Mariners offense unable to respond in finale

Mariners offense unable to respond in finale

Mariners offense unable to respond in finale
SEATTLE -- Mariners manager Eric Wedge addressed the team's hitters prior to Thursday's series finale against the Padres at Safeco Field, a day after they failed to score but still managed to raise the team batting average to .199 at home.

The offense wasn't able to respond, scattering five hits in a 6-2 loss. Seattle has now dropped five straight, including a first-ever sweep at home to the Padres. The only other time the Mariners have been swept by the Padres was a two-game set in San Diego in 1997.

The loss overshadowed Erasmo Ramirez's first career start. The right-hander allowed six runs -- five earned -- on eight hits in five-plus innings but wasn't hit particularly hard. He did struggle to keep the ball down, though, which contributed to his early exit.

"I felt like Ramirez was OK today," Wedge said. "He was up a little bit more than we'd like to see him. It made it tough for him. They fouled a lot of pitches off, had some long ABs there in that first inning. He gets up a little, that's when it flattens out on him and that's what we saw tonight.

"His stuff was good. It's his first start, he has that out of the way. It's something to work off of now."

"He's got a quick arm and had a live fastball," said Padres manager Bud Black of Ramirez. "The change came into play at times. He's got a nice arm."

Ramirez broke camp with the Mariners as a long reliever but was optioned to Triple-A Tacoma on May 5 to stretch out into a starter. The 22-year-old Nicaraguan rookie started seven games with Tacoma -- he took a no-hit bid into the eighth inning in his last start with the Rainiers -- before being recalled Wednesday to take the rotation spot of Blake Beavan.

The Padres scored all the runs they would need in the fifth, loading the bases with two infield hits and a bloop single. Still without an out, shortstop Munenori Kawasaki made an outstanding leaping catch to rob Alexi Amarista of a hit.

Will Venable followed with an RBI single, though, and Everth Cabrera hit a ground ball to third to score another run, making it 2-0. The Padres tacked on another run on the play when second baseman Dustin Ackley's attempt to turn a double play turned into a wild throw past first, allowing John Baker to score from second.

The Padres chased Ramirez in the sixth after a pair of singles by Carlos Quentin and Yonder Alonso and an RBI double by Chris Denorfia. The Mariners bullpen couldn't limit the damage, though, as Hisashi Iwakuma and Charlie Furbush combined to allow three more hits that resulted in two more runs in the inning. The Padres hammered out six consecutive hits in the frame.

The two hits Furbush allowed in the inning were the first he has given up since May 15, a span of 11 1/3 innings. He struck out 13 during the hitless streak and walked just one.

  • 142 wins
  • 110 wins

The Mariners managed to get on the board in the seventh, as Ackley singled to score Franklin Gutierrez from third. The run snapped a 15-inning scoreless streak that dated back to the ninth inning of Tuesday's series opener.

Gutierrez also singled home a run in the eighth, his first RBI since Sept. 2, 2011. The outfielder was playing in his first game of the season Thursday, returning from a partial pectoral tear and a bout with plantar fasciitis. But the Gutierrez single capped the Mariners' scoring for the night, as the offense continued to struggle at home.

"We've got to get out of this funk here at home," Wedge said. "We've got a lot of home games here. Obviously we know what we're capable of doing offensively, that hasn't left us. But we've got to get over that hump here at home and break out. I think once we do, we'll hit the ground running from there."

Josh Liebeskind is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.