SEATTLE -- Mariners closer Edwin Diaz couldn't convert his 29th consecutive save opportunity on Saturday night, but his teammates saved the day as Dodgers reliever Dylan Floro was called for a bases-loaded walk-off balk to score Cameron Maybin for a 5-4 win in 10 innings at Safeco Field.Mitch Haniger led
SEATTLE -- Mariners closer Edwin Diaz couldn't convert his 29th consecutive save opportunity on Saturday night, but his teammates saved the day as Dodgers reliever Dylan Floro was called for a bases-loaded walk-off balk to score Cameron Maybin for a 5-4 win in 10 innings at Safeco Field.
Mitch Haniger led off the 10th with a base hit, and Maybin followed with a fielder's choice grounder, hustling down the line to avoid the double play. Robinson Cano then beat out an infield single and Nelson Cruz walked to load the bases for Kyle Seager. Maybin flinched as Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner faked toward the bag, drawing the balk from Floro.
"I think Turner tried to deke me a little bit, so when he did his little move, I kind of jumped a little bit and it might have startled him a little," said Maybin. "However you can get 'em, you take 'em. And that was a big one."
Floro dropped his hands before backing off the rubber and then watched in dismay as the balk sent the Dodgers to another difficult defeat. Floro was tagged with a walk-off walk last week in Colorado.
"A balk-off victory. You don't see that every night at the ballpark," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "It was a crazy game, very intense. ... Good atmosphere in the ballpark. It's nice to send a lot of Dodgers fans home sad."
The Mariners improved to 12-1 in extra innings, 31-16 in one-run games and have won six of their last nine overall. Seattle sits 3 1/2 games back of the A's and Astros in the American League West at 71-53 after Oakland pulled into a tie for the division lead by beating Houston on Saturday.
Diaz was 47 of 50 in save opportunities this season, but the flamethrowing 24-year-old gave up a solo homer to Player Page for Max Muncy with one out in the top of the ninth. The Dodgers hit three solo shots in the final two innings to tie the game, as setup man Alex Colome saw his streak of 20 scoreless innings snapped as Turner and Cody Bellinger went deep in the eighth.
The Mariners have managed to come back and win the four games this year in which Diaz has blown a save opportunity and remain the only team besides Oakland to be undefeated when leading after eight innings.
"We've come back and won those games when Eddie has given up the lead. It hasn't happened very often," Servais said. "Part of that is he doesn't just fall apart, he finishes the inning and keeps it right there. You're not going to get it done every night. Muncy hits out a 98-mph fastball. It happens once in a while. But our guys put pressure on them, created opportunities and we caught a break at the end. We'll take it. That's a good club over there."
Seager provided the early pop for Seattle as his 20th home run of the season -- a three-run shot off Rich Hill -- staked the Mariners to a 4-1 lead in the first.
Erasmo Ramirez, making his second start since moving into Felix Hernandez's spot in the rotation, had to scramble for five innings but wound up allowing one run on three hits with four walks in a 90-pitch effort.
Ramirez (0-2, 5.49 ERA) has given up just one run in 10 innings since replacing Hernandez, who now is back in a starting role with James Paxton on the 10-day disabled list.
"I'll take it," Servais said. "To hold that club to one run through five innings, certainly the pitch count was high. But he threw the ball well in Houston and kept a very good club down tonight. Hopefully we can keep him rolling. We're going to need it. Our starting pitching is a little banged up."
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Maybin's diving catch to rob Manny Machado helped Ramirez escape a bases-loaded jam in the second inning and rated as a four-star catch by Statcast™, with just a 38-percent catch probability as he covered 48 feet in 3.4 seconds. Ramirez got in hot water by giving up a pair of singles and hitting Turner to load the bases, but Maybin's play preserved a 4-1 lead.
"Like I always say, you have to play both sides of the ball," Maybin said. "I've had a chance to get comfortable at every outfield position and I take a lot of pride in my defense. Whenever you can save runs against a really good ballclub like that, it's big. Whatever I can do to help the team, bringing energy, playing good defense, getting back to swinging the bat well, that's my job."
With his first-inning homer, Seager became the sixth player with 1,100 hits for the Mariners. He joins a prestigious list: Ichiro Suzuki (2,542), Edgar Martinez (2,247), Ken Griffey Jr. (1,843), Jay Buhner (1,255) and Alvin Davis (1,163). Ichiro isn't eligible yet, but the other five are all in the Mariners Hall of Fame. Seager also became the 11th third baseman in MLB history with 20 homers in seven straight seasons.
HE SAID IT
"The fans can't hear it in our dugout, but Nelson Cruz has a thing, he's been doing as long as I've known Nelson. He screams "Balk!' every opportunity he can. Tonight, he finally got one. He got it right. That's Nelly's thing. He'll scream it, yell it when he's on the bases, in the dugout, even in the batter's box. Anytime a pitcher does anything that looks a little different, he starts screaming, 'Balk.' He said he called it tonight." -- Servais
"Something weird was happening out there. I didn't necessarily know what was going on, but I heard Nelly scream, 'Balk!' and there was a party after. So it was good." -- Seager, who was at the plate when the winning run scored
MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
The Dodgers successfully challenged a safe call on a stolen-base attempt in the third inning by Seager, who had drawn a two-out walk. After a quick review, the call was overturned, taking the Mariners out of the inning and erasing what would have been Seager's third stolen base of the season.
Roenis Elias (2-0, 2.88 ERA) will come off the 10-day DL and start against Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw (5-5, 2.47) in Sunday's 1:10 p.m. PT series finale. Elias had three rehab outings with Triple-A Tacoma after going on the DL with a left triceps strain, allowing no runs or hits over 2 2/3 innings with three walks and four strikeouts. Because his innings have been limited, the Mariners will likely go to their bullpen early. But Elias is a former starter who is 17-21 with a 4.10 ERA in 68 big league outings, including 51 starts.
Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.