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Errors, homers haunt LeBlanc in Mariners loss

Lefty allows 5 runs (2 earned) on just 4 hits; Seager hits 9th-inning HR
MLB.com

SEATTLE -- Two separate times during Wednesday's game at Safeco Field, a Mariner infielder committed an error that allowed a runner to reach base, and that runner wound up scoring on a home run off Wade LeBlanc.

"We played sloppy behind him, made a couple errors," said manager Scott Servais. "The home run balls obviously hurt, but we didn't help him out a whole lot there either."

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SEATTLE -- Two separate times during Wednesday's game at Safeco Field, a Mariner infielder committed an error that allowed a runner to reach base, and that runner wound up scoring on a home run off Wade LeBlanc.

"We played sloppy behind him, made a couple errors," said manager Scott Servais. "The home run balls obviously hurt, but we didn't help him out a whole lot there either."

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The two extra runs would prove to be the difference as the Mariners dropped a 5-4 contest to the Padres and dropped below the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League Wild Card standings for the first time all season. The Mariners fell to 3-5 on the homestand, during which they fell from 6 1/2 games back of a playoff spot to 9 1/2 back.

"We needed to have a really good homestand, and it didn't happen," Servais said. "At this point in the season, whether you've had a good season, whether you've had a disappointing one, you are a professional and you gotta take a lot of pride in preparing, going out and getting ready to play."

Video: SD@SEA: Servais on coming up short against Padres

The Padres got the scoring going in the second inning when Austin Hedges slugged a two-run homer just two batters after Eric Hosmer reached on an error by shortstop Gordon Beckham. History would repeat itself when Wil Myers reached on a throwing error with two out in the fifth and Hunter Renfroe followed up with a two-run shot of his own.

"[LeBlanc] did make a couple mistakes, obviously on the home runs," Servais said. "But I think Wade's thrown the ball fine. I thought his stuff was fine today."

The miscues meant LeBlanc only got tagged with two earned runs in his five innings of work, in which the lefty struck out two and allowed four hits. LeBlanc would get the loss to drop his record to 8-4.

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"I'm not a strikeout guy, so there's a lot of balls put in play," LeBlanc said. "These guys have stood up behind me all year. You can talk about mistakes that are made, but at the end of the day, you look after those mistakes. What did I do? I made mistakes, too. I take pride in being able to pick those guys up as much as they pick me up, and today I let them down."

Seattle rallied back with three runs in the fifth inning. Mitch Haniger roped an RBI triple into the left-field corner and came home to score on a Robinson Cano RBI groundout.

Video: SD@SEA: Haniger smacks an RBI triple down the line

The groundout cleared the bases for Nelson Cruz, who belted a towering solo shot and recorded his 1,000th career RBI. The ball left the bat at 109.2 mph and traveled an estimated 430 feet, per Statcast™, landing in the upper deck at Safeco Field.

Video: SD@SEA: Cruz launches 35th HR for 1,000th career RBI

Kyle Seager also went deep to lead off the bottom of the ninth, but it would prove to be too little, too late for the team that coughed up three unearned over the course of the game.

Video: SD@SEA: Seager blasts a HR to dead center in the 9th

"It's a pride situation," Servais said. "You gotta come out, you gotta be prepared to play every day, and expect balls to be hit to you and make plays and focus. … There's been games like today where it just gets away from us because we're not fundamentally sound or tight defensively."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
After the Mariners scored three runs in the fifth, the Padres' bullpen struck out nine straight hitters from the sixth through eighth innings. It was the most consecutive strikeouts in club history for the Mariners.

Video: SD@SEA: Padres' bullpen K's 9 straight Mariners

"There's a reason they're one of the best bullpens in the National League in the second half," Servias said. "They got guys down there with a lot of good stuff, and certainly shut us down and blew us away for the three innings there, the sixth, seventh, eighth."

SOUND SMART
The Padres swept the season series against the Mariners, 4-0, taking two in San Diego two weeks prior to their trip to Seattle. Since Interleague play began in 1997, neither team has ever swept the season series. The Mariners lead the all-time series, 55-51.

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Super-utility player Kristopher Negron made a Superman catch in the fifth inning to rob Hosmer of a base hit. Negron, playing left field, ranged to his right and laid out to snare the liner, which had a hit probability of 73 percent per Statcast™.

Video: SD@SEA: Negron lays out to make terrific diving grab

HE SAID IT
"I know guys are disappointed the season hasn't gone the way we thought it was going to go, but you still gotta show up to work every day. You are professional, and you get an opportunity to play a kids' game. You gotta take advantage of it and enjoy it." -- Servais

UP NEXT
The Mariners head to Anaheim for a four-game set with the Angels starting Thursday at 7:07 p.m. PT. Mike Leake (9-9, 4.11 ERA) gets the ball coming off a start in which he threw six scoreless innings to beat the Orioles. The Angels haven't announced a starter for Thursday.

David Gottlieb is a reporter for MLB.com based in Seattle.

Seattle Mariners, Wade LeBlanc