SEATTLE -- With rookie closer Edwin Diaz not available after a 34-pitch save in his last outing Friday, the Mariners saw relievers Tom Wilhelmsen and Vidal Nuno surrender four runs on six hits in the ninth inning as the Brewers snapped a six-game losing streak with a 7-6 comeback win at Safeco Field on Sunday.
"This whole week we've been grinding out ABs, grinding out games, and it just hasn't really worked out for us," said Brewers center fielder Keon Broxton. "Today we kept battling with the same mindset. Just go in there and get a win and battle hard. And we came out with a 'W' there."
Trailing 6-3, the Brewers slammed a pair of homers -- a solo shot by Broxton and a game-tying two-run jack by Chris Carter -- off Wilhelmsen before Scooter Gennett drove in the go-ahead run with an RBI single off Nuno that left fielder Norichika Aoki couldn't make a play on.
"You can't fall behind guys consistently and that's definitely what happened today," said WIlhelmsen, who'd thrown 8 1/3 scoreless innings in his previous eight outings this month. "What can I say? It's not often that any one person can say they've won a game, but in this line of work sometimes you can say you definitely lost that game. That's the unfortunate part about it. But we're playing well, and hopefully this doesn't hurt us too bad and we can come back tomorrow and just kick some butt."
The loss ended Seattle's eight-game home win streak and spoiled a solid outing from lefty Ariel Miranda, who allowed four hits and three runs over 5 2/3 innings in his third start since being acquired for Wade Miley. Seth Smith and Robinson Cano each drove in a pair of runs for Seattle.
The Mariners (66-57) missed a chance to narrow the gap on front-running Texas, which retained its six-game lead in the AL West. Seattle is one game behind Baltimore for the second American League Wild Card spot after the Orioles lost to the Astros, 5-3.
Milwaukee right-hander Matt Garza endured his shortest start of the season, giving up nine hits and six runs (five earned) in 3 2/3 innings. The Brewers (53-70) got a pair of home runs from Broxton.
"Every day is a new day, and this is a good win," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "When you're struggling and wins seem really tough, you find a way to win a game through some heroics and some great performances, we celebrate it."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Carter comes up huge: Brewers slugger Carter seems to always do damage against the Mariners, and he picked a great time to do more on Sunday. Carter came to the plate with one out in the top of the ninth inning with his team trailing the Mariners, 6-4, and a runner on second base. Carter launched a Wilhelmsen pitch to deep right center field, and the ball barely got over the outstretched glove of Mariners right fielder Shawn O'Malley. It was Carter's second homer in this series and the 18th of his career vs. Seattle.
"I've definitely seen a lot of him," Carter said of Wilhelmsen. "I've faced him a few times a year. I had a little confidence, knowing what he had and being comfortable." More >
Thanks for the help: The Mariners jumped to a 3-0 lead with a trio of runs in the third, thanks in part to an error on Garza when the right-hander fielded a comebacker from Aoki, only to see the ball fly backward out of his hand as he made the toss to first. Seattle had already pushed across one run on a double by Leonys Martin and single by Ketel Marte, but Garza's error opened the door for a run-scoring single by Smith and an RBI groundout by Cano.
Broxton stays hot: The Brewers' center fielder came into the game on a tear offensively, and he continued it with two home runs, his first career multi-homer game. Broxton's fourth-inning solo shot accounted for Milwaukee's first hit of the game, and he also clobbered a majestic solo blast off the out-of-town scoreboard well beyond the left-center-field wall leading off the ninth. Broxton is now batting .366 (26-for-71) with five homers, 13 RBIs and 10 stolen bases in 24 games since being recalled from Triple-A on July 25.
"I'm pretty excited about that, and it's awesome because we came out with a 'W,'" Broxton said. "That's the thing that's most important."
Early closing time: The Brewers rallied for a pair of runs off Miranda in the sixth to cut the lead to 6-3 and had two out with Ryan Braun on second when Seattle skipper Scott Servais summoned Steve Cishek from the bullpen. Cishek lost his closer's role to Diaz three weeks ago and then went on the DL with a slight tear in his left hip labrum. But if there was any question as to how the former closer might fit back in, this provided a pretty good clue. In his second game off the DL, Cishek struck out Hernan Perez on three straight wicked sliders to slam the door on the Brewers' initial comeback bid.
"Steve threw the ball good again today," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "He bounced back in back-to-back days. I didn't want to extend him. I thought it was a good spot to bring him in and get one hitter and then move to the other guys after that. But he looked really sharp."
"Some things fell apart on us. It was disappointing, no doubt. We have had a really good streak going here at home. It's been fun. I thought we did enough here offensively tonight, but you've got to finish it, you've got to close it out, and unfortunately we just didn't get it done." -- Servais
"We needed that one today. It's been a rough road trip. We don't give up. We're battling." -- Gennett
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Despite the loss, the Mariners still have the best record in the AL since the All-Star break at 21-13. That's tied with the Reds for the second best mark in the Majors, trailing only the 25-10 Cubs.
WHAT'S NEXT Brewers: Right-hander Jimmy Nelson (6-13, 4.31 ERA) will toe the rubber when the Brewers return to Miller Park on Monday to start a three-game series against the Colorado Rockies at 6:20 p.m. CT. Nelson will be looking for a reversal of fortune from his recent form. He has lost his last six starts with an 8.04 ERA in that span.
Mariners:Cody Martin faces the Yankees' Michael Pineda in Monday's 7:10 p.m. PT series opener at Safeco Field. It's the second spot start for the right-hander out of Gonzaga after giving up two runs and seven hits in 4 1/3 innings in a 4-3 win at the Angels on Wednesday. Martin pitched in relief in two prior stints with the club, and he's 1-2 with a 3.14 ERA in 14 1/3 innings on the season.