Mariners Game Recap: M’s Fall in Back and Forth 7-6 Affair

Aug 16, 2016; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels catcher Jett Bandy (13) dives to score against the Seattle Mariners during the eighth inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 16, 2016; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels catcher Jett Bandy (13) dives to score against the Seattle Mariners during the eighth inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports /

62. 7. 102. Final. 6

In heartbreaking fashion, the Mariners allowed the Angels to retake the lead one too many time in tonight’s 7-6 loss.

The Mariners started the game well, busting out a first at-bat single off the stick of Nori Aoki in the top of the first, but were immediately shut down in succession after, ending the inning, thus sending M’s rookie starter, Ariel Miranda, to the mound.

Miranda was hoping for a similar- or better- start to his inaugural outing versus the Red Sox on August 4th where he earned an eight-hit two-run quality start over six innings, but the bottom of the first didn’t help his case for a win. Allowing the first Angel batter, Yunel Escobar to reach on a walk, followed by a Kole Calhoun double put the young Cuban starter in a bad spot early, but he was able to escape with minimal damage. The powerful Mike Trout brought home the first run of the ballgame via a sac-fly, yet that was all the Angels could muster, and Miranda bounced back with that lone run being surrendered.

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The very next frame the Mariners fought back and then blew past the Angels, at least for the moment. After quickly falling behind two-outs with no one on, the Mariners put together a rally that saw five consecutive batters reach base. The rally was highlighted by a Mike Zunino double and a RBI bunt from Ketel Marte to tie the game. Later in the inning Seth Smith would bring Leonys Martin and Marte in with a straight-up-the-middle single to make it 3-1. Both pitchers would then settle in with few blunders, until the game came alive once more in the middle innings.

In the top half of the fifth it was the heart of the order that put together yet another two-out rally, extending the Mariner lead to 4-1. The run came from a Kyle Seager base knock that scored Robinson Cano. The hit came on a full count, which has been a reliable time for the team-RBI leader to raise his average from .379 with that count. That would have looked to have been enough for Miranda, who was cruising through the first five innings, but all that changed in the sixth.

Miranda walked the first two men that he faced in that frame, bringing Albert Pujols to the plate. Pujols who had struggled all August, batting a measly .195, was ready to due away with his two-week slump, as he blasted a three-run homer, tying the ball game up at four. Two batters later the Angels would retake the lead because of a Jett Bandy home run, just his seventh on the campaign. Yet the back and forth game would sway once more in the next half inning on unusual circumstances.

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J.C. Ramirez, took the mound as the second reliever replacing starter, Jhoulys Chacin, but he was wild. His walk of Nelson Cruz would put Cano (who had reached on a error) at second base. Two consecutive wild pitches would move both runners twice, knotting the game at five. Then Seager would be at it again, hitting a deep sac fly to bring in Cruz. By innings end the Mariners had scored two runs and and regain a 6-5 lead without collecting a hit. And with the bullpen boasting an impeccable 1.25 ERA this month, It wasn’t long before the team would notch another win, but all good things must come to an end.

When Arquimedes Caminero took the mound all seemed well; he dispatched Trout and Pujols, and the everything went wrong. Jefry Marte homered and then Bandy scored on a triple that ended up in the right field corner by the foul pole. The lead was now back in the hands of the Angels and it would stay that way.

Next: M’s Stay Hot, Take Down Angels in the Big A

A disappointing loss for sure, as the Mariners held the lead a few times during the game, but to no avail. Their momentum that has propelled them into the heart of the wild card discussion and reignited hopes that this could be the year the playoff drought took a hit tonight, especially with the Texas Rangers coming from behind to steal a win tonight. Despite the loss the Mariners are still facing a team that has lost eleven of its last twelve, so the odds are still in their favor to win the final two games of the series coming in the days ahead.