One more day, Mariners fans.
Just one more day, and then it all ends. Then you have months to recover from the sting of a disappointing season that included, well, too many losses like Saturday night.
The Mariners were positioned for a nice comeback victory after overcoming a four-run deficit against the Oakland Athletics before it slipped away in a 7-5 loss in 13 innings at Safeco Field.
Marcus Semien’s two-run homer against JC Ramirez, the eighth Mariners pitcher, provided the winning margin.
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That was after Tom Wilhelmsen couldn’t protect a one-run lead in the ninth inning.
“We’ve got a chance to win,” manager Lloyd McClendon said. “Your closer is in there, and he walks the first guy and he hits another guy. That’s not good.”
It was the Mariners’ 27th loss this season when their opponents scored the winning run in the last at-bat. That’s a lot of heartbreak.
And there’s more.
Nelson Cruz aggravated his strained right quadriceps muscle while running out a grounder in the ninth inning.
“I went to the trainer (Rick Griffin) and told him it was tight,” Cruz said. “He checked it out, and he decided to (remove him from the game).”
McClendon said Cruz is unlikely to play in Sunday’s finale, but Cruz remains hopeful.
“We’ll see (in the morning),” he said. “That’s going to tell. It’s on ice and everything right now.”
Stephen Vogt started the winning rally against Ramirez (0-2) with a leadoff single through the right side. Semien then worked the count to 3-1 before sending a high drive to left field for his 15th homer.
Switch-pitcher Pat Venditte (2-2) worked three innings and got the victory when Felix Doubront worked a scoreless 13th inning and sent the Mariners to their ninth loss in 10 games.
The season ends in a 12:10 p.m. matinee on Sunday. Thereafter, attention turns to new general manager Jerry Dipoto and his offseason work on a club that enters the finale at 75-86 after last season’s feel-good 87-75 effort.
The Athletics jumped to a 4-0 lead against an ineffective Roenis Elias, who exited with no outs and the bases loaded in the third inning. Thereafter, the Mariners’ inconsistent bullpen then put together six scoreless innings.
They needed one more
Wilhelmsen blew a save by squandering a 5-4 lead in the ninth inning — and he had only himself to blame. He started the inning by walking Billy Burns and then hit Mark Canha on an 0-2 pitch.
A wild pitch moved the runners to second and third before Brett Lawrie tied the game on a sacrifice fly to deep left. Canha went to third on Danny Valencia’s grounder to short.
But Wilhelmsen held the tie by retiring Billy Butler on a fly to deep right.
Oakland starter Sean Nolin, a rookie left-hander, lasted five innings before handing a 4-3 lead to reliever Arnold Leon, who lasted just long enough to give up a single to Mark Trumbo.
Daniel Coulombe replaced Leon and walked pinch-hitter Shawn O’Malley on four pitches. Brad Miller fouled off a sacrifice bunt before lining a single into center that loaded the bases with no outs.
The Mariners tied the game on Jesus Sucre’s double-play grounder before taking their first lead, at 5-4, on Ketel Marte’s soft single into center.
Elias found trouble in a hurry. One-out singles by Canha and Lawrie put runners at first and second before Valencia crushed a 2-0 changeup for a 407-foot homer to center.
That quick, the Mariners were in a 3-0 hole, but Oakland tried to let them back into the game by committing errors on the first two plays in the bottom of the inning.
The Mariners failed to take advantage.
Elias worked around a leadoff single and a two-out triple in the second inning, thanks to a double play in-between, but exited after loading the bases with no outs in the third by sandwiching two walks around a single.
Tony Zych replaced Elias, got three ground balls and limited the damage to one run. Oakland led 4-0, but the Mariners answered later in the inning.
Singles by Sucre and Cruz put runners at first and third with two outs for Robinson Cano, who turned on a 1-0 changeup from Nolin and drove it 413 feet into the right-field seats.
The Mariners were back to within 4-3.
Zych worked three scoreless innings before Mayckol Guaipe took over in the sixth. Guaipe was positioned for the victory before Wilhelmsen coughed up the lead.
SUNDAY: Oakland (RHP Chris Bassitt: 1-8, 3.60 ERA) at Seattle (LHP Vidal Nuno: 1-4, 4.19), 12:10 p.m., Root Sports, 710-AM, 1030-AM