'Nasty funk' lingers as lineup looks for big hits

Mariners offense goes 1-for-19 with RISP in back-to-back losses

'Nasty funk' lingers as lineup looks for big hits

SEATTLE -- Having seemingly gotten their starting pitching squared away, the Mariners are now searching for timely hitting as they continue looking to piece everything together in a frustrating first six weeks of the season.

Roenis Elias gave up just one run in 6 1/3 innings on Thursday, but Seattle dropped a 2-1 decision to the Red Sox thanks in large part to an offense that went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position. On the heels of a 1-for-13 performance in Wednesday's 4-2 loss to the Padres after a strong James Paxton outing, manager Lloyd McClendon didn't mince words.

"It's unfortunate," he said. "We've wasted two real good pitching performances the last couple nights. It was tough."

After opening the homestand with four straight wins, the Mariners dropped back to 15-19 with the two losses and sit 6 1/2 games back of the Astros in the American League West.

McClendon says the solution to better production with runners in scoring position isn't magical.

"Get hits," he said. "Listen, it happens to every team. It's a nasty funk to be in. There's a positive and a negative to it. The fact is, you're getting guys out there. The negative part is you're not getting them in. It can be frustrating, but we're not the only team in baseball that is doing it. I believe the St. Louis Cardinals were five for their last 56. It happens to every team, but when it happens to you, you take it personal."

Robinson Cano said it's just a matter of getting some breaks in the right situations.

"You have guys in scoring position and we hit balls right at guys," Cano said. "We just have to stay positive. This happens to every team. We just have to be ready for the next day. You can't let this put you down. You can try to figure it out, but I see a lot of guys hitting the ball really good and you just have to keep swinging, keep battling.

"Sometimes it's bad luck," he said. "You just hit the ball. You can't hang your head. Just be ready for tomorrow. This is just the first round of four."

Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.