Friday felt like a game of twos. Not only because the number refers to how many runs the Mariners plated in a lackluster offensive performance, but additionally for the number of errors Domingo Santana accumulated on a single play that silenced T-Mobile Park.
With the game knotted up in the seventh, a Khris Davis base hit screamed into right field. Santana bobbled the ball, allowing Matt Olson to score from second base. After that, it all went downhill for the Mariners
But for Santana, one error wasn’t enough. In an attempt to nab Olson at home, his throw badly missed catcher Tom Murphy, and Davis advanced to second as a result.
The disaster wouldn’t end there. Mark Canha’s subsequent groundout could have killed Oakland’s momentum with a double play. But with Davis at second, he advanced to third on a fielders choice instead, only to score the winning run on a sacrifice fly.
Errors have plagued the Mariners season now 92 games in. Their 88 errors rank worst in the majors — and it’s not even close. The AL East-leading Yankees are second to last — with only 65.
To make things worse, Seattle’s bullpen never gave their offense the chance to score a tying run in the ninth. Dan Altavilla allowed two runs in Oakland’s final frame that pushed their lead to three.
Both teams whacked only five hits — and each with two errors. But Seattle’s blunders were much more costly, directly adding to Oakland’s run total.
Seattle held two leads in the game after taking an early 1-0 lead in the first inning and taking the lead back in the fifth. Yet Oakland never went away, taking advantage of Seattle’s mistakes when it counted.
In the silver lining of a Mariners loss, Yusei Kikuchi shined after a monthlong struggle. Despite his sixth losing effort this season, he allowed just two runs, lasting seven innings and striking out five.
Tom Murphy continued to prove his role as a more-than-serviceable backup catcher, upping his batting average to .269 and smashing a home run into the right-field tunnel.
Seattle now attempts to snap a three-game losing skid with Marco Gonzales on the bump for the Mariners Saturday night.
And if you’re still counting, the Mariners are now 25-52 since their blazing hot 13-2 start.