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Drayer: Mariners go big in dropping first road series since June

A fly ball dropped in the middle of Ben Gamel, Jean Segura and Guillermo Heredia on Sunday. (AP)

NEW YORK – The Mariners’ series finale against the Yankees was over almost as soon as it started. A team-record five errors in the first inning led to six runs being scored by New York, all but one unearned.

“It was a bad inning,” said Kyle Seager who committed one of the errors and was perhaps generously spared a second. “We didn’t play defense at all. We know we have to play defense. Hitting comes and goes but defense always has to be there and we did a very, very bad job of that today.”

The five errors are the most any Mariners team has committed in an inning, and the most any MLB team has committed in a inning since the Cubs booted five in a frame in 1977. Five errors in the inning also is one more than the team’s previous high for a game this season.

It was not pretty.

Making his third start with the Mariners, Andrew Albers got leadoff  hitter Aaron Hicks to pop out to shortstop before all heck broke loose. Ben Gamel let a ball get by him in left field, then Jean Segura missed a popup with Gamel and Guillermo Heredia converging at the same spot at the same time. Segura waved the signal that he had the ball, but Heredia, coming in from center with his eye on the ball, called for it as he ran in. The ball ended up on the ground.

Albers managed to get what looked like a possible double play ball hit hard to Seager at third but he had choices where he could go with it and got caught in between.

“My first thought was to go to second with it, then when I couldn’t get it out of my glove cleanly I figured I’d take a couple steps and touch third and then go to first,” he said. “I didn’t do either one of them.”

Seager appeared to be set to go to second on the play but bobbled the ball and then dropped it. Errors 4 and 5 would follow on another ball to left with Segura dropping the throw, then misfiring trying to cut down the runner at home.

When all was said and done, six runs scored in the inning and Albers was forced to throw 32 pitches.

“It was obviously the worst inning we have had all year,” said manager Scott Servais. “Embarrassing at a point, but there is nothing we can do about it now. We have got to forget about it and move on. We did not win the series here, which was the goal, but we have a chance to win the series in Baltimore and we will get focused over there tomorrow.”

Tough opponent on the other side, loud stadium, long road trip? None of the above. Servais was not making excuses for the play in the first inning.

“The snowball got rolling and we couldn’t stop it, but you have got to step up. You have got to make plays. Everybody knows that,” he said. “We know we screwed up but there is nothing we can do about it now. We have got to react in a good way tomorrow and get after it in Baltimore.”

They certainly do if they want to stay in the American League Wild Card chase. The 10-1 loss to the Yankees gave them their first series loss on the road since mid-June and dropped them to 1.5 games out of the second Wild Card.

This entire season for the Mariners has been about bouncing back, but to get to where they want to be they need to bounce back and move forward. And to do that, they need to play clean baseball.