The Seattle Mariners, in the first game of the final road trip of the disappointing 2013 season, fell to the St. Louis Cardinals in 10 innings on Friday 2-1. Hisashi Iwakuma pitched seven strong innings allowing only three hits and no runs.
Despite the fact that the offense couldn’t manage more than one run – a customary Mariners problem – this time it was the defense that let the bullpen down.
In the 8th, The Mariners infield committed two costly miscues. First, rookie second baseman Nick Franklin turned a popup by Brock Peterson in shallow right field into a two-base error, then rookie shortstop Brad Miller bounced a throw to first on what would’ve been an inning-ending double play that first baseman Kendrys Morales couldn’t come up with as Pete Kozma, pinch-running for Brock Peterson, crossed the plate with the tying run.
And in the 10th, catcher Mike Zunino, whose solo home run in the 5th stood as the Mariners only run, allowed a pass ball with the bases loaded and two out to allow the winning run – Kozma again – to score.
The extra innings loss was the 13th of the season for the Mariners, a franchise record. Seems to be an unlucky number indeed to get the 13th extra-frame loss of the season on Friday the 13th.
At 65-82, the Mariners cannot lose 100 games this season, but it would take a small miracle for them to improve on their 2012 record of 75-87. As of this point in 2012, the Mariners were 70-77, begging the question; “Where is the improvement?”
Felix Throws On Flat Ground
Felix Hernandez threw a flat-ground session in the outfield at Busch Stadium before Friday’s series opener with the Cardinals. No problems were reported, so the Mariners will now have him throw a bullpen session on Monday in Detroit.
If all goes well Monday, Felix could resume his spot in the rotation on Wednesday against Detroit.
Hernandez hasn’t pitched since Sept. 2 in Kansas City, when he felt some tightness in his lower back in the seventh inning of a 3-1 loss to the Royals.
He initially was scheduled to start again on Sunday, then had that delayed until Wednesday before his start was canceled entirely after continuing to feel stiffness in his side during a throwing session.
The 27-year-old has thrown 194 1/3 innings to date, going 12-9 with a 3.01 ERA in 29 starts with 41 walks and 200 strikeouts. Going into Friday’s games, Hernandez was still tied for fourth in the American League in strikeouts and tied for sixth in innings pitched.
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