New York Mets starter Bartolo Colon nearly pitched a perfect game against the Mariners. And then the Mariners nearly struck back.
Instead, Wednesday’s game ended with a familiar storyline: The Mariners’ offense generated too few chances and couldn’t cash in in a big enough way with the ones they did have. As a result they lost 3-2 to the Mets in front of 36,224 fans at Safeco Field. The Mariners have lost five of their last seven games.
The story for most of the day centered on Colon, the Mets’ 41-year-old pitcher built like a jukebox. Colon kept the Mariners off balance. He retired the first 20 hitters he faced. And then he ran into Robinson Cano, the Mariners’ All-Star and best hitter.
Cano stroked a sharp single to left field that brought the loudest cheers of the day and ended Colon’s bid for a perfect game.
But the Mariners’ best chance came an inning later. Corey Hart walked to lead off the eighth inning, and Dustin Ackley followed with a single. Brad Miller missed a home run by a couple of inches; instead he settled for an RBI double off the top of the wall that made it 3-1 Mets.
Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon elected to send Willie Bloomquist to the plate with one out and runners on second and third instead of Jesus Sucre, the starting catcher on Wednesday. Bloomquist hit a grounder up the middle that scored a run and cut the Mets’ lead to 3-2. He was initially called safe at first. But the call was overturned, and Endy Chavez ended the threat by striking out.
The Mariners rallied once more in the ninth inning. Cano reached on an infield single, and Corey Hart singled with two outs. But Logan Morrison struck out.
Taijuan Walker started for the Mariners and had a seesaw day. He gave up only two runs, but was pulled after loading the bases in the sixth inning. He had five strikeouts, but also had six walks.
Walker gave up a run in the first inning when he walked the leadoff hitter and followed that up by giving up an RBI double. He was also charged a run in the sixth inning when he loaded the bases behind two walks and a single.
Reliever Dominic Leone limited the damage in the sixth. He gave up a sacrifice fly with one out and that was it. Centerfielder James Jones had a chance to throw out the runner at the plate on the sacrifice fly, but his throw was well wide.
The Mariners also allowed a run in the seventh inning, when Dustin Ackley’s throw to the plate didn’t have enough steam to beat the runner.