Mariners fail in clutch, fall to Orioles 5-4

May 21, 2015, 5:55 PM | Updated: 5:59 pm
Justin Ruggiano struck out with the bases loaded in the seventh, ending a prime scoring opportunity...
Justin Ruggiano struck out with the bases loaded in the seventh, ending a prime scoring opportunity. (AP)
(AP)

By DAVID GINSBURG
AP Sports Writer

BALTIMORE (AP) – The Seattle Mariners spent nearly six hours trying to get a win that ultimately eluded their grasp for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was an ejection that infuriated manager Lloyd McClendon.

Seattle rallied from a four-run deficit before the Baltimore Orioles got a tiebreaking RBI single from J.J. Hardy in the eighth inning of a 5-4 victory Thursday.

The game lasted 3 1/2 hours and was interrupted by rain for 2 hours, 5 minutes after starting 12 minutes late because of showers. That didn’t bother McClendon as much as his team’s inability to get a clutch hit and the ejection of No. 5 hitter Kyle Seager.

Seager was tossed by plate umpire John Tumpane after arguing a third-strike call in the fifth inning.

“I’d like to say that’s baseball, but it’s not baseball,” McClendon said. “I didn’t think that was warranted. I don’t know, maybe (Tumpane) got tired of the Orioles (complaining about) balls and strikes all day. … It’s very unfortunate that the game was probably decided on that.”

Seager was replaced by Willie Bloomquist, who twice was retired with the bases loaded.

“I put Willie in a really bad situation. That’s inexcusable,” Seager said. “I need to be there for my team.”

The Mariners went 3 for 15 with runners in scoring position and had 13 left on base.

“We just couldn’t really get the big hit to really put us over the hump,” McClendon said.

Playing his first game with Seattle after being traded from the Cubs on Tuesday, catcher Welington Castillo drove in a run and scored one.

After Steve Pearce’s first career grand slam put Baltimore up 4-0 in the first inning, the Orioles managed only one more hit until Chris Davis led off the eighth with a single off Danny Farquhar (0-3). Davis advanced on a groundout and scored with an awkward slide after Hardy bounced a single up the middle.

Tommy Hunter (1-1) worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth and Zach Britton got three straight outs for his ninth save.

Pearce connected off J.A. Happ following two singles and a walk. It was his fourth home run of the season and only the second since April 7.

It was 4-1 in the middle of the third inning when rain caused a stoppage of play. That forced Orioles starter Chris Tillman out of the game, and Brian Matusz promptly gave up a two-run single to pinch-hitter Rickie Weeks.

Seattle loaded the bases with no outs in the seventh. Darren O’Day was on the brink of escaping without damage, getting two outs before walking Logan Morrison on a 3-2 pitch to force in the tying run.

But Baltimore bounced back to win the deciding matchup of the three-game series. The Orioles went 5-4 in a homestand that followed an extended road trip because of rioting in Baltimore.

STARTERS DISMISSED

Mariners: Happ never got the chance to return after retiring Baltimore in the second inning. That ended a run of 14 straight starts in which the left-hander went at least five innings.

Orioles: Tillman gave up one run in three innings, and because he recently battled back spasms, he wasn’t coming back. “It was a frustrating day, but that’s selfish,” he said. “We got a win today, and a series win, so you move on.”

TRAINERS ROOM

Mariners: McClendon said no date has been set for RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (strained back muscle) to begin throwing. Iwakuma has been on the DL since April 25.

Orioles: INF Everth Cabrera (bruised foot) will come off the DL on Friday, Showalter said. … INF Rey Navarro was unavailable after having emergency dental work done before the game.

No starting pitcher.

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