MLB: Skidding Mariners in need of variety in their offense vs. Nationals


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For the Seattle Mariners, it has been home run or bust as of late.

But mostly bust.

The Mariners suffered their season-worst fourth consecutive loss Saturday, dropping a 3-1 decision at Washington. The Nationals will go for a sweep of the three-game interleague series Sunday afternoon.

Seattle has scored just five runs during its skid, all coming via the long ball.

Cal Raleigh hit a three-run homer in the eighth inning of a 7-3 loss Wednesday at New York before the Mariners were blanked 5-0 by the Yankees on Thursday.

J.P. Crawford’s leadoff homer in the first inning was it for the Seattle offense in a 6-1 defeat in the series opener Friday at Nationals Park, and Julio Rodriguez’s solo shot in the fifth provided the lone run Saturday.

“Offensively, we’ve got to do a little bit more. Talked to the team a little bit afterwards,” said Mariners manager Scott Servais, who was ejected for arguing a called third strike against Raleigh in the ninth inning. “We’re not doing anything consistently offensively and it’s been rough for us the last few days.”

Servais sounded almost envious when discussing how the Nationals scored their runs Saturday, mentioning their “traffic” on the basepaths.

Washington broke a scoreless tie in the second inning with an infield single, a stolen base, a bunt single and a sacrifice fly.

After Rodriguez tied it with just his third homer of the season, the Nationals scored twice in the seventh off the Seattle bullpen.

With one out, Jesse Winker grounded a single to center and stole second. Keibert Ruiz singled on a shallow fly ball to left, advancing Winker to third. Pinch hitter Ildemaro Vargas grounded out on a slow roller to shortstop to score pinch runner Victor Robles, and slugger Joey Gallo lined a rare single to right, scoring Ruiz from second to make it 3-1.

“Our pitching and defense are keeping us in the ballgame, and now we’re scoring enough runs to win these games,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said.

The Mariners, who tried to retool their offense in the offseason to cut down on strikeouts, fanned 12 times Saturday. It was the 35th time in 53 games Seattle has reached double-digits and it leads the major leagues with 541.

In Sunday’s series finale, Mariners right-hander Bryan Woo (2-0, 0.57 ERA) is scheduled to make his fourth start after beginning the season on the injured list (elbow inflammation). The Nationals plan to counter with lefty Patrick Corbin (1-5, 6.29).

Corbin is coming off his worst start of the season, a 10-0 defeat to visiting Minnesota on Tuesday in which he allowed eight runs on nine hits over six innings. He’s 2-0 with a 0.69 ERA in two career starts against the M’s.

Woo pitched six scoreless innings, allowing just two hits and striking out seven without issuing a walk, in a 6-3 victory Tuesday against the Yankees. Woo is 0-0, 1.80 in one previous start against the Nats.

–Field Level Media


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