Wednesday, May 19, 2010

MARINERS: Collapsing Team Loses in the 10th in Oakland finale, 6-5

In a game that sums up the Mariners’ ability to play below their means, the Seattle club lost 6-5 in the 10th inning in Oakland Tuesday night. Felix Hernandez struggled through 6 innings, giving up 11 hits and 3 runs. Even those who produced offensively had enough problems to make their performances circumspect.

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Rob Johnson is the first to come to mind. His 3rd inning solo home run tied up the game, while throwing out runners on a snap throw to pick off Adam Rosales from third in the 2nd and a pitch-out in the 4th to catch Rajai Davis stealing. On the bases, however, his attempt to advance to third on a single in the 5th off the bat of Ichiro resulted in him being caught for the third out. More importantly, it was before Casey Kotchman crossed the plate, costing the Mariners a run.

Felix’s 11 hits were matched with 3 earned runs, 2 walks, and 6 strike outs. He was in line for the win until Oakland took the lead in the 7th, 5-4 off Kanekoa Texeira and Sean White’s pitching.

The Mariners managed to tie the game in the 8th off of timely hitting by Mike Sweeney, hitting a sacrifice fly to drive in Ryan Langerhans. Langerhans was running for Ken Griffey Jr., whose single was his only hit for the game in four at-bats.

It was all for naught, with frustrating Brandon League entering the game in the 9th. He quickly got two outs to end the inning and carry the Mariners into extra innings. However, the 10th led to a quick first out, a walk, and a fly out with the runner advancing. A wild pitch later, and the winning run was 90 feet away. After an intentional walk, Kurt Suzuki hit a single to center to score the winning run and end the game.

The loss moved League to 3-4, raising his ERA to 4.09. Most notably, League left the field in the midst of the celebratory Athletics, holding his hands over his hat, wearing the team's frustration on his sleeve.

Tomorrow, the Mariners will be facing Brett Cecil (2-2, 5.36 ERA) of the Toronto Blue Jays (24-17), while bringing surprising Doug Fister (3-1, 1.72 ERA) to help contain the steady slide into obsolescence. This will be a short two-game series at home for Seattle.

Reach M. Wend at