The Mariners had a chance for another come-from-behind win but they ultimately lost 6-4 to the Yankees in front of 38,503 at Safeco Field.
First against starter Yovani Gallardo and then reliever James Pazos, the Yankees’ offense continued to find ways to score off the Mariners, beginning with home runs and later with base hits and walks.
Emilio Pagan, who pitched the final three innings for the Mariners on Sunday, held New York scoreless. But even the best pitching cannot pull a team back into the lead if it’s down. The offense must contribute, too, and Seattle’s could not do so in the final innings.
Behind by two heading into the bottom of the ninth, the Mariners had a chance for a come-from-behind win but could not score and lost 6-4 to the Yankees in front of 38,503 at Safeco Field.
Boston @ Mariners, 7:10 p.m., ROOT Sports
“(The team had) a little something going maybe in the ninth inning, but again just not enough,” manager Scott Servais said.
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Before the ninth inning, Seattle had gone four innings without a base hit. The Mariners had two in the ninth but neither turned into runs. Nelson Cruz singled to start the inning, and Taylor Motter came in to pinch run. Then Motter, who was at his locker but did not talk to the media after the game, was picked off as he tried to steal second.
“When you’re in that role, you’ve got to be mentally sharp and understand the situation,” Servais said. “That run, we were down by two, it’s not like it’s the tying run. Really no need to get picked off there. Mental mistakes happen and they certainly hurt.”
Kyle Seager hit a double and reached third on a passed ball, but then Mitch Haniger popped out and the game ended on a strikeout by Ben Gamel.
Aaron Judge, the Yankees’ 6-foot-7 slugger who leads the American League in home runs, finished with no hits. But the rest of the Yankees’ offense made up for it as New York took three of four games in Seattle.
“We came up with a pretty good game plan on facing a guy like (Judge),” Gallardo said. “Obviously we know everything that he’s done this year and it’s tremendous power and (he) doesn’t chase out of the zone very much.”
After thriving as a reliever for the last month, Gallardo got his first start since June 17.
Gallardo wasn’t dominant, but he was decent. He allowed home runs from Brett Gardner and Didi Gregorius in the first two innings, and he almost gave up a third, but Judge barely missed the fence in the first inning. Still, Gallardo was able to keep the game within reach for the Mariners, who climbed into the lead in the fourth inning.
Gallardo was not as aggressive as he had been when he pitched in relief, Servais said, but he was still able to stay in the game for five innings.
Gregorius, a left-handed hitter, hit his second homer of the day in the fourth, and when Gregorius’ turn in the lineup came around again to start the sixth inning, the Mariners replaced Gallardo with Pazos, a lefty.
Pazos contained Gregorius, forcing a ground out. But Pazos’ day went downhill after that. In the one-third inning he pitched, Pazos allowed two hits, two walks and three runs, handing the lead back to the Yankees. The Mariners then had Tony Zych finish the sixth inning.
The game ultimately “came down to a battle of bullpens,” Servais said, and the Yankees’ pitching staff was better.
“We were feeling pretty confident with the guys that we have back there (in the bullpen) and sometimes it doesn’t work out,” Gallardo said.
After a quiet first three innings with only one hit, the Mariners’ offense emerged in the fourth inning, producing four runs.
With the bases loaded, Gamel singled to score Danny Valencia and Robinson Cano. The next batter, Guillermo Heredia, doubled and scored Gamel and Cruz. Suddenly, Seattle had the lead, but it was erased in the sixth.
With his base hit, Gamel extended his hitting streak to 10 games. Earlier in the season, Gamel recorded a 15-game hitting streak.
The fourth inning stood as Seattle’s lone offensive spark of the day. The M’s tried to create another one in the ninth but couldn’t.
“We had a big inning today,” Servais said. “But not quite enough throughout all nine.”