Now 137 games into their season, the Seattle Mariners lost Tuesday because they couldn't execute - failing twice to lay down bunts and missing chance after chance to get home men in scoring position.
In the end, they lost to the Boston Red Sox, 4-3, losing a 3-0 lead in the span of six Blake Beavan pitchesin the sixth inning.
After five shutout innings, Beavan surrended singles to Dustin Pedroia and Jacoby Ellsbury, then a long home run by Cody Ross that tied the game. Two outs later, Ryan Lavarnway homered and Beavan was gone. So was his lead.
“He was just missing in the middle of the plate, he just wasn’t the same guy,” managefr Eric Wedge said of his starter. “I don’t know what it was. It wasn’t fatigue, and it happened fast.”
Teh Mariners got marvelous relief pitching but couldn't score. Twice they got leadoff runners aboard - in the seventh and eighth innings - and each time Wedge tried to advance that runner with a bunt.
Eric Thames missed two attempts and struck out. Trayvon Robinson popped a bunt up.
"There's never an excuse for that," Wedge said.
The bigger problem was hitting with runners in scoring position. The Mariners had 12 hits, drew three walks, hit a pair of homers - Franklin Gutierrez and Kyle Seager - and still scored only three times.
Why? With runners in scoring position, they were 1-for-10.
In the process of losing, Seattle also lost center fielder Gutierrez - again. Having missed huge chunks of the season to chest, foot and head injuries, Gutierrez was pulled from the game after the third inning with a tight groin. He's day-to-day.