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Danny Farquhar can’t hold lead; Mariners lose, 5-4
Five straight Tampa Bay hitters reached base against Mariners closer Danny Farquhar in the ninth inning as the Rays rallied to win.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Mariners @ Tampa Bay, 4:10 p.m., ROOT Sports
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Mariners closer Danny Farquhar was a lone figure, waiting patiently by his locker for the media throng he knew was coming.
His teammates were in a private back kitchen area of the visitor’s clubhouse, grabbing a postgame meal after a 5-4 walkoff loss to the Tampa Bay Rays. Farquhar could have joined them and made the questions wait, but he seemed eager to tackle the aftermath of Wednesday night’s ninth-inning meltdown.
After all, the good closers learn to shrug off the good and the bad, and this first blown save in six tries in his new role would definitely provide a test.
“The good thing is, I failed a ton in the minors,” he said. “I blew a lot of saves down there, so, tomorrow’s a new day. I’m a guy who’s got a pretty short memory. I’ll just try to forget about it and move on.”
But blowing a save in the minors doesn’t quite match up to doing it in the majors. The big-league stage is bigger – even if the 14,910 fans at Tropicana Field didn’t quite represent a packed house – and so are the stakes.
Tom Wilhelmsen had a tough time dealing with the aftermath of blown saves once too often, and that’s why Farquhar was out there in the first place. It didn’t help that three walks in a scoreless eighth inning tossed by Yoervis Medina helped bring the top of the Rays’ order around once again.
Those hitters had seen Farquhar notch his fifth save in five tries the previous night. And when he was a little off this time, they didn’t miss.
Ben Zobrist drilled a ball off the top of the right-field wall and was awarded a triple upon video review. Matt Joyce followed with a single up the middle that tied the game.
Evan Longoria then ripped a ball down the left-field line for a double that put runners at second and third. Wil Myers was walked intentionally, and Jason Bourgeois then hammered a pitch over the head of a drawn-in Endy Chavez in right field to end it.
Five batters, all reaching base. By the time it was over, Farquhar had barely had time to catch his breath.
But he said he’d had enough time to collect himself.
“The whole replay (thing) took a lot of time,” he said. “I’m usually a pretty quick worker. I don’t usually like time to think or time to worry about things. So, it didn’t bother me how fast it happened.”
Farquhar said he tried to mix his three pitches in steadily to keep the hitters off-balance, but wasn’t as sharp as he’d have liked.
“I just think it was bad execution of a lot of pitches,” he said. “Pitches up in the zone, in the middle of the plate. Major-league hitters take advantage of that situation.”
And the Rays did on a night they fell behind early. Facing Rays ace David Price for the first time, the Mariners took a 4-1 lead with a three-run fifth. For the second night in a row, Brad Miller clubbed a big hit, a triple to left-center that scored a pair of runs.
Fellow Orlando-area native Nick Franklin, who, like Miller, had plenty of family and friends in the stands, followed by lining a double to the left-field corner to bring another run home.
But a two-run homer by Myers in the sixth off Mariners starter Aaron Harang cut Seattle’s lead to 4-3.
Charlie Furbush got five outs in relief and Medina got four more without damage, but Farquhar simply couldn’t get it done in the ninth.
“We’ll see how Danny bounces back,” interim manager Robby Thompson said.
|Danny Farquhar didn’t retire any of the five batters he faced Wednesday.|
|Wednesday||Blown save, no outs recorded, 2 runs|
|Previous 5 appearances||5 saves, 0.00 ERA, 8 Ks in 5.1 IP|
|Season total||0-1, 5.17 ERA, 5 saves, 3 blown saves|
Geoff Baker: 206-464-8286 or email@example.com.