Suddenly, three losses in one night as Rodriguez, Kirby miss game and M’s lose – The Seattle Times TipTechBlog


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With a patchwork lineup that looked more like early-March Cactus League than late-August American League West leader due to illness and injury, the Seattle Mariners saw their four-game winning streak snapped against a team that some baseball experts have referred to as minor league.

Absent their scheduled starting pitcher, George Kirby, and the hottest hitter in baseball, Julio Rodriguez, the Mariners suffered a disappointing 3-1 defeat Tuesday against the Oakland A’s.

Seattle fell to 75-57 and into three-way tie with the Rangers (75-57) and Astros (76-58) for the lead in the AL West.

It was Oakland’s 39th victory of the season as the franchise looks to avoid losing 120 games. Seattle had been 8-0 against the worst team in baseball this season.

“Certainly, we had a little adversity today,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “We had some lineup switches late, which dictated where we went.”

Given the discrepancy in the rosters and previous results, it seemed like the Mariners would always rally even after falling behind 3-0. But they failed to get the needed hit.

In the ninth inning, pinch-hitter Josh Rojas singled with two outs and J.P. Crawford doubled into the left-field corner. But A’s closer Trevor May struck out Eugenio Suarez to end the game.

“I really felt when the ninth inning started that if we could get Geno to the plate, that’s what I was hoping for,” Servais said of a possible comeback victory. “Their pitcher executed. May’s having a good year after the late call-up with them. He’s been really good lately and their bullpen was good tonight too. They executed pitches they threw strikes. They got us out.”

A crowd of 44,280 packed into T-Mobile Park on a cool evening with the roof closed to see if the Mariners could continue their run of success, and, of course, procure a Julio Rodriguez Funko Pop collectible as part of a giveaway promotion.

But they never got to see the actual Rodriguez play. Instead, they saw an offense without him muster two hits in the first eight innings and score its only run on a bases-loaded walk. The Mariners left 10 runners on base, going 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position.

“You find ways to create an opportunity,” Servais said. “You just try to put traffic out there and hopefully you come up with the big hit. There’s no replacement for Julio, certainly not with how he’s playing right now.”

A little before 5 p.m., the Mariners were forced to change their pitching plans when it became clear Kirby would be unable to make his scheduled start due to an unspecified illness.

“He was sick most of the night and just felt terrible today when he came in,” Servais said. “We just felt it was best that we move on and not pitch him in the ballgame tonight. George loves to be out there. He’s an awesome competitor, but you’ve got to do the right thing.”

Kirby lobbied to pitch, but was overruled.

“He didn’t feel good,” Servais said. “He didn’t look good.”

The Mariners will wait to see how Kirby feels Wednesday morning to see if they re-slot their rotation. Bryce Miller was still scheduled to start in the series finale Wednesday afternoon.

Seattle made the logical choice and started right-hander Luke Weaver, who had been a starter with the Reds prior to being designated for assignment. As the most stretched out pitcher in the bullpen, Weaver was going to throw at least 70 pitches – good or bad – in the game to cover some of the innings.

About 10 minutes before the 6:40 p.m. first pitch, the Mariners announced Julio Rodriguez had been a late scratch from the starting lineup due to left foot soreness.

“About a half-hour before the game, he was getting loose for the game and he had an issue with his left foot, kind of a pinched nerve situation in there,” Servais said. “It was really bothering him. He does feel better now.”

The lineup attrition continued into the game.

A poor pickoff throw from Weaver to first base resulted in ball that bounced up and struck Ty France in his left wrist – an area that has caused problems in the past. The contusion on France’s left thumb/wrist would force him out of the game in the third inning.

“The swelling seems to have gone down a little bit,” Servais said.

To quote Faber College freshman Chip Diller in Animal House, “All is well, remain calm.”

Of course, much like the final chaotic scene in the comedic classic, all was not well in Mariners’ fan land where the years of disappointment and heart break have turned the most optimistic people into fatalists and doomsayers.

“Stuff happens,” Servais said. “We play so many games. We’ve been on such a hot streak where everything kind of has gone our way, so it’s gonna be a little bump in the road, a little adversity.”

Rodriguez and France are considered “day-to-day.”

When Crawford slid awkwardly into second base in the third inning and stayed on the ground in obvious discomfort, it did feel like the game, if not the team, was cursed for failure or something worse.

Knowing he couldn’t exit the game and create a greater sense of panic, the always-tough Crawford remained in the game and played through any pain.

“I’m fine,” Crawford said afterward. “It’s nothing.”

Had Crawford left the game, there might have been a fan meltdown destroying social media, which wouldn’t have been the worst thing.

Weaver pitched 3 2/3 innings, giving up three runs on seven hits, including a pair of home runs.

Veteran left-handed hitter Seth Brown hit a solo homer with two outs in the first inning. In the second inning, Weaver allowed a leadoff single to Jordan Diaz and then surrendered a two-run homer to Shea Langeliers that made it 3-0.

Relievers Isaiah Campbell, Matt Brash, Trent Thornton and Tayler Saucedo combined to work the rest of the way scoreless.

The Mariners lone run came in the fourth inning. They loaded the bases against Oakland starter Ken Waldichuk with two outs. Cade Marlowe worked a walk to force in a run, but Jose Caballero popped up a 2-0 pitch to end the inning.


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