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September 29, 2012 at 5:01 PM

Mariners bullpen collapses late, takes 7-4 loss in 10 innings

This was almost like two different ballgames today. First, there was the initial seven innings, when Jason Vargas carried the Mariners through with a three-run lead despite the fact Seattle had managed only four hits.
They were timely hits, though, and looked to be eough.
But they weren’t enough to prevent a 7-4 loss to the Oakland A’s on a three-run homer in the 10th by Brandon Moss.
The A’s scored a run in the eighth on a double off Tom Wilhelmsen, but it looked like the M’s would still prevail after a good relay from Casper Wells to Dustin Ackley to Miguel Olivo at the plate nabbed Stephen Drew trying to score as well.
So, it was 4-2 heading to the ninth. But Wilhelmsen issued a one-out walk and then — boom! — was treated to a game-tying homer off the bat of Josh Donaldson.
Wilhelmsen said he’d made the pitches he wanted in the eighth, despite the double. Then, he began the ninth with a strikeout. It was only after that his command seemed to vanish.
“I’d say I made most of my pitches with the exception of the walk
and the home run,” he said. “Dude went out and got it, and that’s his job. Tip
your hat.”

The homer sent the fans at the Coliseum into hysterics and the Mariners into extras.
“What hurts us is that leadoff walk,” Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. “Now you bring the tying run into the game and then he hung a breaking ball. His stuff’s good.
That’s the type of closer that we want and he’s going to be. It just
didn’t work out for us today.”
In the 10th inning, Coco Crisp led off with a single against Oliver Perez. One line drive out later, Wedge went to Stephen Pryor, as he had last night.
And as was the case last night, Pryor opened his outing with a walk to put two on.
Now, he was in trouble. Wedge still left him in to face a left-handed hitter in Moss, even though Lucas Luetge was warmed up and ready.
“The one thing that makes them is they’ve got so many
kind of back and forth guys they can go to,” Wedge said, adding he would ikely have used Luetge two batters later against Josh Reddick had it been needed. “They’ve got (Chris) Carter over there waiting to pinch hit. Obviously they utilized (Seth) Smith to get things going there earlier (as a pinch-hitter in the ninth). So you kind of pick your poison.
“With Pryor, he’s done a pretty good job against left-handers,” Wedge added. “He’s going to have to work
through those situations. But again, walk the first guy and then the
next guy gets up there ready to hunt fastball. Whether it be Pryor or (Carter) Capps, these are going to be guys that are going to be late-inning guys and need to get both right-handers and left-handers out.”
Pryor tried to throw a fastball by Moss, who clobbered the ball over the right field wall to set off a wild celebration by the A’s.
For the Mariners, now 73-85, this was a tough one to lose. They were in control all the way. Right up until they weren’t.

Comments | Topics: Dustin Ackley, Oliver Perez


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