SEATTLE -- After engineering a big come-from-behind win in the opening game of their doubleheader with the A’s on Monday, the Mariners couldn’t come up with any late-game magic in Game 2 as they dropped a 9-0 decision at T-Mobile Park.
After the long day, the Mariners remained 1 1/2 games back of the idle Astros in the chase for the No. 2 playoff spot in the American League West. At 22-26, the young Mariners are still within range of the 23-24 Astros with 12 games remaining, but they have their work cut out with a tough closing stretch that still includes four more games against the first-place A’s to end the season.
Both teams dealt with hazy conditions from the wildfires that have hit the West Coast for the past week. The Mariners certainly weren’t bothered in their 6-5 comeback in Game 1, but they couldn’t steer clear of some stellar pitching from veteran southpaw Mike Minor in the finale as they totaled just two hits in the seven-inning contest.
The doubleheader was a makeup for two of three postponed games from Sept. 1-3 when the A’s had a player test positive for COVID-19. Rather than push up his rotation for the extra contest, manager Scott Servais went with a bullpen outing in the second game. Jimmy Yacabonis, who pitched the last three years for the Orioles, allowed one run in 1 1/3 innings as the spot starter while giving up two hits, three walks and a hit batter.
“The catch Kyle Lewis made was unbelievable,” Servais said. “One of the best catches I’ve ever seen, with the bases loaded on top of it. He makes that catch after the first inning and you think, ‘Ah, this could be our day.’ But it certainly wasn’t in the second game.”
Seth Frankoff, who pitched the previous two years in Korea, replaced Yacabonis and allowed five runs on five hits and two walks in the third inning. Both right-handers were making just their second appearances for Seattle and had pitched just one inning of relief after being called up from the alternative training site.
“Our relievers struggled to throw strikes and stay in good counts, and you have to give them credit,” Servais said. “They jumped on us there and put us away in that ballgame.”
The Mariners’ bullpen was already thin after soaking up seven innings in Sunday’s 7-3 win over the D-backs, when starter Justin Dunn lasted just two frames.
Brady Lail pitched the final four innings and gave up the final three runs on back-to-back homers by Mark Canha and Jake Lamb in the sixth, but Servais said the relief crew should be in decent shape as the club opens a two-game series with the Giants on Tuesday.