BOSTON -- In a quiet clubhouse where players dressed and exited quickly, Mariners slugger Nelson Cruz took time to express a thought that spoke loudly in the wake of Seattle's second straight shutout loss at Fenway Park.Embarrassing was the word Cruz used to describe the Mariners' recent performance, topped by
BOSTON -- In a quiet clubhouse where players dressed and exited quickly, Mariners slugger Nelson Cruz took time to express a thought that spoke loudly in the wake of Seattle's second straight shutout loss at Fenway Park.
Embarrassing was the word Cruz used to describe the Mariners' recent performance, topped by Saturday's 6-0 loss that left the club with just nine runs scored over its past eight games.
Other than a three-run homer by Cruz in Thursday's 4-2 win over the Nationals, the Mariners have scored just six runs in their past 73 innings, and none in the last 20 frames. They've lost seven of those last eight games in falling to 21-29 and last in the American League West, with a club that came into the year carrying playoff expectations.
"We just have to go out there and change the attitude," Cruz said. "We should go out there with a chip and be proud of what we do. This is embarrassing, you know? We shouldn't be in this situation. I understand we have injuries and all that, but there's a point you have to turn everything around."
The Mariners are dealing with a rash of injuries to their rotation, but the alarming thing is the sudden lack of offense by a club expected to be among the more potent forces in the AL with the bats.
The Mariners' malaise includes Cruz, who is hitting .094 (3-for-32) over his last eight games. Kyle Seager is at .220 (13-for-59) over the past 16 games. Taylor Motter, who was huge early in the year for Seattle, has fallen to .201 on the season, as he's hit .175 in his last 32 games. Catcher Mike Zunino is still struggling since his return from Triple-A Tacoma, batting .148 on the year.
Other than leadoff hitter Jean Segura, no one on the Mariners has carried a hot bat for long. And now getting shut out by Christopher Johnson, a spot starter for the Red Sox making his Fenway Park debut?
"Not good," said manager Scott Servais.
The Red Sox made some outstanding defensive plays. Mookie Betts went above the short wall in right to rob Cruz of a homer in the fourth. Jackie Bradley Jr. ran down a 403-foot drive by Robinson Cano to the wall in center in the sixth, then snared a low scorching 110-mph line drive by Cruz just off his shoe tops in the ninth before tracking down another deep drive by Seager to end the game.
But Servais wasn't in the mood to tip his cap to the opposing team on this one.
"They made some good plays," Servais said. "They have talented players. We have good players. They're playing a lot better than our good players right now."
"That doesn't make any difference," Cruz said of the Red Sox's gems. "We have to do better as a team."
Servais says there is only one way out of the doldrums.
"You have to fight and get ticked off and show up tomorrow with a little chip on your shoulder," he said. "Everybody is trying hard. I've never met a big leaguer who didn't try hard. But it's easy to get caught up and not feeling good about where we're at as a team and not playing that well and it just kind of snowballs. There's only one way to stop it. You have to step up and make it happen."
Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter [