SEATTLE — A weekend full of celebrations, smiles and good vibes ended in disappointing fashion for the Seattle Mariners on Sunday at T-Mobile Park. A crowd of 42,465 fans witnessed a subpar outing from Mariners starting pitcher Robbie Ray, and a nearly nonexistent performance from the Mariners offense in a 10-3 loss that weakens their chances of hosting a playoff game.
After Toronto's 6-3 victory over Boston on Sunday, the Blue Jays' magic number to clinch the first wild-card spot is down to two, which means the Mariners will need to win out and hope that the Blue Jays lose one of their three remaining games against Baltimore if they want to play the city's first home postseason game in over two decades.
While most of the Mariners' starting lineup was back after a day of rest following Friday night's playoff-clincher induced postgame party, they still managed just three hits over the first eight innings and struck out 12 times against an Oakland pitching staff that ranks near the bottom of the league in ERA, opponent batting average and WHIP.
The only bit of Mariners' offense on the day came on a three-run, ninth-inning homer from left fielder Jesse Winker. The Mariners had no answers against Oakland starter James Kaprielian, who threw 5 2/3 no-hit innings to start the game with help from some sparkling defensive plays. With one on in the third inning, Adam Frazier was thrown out on a barehanded play from A's third baseman Ernie Clement.
The A's defense continued to shine in the fourth inning, when Brown snagged a 108-mile-per-hour line drive off the bat of Eugenio Suarez, and Oakland shortstop Allen ended the fourth by throwing out Mitch Haniger on a diving play to his right.
The Mariners finally got their first hit in the sixth when Ty France followed a J.P. Crawford walk with a two-out single into left field, but Suarez struck out to end the inning.
Kaprielian ended his day with seven strikeouts, two walks, and just one hit allowed over six innings. In the seventh, the A's brought in lefty A.J. Puk in relief.
Puk allowed a leadoff double to Mitch Haniger and walked Jesse Winker, but escaped trouble by striking out Jarred Kelenic, Abraham Toro, and Luis Torrens.
On the other side, Mariners starter Robbie Ray started off the day in historic fashion, as his first strikeout of the day put him at 1,500 for his career. The strikeout, which came against Dermis Garcia in the first, made Ray the second fastest pitcher in MLB history to reach the 1,500 strikeout mark at 1,220 innings, behind only San Diego Padres' hurler Yu Darvish, who accomplished the feat in career 1,216 1/3 innings on June 21, 2021.
But other than his historic strikeout, there wasn't much for Ray to celebrate on Sunday. He finished the day with six runs allowed over 5 2/3 innings, with the A's tattooing him for eight hits, three walks, three homers, and six runs.
Ray's troubles started when he walked three straight batters to start the second inning, though he got out of that inning unscathed after a force out at home, a fly out to center field by Ernie Clement, and a strong defensive play by Jesse Winker in left field, with Winker running down a fly ball off the bat of Nick Allen near the warning track.
After escaping another jam in the third inning, Ray's luck ran out in the fourth. Shea Langeliers kicked off the inning with a solo homer into the upper deck in left field to give the A's a 1-0 lead. A's designated hitter Jonah Bride then reached first when a throw from Seattle third baseman Abraham Toro sailed over Ty France's head at first base.
Oakland center fielder Cristian Pache drove in Bride a few pitches later, depositing a two-run homer into the visitor's bullpen for a three-run Oakland lead. The A's scored again in the fifth inning when Brown drove in Chad Pinder from second base with a single to center field, and ended Ray's day in the sixth when Allen clubbed a two-run homer to extend the Oakland lead to six runs.
Matt Festa came on in relief for Ray and threw 2 1/3 innings of no-hit ball, while Penn Murfee came in to pitch the ninth and allowed four hits, including a three-run homer to Langeliers that immediately followed a late read on a fly ball to Jesse Winker that would've ended the inning. At that point, the crowd that so enthusiastically cheered the Mariners on Friday night began to boo.
Oakland finished the night with 12 hits against Mariners pitching.
In the ninth, Winker drove in Haniger and Toro with his three-run homer, Adam Frazier doubled to right field, and J.P. Crawford walked against Oakland reliever Sam Selman flew out to left field to end it.
The loss drops the Mariners record to 87-71, 2 1/2 games back of Toronto and 1 1/2 games up on Tampa Bay in the wild card standings.(c)2022 The Seattle Times Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.