The Mariners overcame a four-run deficit but blew a lead by giving up three runs in the eighth inning in a 7-5 loss to New York.
The truth is the Mariners had the lead, had momentum, had a win dangling in front of them — and lost.
There’s a lot to unpack within that result — a 7-5 loss Friday to the sub-.500 New York Mets — but that’s a good place to start.
“It is going to happen once in a while,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “Unfortunately, tonight wasn’t a great night for it to happen because I thought we were in a pretty good spot.”
N.Y. Mets @ Mariners, 1:10 p.m., ROOT Sports
Also, there’s this: The Mets were 2-40 coming into Friday when trailing after seven innings.
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Make that 3-40.
The Mariners overcame a four-run deficit to take a 5-4 lead heading into the eighth inning. That’s when it unraveled.
Servais brought in his lefty specialist, reliever Marc Rzepczynski, to face former Redmond High standout Michael Conforto, the Mets’ left-handed hitting center fielder.
Rzepczynski has made a career out of devouring lefty hitters, and for most of this season he has done just that. But Conforto took a Rzepczynski pitch and slipped it over the wall in right field to tie the game.
It was the first home run Rzepczynski has allowed to a lefty this season and just the second he’s allowed to a lefty in the past two seasons.
“Four inches down maybe he rolls that over to first,” Rzepczynski said. “It’s just one of those frustrating parts I’m going through right now. Gave up a few singles here and there, but not many lefties have done that to me in my career. I look at it and tip my cap to him.”
It was the turning point.
The Mets tacked on two more runs that inning against the Mariners’ recently acquired reliever, David Phelps: two-out RBI singles from Neil Walker and Curtis Granderson.
“Anytime we score five runs, we should probably win that game,” Phelps said. “So it’s tough.”
That put the finishing touches on the Mets’ comeback, which erased the Mariners’ earlier comeback from four runs down.
“When you’re fighting back like that, you feel pretty good where you’re at,” Servais said. “We had momentum in the game. That Conforto home run off of Rzep kind of turned it back in their favor, and we couldn’t stop it. Disappointing result.”
The Mariners, however, had a chance to strike right back.
Danny Valencia led off the eighth inning with a single, and Mitch Haniger was hit by a pitch. Jarrod Dyson’s sacrifice bunt put runners at second and third with one out.
Asked about Dyson’s sacrifice bunt, Servais said, “Dyson kind of took that upon himself with where we were at. I’m not a big fan of giving up outs in that spot. We haven’t done much of it all year. We probably lead the league in the least amount of sacrifice bunts, and it’s for a reason. Dyson thought he could get one down there, maybe get in a good spot and beat it out. But that was his thinking, I guess.”
The Mariners didn’t cash in. Mike Zunino struck out, and Jean Segura grounded out to strand runners at second and third.
Lost in the late-inning drama was Ariel Miranda’s start.
On the one hand, Miranda allowed four runs, three earned, all in the first three innings. On the other hand, he had a career-high 10 strikeouts, retired the last 11 batters he faced and was “as sharp as he’s been in a while,” Servais said.
But the Mets made him pay with two home runs, including a third-inning home run to Conforto. Just a few weeks ago, at the All-Star Game, Conforto said, “Being a kid from Seattle, I was absolutely hoping to play for my hometown team.”
That didn’t happen — the Mariners selected Alex Jackson instead — but Conforto did hit two home runs in his first professional game at Safeco Field.