McClendon chose to bring Rodney in for a non-save situation on Sunday and said he'd continue employing that strategy in the future. McClendon said if the Mariners held a five-run lead, he'd have gone with Yoervis Medina. But with the four-run cushion, he went to Rodney.
"I did it a lot last year, and I'll do it every time this year," McClendon said. "And I'll tell you this, you're a fool if you don't put your closer in with a four-run lead. Because what happens if you send somebody out there and they get somebody on base? Then what do you do? You burn two guys because you bring your closer in."
McClendon noted that the A's closer, Tyler Clippard, gave up the game-winning home run to Cruz in the 10th.
"They're human beings," McClendon said. "They give up games. Nobody is perfect. Everybody flies off the handle when a guy blows a game, but I can't do that. Somebody has to keep their head, and I choose to keep mine."
Rodney led the Majors with 48 saves in 51 opportunities in 2014, posting a 2.85 ERA in 69 outings. He hasn't had a blown save since July 20, a streak of 23 straight successful save chances.
Rodney hadn't given up four runs or four hits in a game since Aug. 9, 2013, when he was with Tampa Bay.
• McClendon said Felix Hernandez appeared not to have any issues Monday after leaving Sunday's game after five innings with a tight quadriceps muscle in his right leg. Hernandez isn't due to start again until Saturday, so the real test will come when he throws later this week. But for now?
"I heard him screaming around here somewhere, so I guess he's fine," McClendon said.
Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.