Mariners lose 7-6 to Royals in heartbreaking fashion

The Mariners stage a furious late rally to take the lead in Kansas City, but it’s all for nothing as the Royals come back to secure the win.

Just like that, the Mariners have gone from refusing to lose, to being unable to win. Yes it’s only three consecutive defeats, but every game was winnable.

The latest loss was extremely frustrating, after the Mariners did the hard work by overcoming a five-run deficit. However, as quickly as they snatched the lead in the top of the ninth, they just as quickly gave it away in the bottom of the inning.

The game got off to a terrible start on Monday night for the Mariners. Logan Gilbert couldn’t have looked more different from his career game in his previous outing versus the Padres.

A complete 180 by Gilbert

Gilbert had allowed just one hit against the Padres, but surpassed this before the first inning was over in Kansas City. He allowed a couple of singles and then, following a sacrifice bunt, gave up a three-run blast for an early 3-0 deficit.

In fairness to the 26-year-old, he did overcome this and looked sharper in the following three innings. However, disaster struck again in the bottom of the fifth, albeit not of his doing.

Bobby Witt Jr. hit an inside-the-park homer, aided by a series of follies which wouldn’t have looked out of place in a Keystone Cops movie. Dominic Canzone lost the ball in the lights, Julio Rodriguez mishandled it on the warning track and before you knew it, the advantage had increased to 4-0.

After Gilbert allowed another hit, it was decided enough was enough. He was removed after just 4.1 innings, which represented one of his shortest starts of the season.

For the game, the righty allowed seven hits, two walks and four earned runs. Discussing his outing postgame, he said:

“I just felt a little bit off (tonight). I had some deep counts and not getting ahead. I think that’s the main thing. Usually good or bad, it all goes back to how well you do that.”

With Gilbert out early, the bullpen was asked to pick up the slack. However, they loaded the bases an inning later and issued a walk, to extend the Royals’ lead to 5-0.

As the Mariners’ usually reliable pitching staff struggled, Royals starter Brady Singer was humming along smoothly. The visitors couldn’t get anything going, as he took a no-hitter into the seventh inning.

Mariners bats finally break out

The Mariners finally broke through with two outs in the seventh, courtesy of a Canzone single. Just an inning later, the floodgates opened.

After the Mariners had loaded the bases, Rodriguez cleared them with a three-run double. Just like that it was 5-3, and the visitors were back in the game.

Rodriguez was subsequently brought home himself, thanks to a Eugenio Suarez single. After holding the Royals off the board in the bottom half of the inning, the Mariners entered the ninth trailing just 5-4.

Down to their final out, Josh Rojas hit a RBI single to tie the game at 5-5. Then Rodriguez looked like he was going to be the hero, as he hit the go-ahead RBI single to make it 6-5.

Mariners manager Scott Servais was suitably impressed with the mental fortitude of his players. He said:

“It was a heck of a comeback by our guys, really down and out and didn’t have a whole lot going offensively. But our guys don’t quit. It’s a testament to them and they find a way to get ahead and get the lead.”

Bullpen letdown for third straight game

Unfortunately for the Mariners the lead wouldn’t hold up, as the bullpen failed for a third consecutive game. This time it was Matt Brash who would be the villan, with his fifth blown save of the season.

Brash had been on a roll of late, allowing no runs in his previous nine appearances. As such he should be cut some slack, but it still doesn’t make the situation on the night any more palatable.

The 25-year-old came out cold, quickly giving up two singles. Then the Royals tied the game at 6-6 on a sacrifice fly to center field.

The game was subsequently won courtesy of a bunt, which Dylan Moore couldn’t handle cleanly down the first-base line. A dejected Brash said afterwards:

“The team fought to come back, and I didn’t do my job. But tomorrow’s a new day, and I’m going to be asked to do it again. I’ll be ready.”

Mariners fans can only hope this applies to the team as a whole. This is their first three-game losing streak since the end of June.

Servais acknowledged the Royals hit well on the night. He said:

“They found some holes tonight. They found more holes than we did, quite frankly. That happens. They got balls in play, and obviously, they got it done at the end.”

A fateful decision?

With the bullpen’s recent struggles, thoughts turn to the trade deadline decision to move Paul Sewald. It’s hard not to believe there wouldn’t have been a different outcome in at least one of the these past three games, if he was still around.

Servais expressed his faith in the bullpen despite the recent upheaval. He said:

“It’s a new experience for some of our young guys. They certainly have the stuff, and they’ll continue to get opportunities to do it. They’re really good. They’re some of the best relievers in the league.”

As of Tuesday morning, the Mariners sit 2.0 games back of the Blue Jays for the final AL wild card spot. The remainder of the month sees 12 of 15 games versus teams with lowly records.

In theory this means the Mariners are still in an excellent position, but the games are not played on paper. A playoff spot is there for the taking, but the question remains of if they have it within themselves to go and grab it?

Is there genuine reason for concern yet? Or are you confident the Mariners will rebound to at least split the four-game series with the Royals? Let us know in the comments section below.

One Reply to “Mariners lose 7-6 to Royals in heartbreaking fashion”

Leave a Reply