. We had opportunities. Today was a perfect example. We couldn’t get the one hit to put us over the hump.”

The Mariners return to Seattle to face San Francisco for another two-game series at Safeco Field — a place they’ve struggled in recent weeks.

On Wednesday night, they get to face World Series MVP Madison Bumgarner (7-3, 3.16 ERA) — not exactly the ideal matchup for a team that has failed to score three or more runs in 17 of its past 20 games.

The eighth inning was all on Wilhelmsen, who pitched himself into the trouble by walking Buster Posey and Brandon Crawford with two outs. Matt Duffy blooped a single into center field to score Posey, and pinch-hitter Casey McGehee belted a double over the head of Nelson Cruz in right field to put the game out of reach.

“Command,” McClendon said of Wilhelmsen’s struggles. “He just couldn’t get the ball over the plate.”

It wasn’t a typical eighth inning. Wilhelmsen got Joe Panik to ground out to start the inning. Then after getting two strikes on Angel Pagan, Wilhelmsen stood around for about 10 minutes watching Pagan and Giants manager Bruce Bochy quarrel with home-plate umpire John Hirschbeck over Pagan’s arguing balls and strikes.

Did the delay affect Wilhelmsen?

“I don’t know, whatever you think,” Wilhelmsen said. “I’ve been through delays before.”

McClendon didn’t think it was an issue.

“I don’t think it affected him,” he said.

Wilhelmsen struck out pinch-hitter Jarrett Parker looking with a curveball on the first pitch after the delay. And then he got up 0-2 on Posey. But that inning-ending, put-away pitch never came

“I couldn’t do it,” Wilhelmsen said. “I was trying, too, trying to make a perfect pitch.”

San Francisco grabbed 2-0 lead against Mariners starter J.A. Happ in the second inning on a two-run homer from Duffy.

“A lot of times you are frustrated ‘cause you make a mistake,” Happ said. “Duffy hit the pitch I wanted to throw. I don’t know how he hit that ball. He put a hell of a swing on it.”

Happ wanted to throw an inside fastball off the plate. He did that. The 92-mph fastball probably was six inches off the inside part of the plate. But Duffy was looking for it and got his hands through, pulling it over the wall in left field for his sixth homer of the season.

“The pitch before I went down and in, and I wanted to go up and in,” Happ said. “It was there, and then some. I did look at it (on video). I don’t know. Not many people hit that ball where it was. You just kind of shake your head.”

The Mariners cut into the 2-0 deficit in the fifth inning, when Brad Miller — the only player to hit the ball hard off Lincecum — led off the fifth inning with a solo homer. He jumped on a first-pitch curveball, sending it into the stands in left-center for his sixth homer of the season.

In the sixth inning with two outs and runners on first and second, Miller slashed a single into center to score Kyle Seager from second, making it 3-2 and ending Lincecum’s outing.

Giants reliever George Kontos extinguished the two-out rally, getting Mike Zunino to fly out weakly to right field to end the inning.