Mariners fall to Orioles in 14 innings

Mariners fall to Orioles in 14 innings

Mariners fall to Orioles in 14 innings
BALTIMORE -- The Mariners lost both a 14-inning game and their manager in the final moments on Tuesday night as a controversial call opened the door for the Orioles' 8-7 victory moments after Eric Wedge was ejected for the first time this season.

First base umpire Brian Knight ruled Mariners first baseman Mike Carp pulled his foot off the bag after second baseman Dustin Ackley made an excellent play on a ground ball up the middle by Baltimore's Omar Quintanilla leading off the 14th inning.

After Wedge was tossed for arguing the call, Nick Markakis singled off reliever Shawn Kelley and J.J. Hardy sacrificed the runners up. Following an intentional walk to Chris Davis, Orioles clean-up hitter Adam Jones singled to right past a diving Casper Wells to end the four-hour, 55-minute game.

Carp's foot appeared to be on the bag as he did the splits at first and Wedge knew that call changed the entire scenario.

"He was out," said the second-year Mariners manager. "It was clear that Carp was on the bag, and Ackley made a great play. It's a damn shame the umpire has to get involved in that way. When you talk about first basemen coming off the bag, it's been in the game for 100-plus years. But he didn't even come close to coming off the bag.

"It was evident he was on there, and noticeably so. It's just a damn shame he has to make the call right there and cost us the ballgame."

Carp left little doubt as to his feelings as well before walking away from reporters in the clubhouse.

"I have nothing to say worth saying," said Carp. "You guys all saw what happened. The whole country saw what happened. Now if someone has the decency to say something about it. That's it."

Kelley, who took the loss after Seattle's bullpen had gone seven scoreless innings before Jones' game-winner, had no choice but to pitch to the situation.

"That's a tough call, but stuff happens in the course of a baseball game," said Kelley. "It's just one runner. It came down to the bases loaded there and I just didn't get the pitch quite off the plate enough to Jones. Obviously it's a different story if that call goes the other way, but it happens."

Seattle led 7-2 until Baltimore closed the gap to 7-4 against starter Blake Beavan and then tied the game with J.J. Hardy's three-run bomb off rookie reliever Lucas Luetge in the seventh.

It was the first home run Luetge has allowed in 30 2/3 innings over 46 appearances this season. Wedge left the left-handed specialist in to face the right-handed Hardy, but had no regrets.

"He's handled left-handers and right-handers all year long," said Wedge. "I trust him. He's been in that situation before. He just comes through for you. He just made a bad pitch."

Luetge, sporting a 1.78 ERA, gave up three straight hits, including Hardy's bomb to left field, before fellow rookie Stephen Pryor came on to stem the tide and eventually send the game deadlocked into the ninth.

"I was trying to throw a fastball in and it ran over the middle of the plate," said Luetge. "You know it's going to happen eventually. You just hate to have it happen late in a game to tie it."

It turned out the seventh inning was only halfway through, however, as the Orioles got eight innings of scoreless relief after the Mariners knocked starter Zack Britton out in the sixth to take a 7-2 lead.

The Mariners' bullpen countered with seven innings of shutout ball of its own, with Pryor, Josh Kinney, Oliver Perez and Kelley at one point retiring 17 straight batters.

Seattle had runners in scoring position in the ninth, 12th and 13th innings, but couldn't come up with the key blow on a night it finished with 18 hits.

Shortstop Munenori Kawasaki and designated hitter Jesus Montero each had three hits, Kyle Seager launched a three-run home run in the first and Miguel Olivo hit a solo homer in the second.

Seattle is now 1-4 on the road trip heading into Wednesday's finale, falling to 51-61 overall. The Mariners had totaled just seven runs in their first four games of the trip, but matched that in the first six innings Tuesday before the well ran dry.

"The bullpen did a great job," said Wedge. "We struggled there in that sixth or seventh inning, but the bullpen rallied and got us deep in the game. We got our hits, but we never got that final hit in an inning once we got deeper in the game and extra innings."

In the end, the Orioles won their 12th straight extra-inning game, leaving the Mariners shaking their heads in frustration.

"We were thin down there and I was one of the last guys," said Kelley. "I wanted to be out there, competing and battling. That's when you dig deep and find whatever little bit you have left in you. I'm not going to hang my head. I felt like I left it out there."

Greg Johns is a reporter for 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.