Mariners extend losing streak to 16 games, falling 10-3 to Yankees
There haven't been too many innings like the one that did the Mariners in during their 16th straight loss. Not only did they give up five...
Seattle Times staff reporter
Mariners @ N.Y. Yankees, 4:10 p.m., ROOT Sports
NEW YORK — There haven't been too many innings like the one that did the Mariners in during their 16th straight loss.
Not only did they give up five runs in the fourth inning Monday night, but they also committed two errors; saw a second blown call go against them at third base; and likely damaged the trade value of pitcher Jason Vargas in the process. When the smoke cleared, it was a 10-3 loss to the New York Yankees that extended Seattle's franchise-record skid.
In another shellshocked, postgame clubhouse, third baseman Adam Kennedy stumbled several times to find the words to describe the streak.
"We gave them a few extra outs, and with an offense like that, it makes it tough on a pitching staff," he said.
It was Kennedy's error with one out in the fourth that got the disastrous inning going. At that point, the Yankees led 3-1 on a towering two-run homer to left by Mark Teixeira in the first and a solo blast to right by Derek Jeter in the third that barely made it over the wall.
But then Kennedy bobbled a grounder, followed by first base umpire Bob Davidson muffing a call on a play that really wasn't all that close at the bag. Vargas had raced over and taken a throw to first, and Andruw Jones, who had hit a chopper and arrived at the bag late, wound up stepping on the pitcher's foot.
Vargas actually toppled over from being stepped on by the runner. But Davidson still ruled Jones safe.
Davidson earlier had ruled Kennedy out at first on a Jeter throw from deep in the hole at shortstop, even though replays showed the runner beat the throw.
Two hits later, the home team was up 5-1, the crowd of 44,365 at Yankee Stadium was smelling blood, and the Mariners were on their way to falling apart.
"You don't like to say it but it's true," Kennedy said. "When things are going your way, you get the bounces. When they're not, you don't. A couple of calls at first should have went our way but went the other way. Just things like that. You've got to keep playing."
Things took a turn for the worse later in the fourth when Jeter grounded a hard smash to second baseman Dustin Ackley, who threw home to try to nab the runner breaking from third. But the throw was offline and hit Jeter's discarded bat before bouncing away from catcher Miguel Olivo.
One run scored on the play, and the two remaining runners moved up to second and third. An ensuing single scored a fourth New York run that inning, and a sacrifice fly brought another one in to make it 8-1.
Seattle managed just three hits before the seventh inning off onetime Mariners starter Freddy Garcia, who gave up a run in the seventh and another in the eighth before being pulled with four outs to go.
Vargas was pulled after the fourth inning, marking his second straight abbreviated outing as teams scout him with the July 31 trade deadline looming. In three starts since the All-Star break, Vargas has thrown just 13 innings and has an earned-run average of 9.69.
A subdued Vargas admitted he caught too much plate with a first-inning fastball to Teixeira that was supposed to be inside. He insisted that "the runner was out" on the fourth-inning Davidson call, but chided himself for not stopping the bleeding.
Vargas said the pitching staff is just trying to hold on after running up against three hot-hitting AL East teams this past week.
"We've done well as a pitching staff all year and we've got to ... get back to putting those zeros up on the board," he said, "because we're not really keeping our team in the game right now."
Mariners manager Eric Wedge chatted briefly with his players after the game, telling them to keep their heads up and try to take their minds off baseball for a few hours before coming to the park Tuesday.
"It's just a helluva thing we're going through now," Wedge said. "We've got to just keep showing up and do different things and try different things to try to get back on track."
Geoff Baker: 206-464-8286 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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