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Mariners unable to overcome rough 3rd in loss

Ninth-inning rally falls short as Seattle settles for taking 2 of 3
August 26, 2018

PHOENIX -- The Mariners came to the desert looking to rebound after three straight series losses. They notched a series win against the D-backs, yet they lost ground in their push for the postseason.:: Players' Weekend presented by Valspar Stain ::With a 5-2 loss on Sunday at Chase Field, Seattle

PHOENIX -- The Mariners came to the desert looking to rebound after three straight series losses. They notched a series win against the D-backs, yet they lost ground in their push for the postseason.
:: Players' Weekend presented by Valspar Stain ::
With a 5-2 loss on Sunday at Chase Field, Seattle lost a game in both the American League West and AL Wild Card races. The Mariners are 6 1/2 games behind the first-place Astros in the AL West and five games back of the A's for the second Wild Card spot. The Astros swept the Angels this weekend and the A's won the final three games against the Twins in their four-game set.
Mariners Players' Weekend gear
The Mariners lost two of three games in each of their previous three series vs. the A's, Dodgers and Astros, a trio of teams currently in the postseason hunt.
Mariners' nicknames for Players' Weekend
Seattle nearly rallied for its second straight come-from-behind win. After cutting the deficit to three runs on a D-backs error, the Mariners loaded the bases with no outs in the ninth. However, Mitch Haniger (Meetch) lined out to third and Robinson Cano (Nolo) grounded into a game-ending double play.
"We put some pressure on them late," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "A game of inches this whole series, all the games were hard fought. We got a few things to go our way last night, and today not so much."

Mariners starter Mike Leake (Spike) retired the first seven batters before encountering trouble in the third. He gave up three consecutive one-out singles, leading to a game-tying sacrifice fly by A.J. Pollock (Pollo). David Peralta (Freight Train) gave Arizona the lead with an RBI infield single and Paul Goldschmidt (Goldy) pushed it to 5-1 with a three-run home run.
Leake had an 11-inning scoreless streak before the D-backs' rally. The right-hander went six innings, allowing five runs, all of which came in the third, on seven hits with no walks and six strikeouts.
"As the game went on, he got better, the ball was at the bottom of the strike zone more," Servais said. "He left a couple pitches up, but he just threw the ball fine. Just the one inning got him."

It was Leake's first start since Aug. 15 after he was scratched on Tuesday due to illness. He has made 10 starts since his last win on June 23.
"It's part of the game," said Leake, who added he "felt better" and was no longer affected by the illness. "There's ups and downs, it's what you learn throughout your career. It's just part of it and you've just got to keep doing your job."
Kyle Seager drove in Seattle's first run with an RBI single in the first, a day after he ended an 0-for-18 skid with a game-tying two-run double in the ninth. The Mariners had five hits against D-backs ace Zack Greinke, who tossed 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball.

The rest of this nine-game road trip could be crucial as the Mariners look to stay in the postseason race. They head to San Diego for a two-game set before traveling to Oakland for a critical four-game series against the AL West-rival A's.
"We're in it, so every game you're in it to win," Leake said. "We've just got to take care of what we can."
SOUND SMART
Haniger collected two hits to finish a strong series in his return to Chase Field, the site of his MLB debut when he played for the D-backs in 2016. Haniger went 6-for-14 with two homers, two RBIs and four runs scored over the three-game set.
HE SAID IT
"He's an accomplished hitter, one of the best in the National League, and he made us pay today." -- Servais, on Goldschmidt
UP NEXT
After an off-day on Monday, Felix Hernandez (King Felix) takes the mound for the Mariners to open a two-game Interleague series against the Padres at Petco Park on Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. PT. Hernandez (8-11, 5.64 ERA) is making his second start since returning to the rotation from a brief stint in the bullpen. The veteran right-hander gave up four runs over six innings against the Astros last Monday. Jacob Nix (1-2, 6.17) will get the nod for the Padres, making his fourth career start.

Jake Rill is an editorial producer for MLB.com based in Phoenix.