Their fifth consecutive loss may have been among the most frustrating of the season for the Seattle Mariners, a 5-4 decision to Tampa Bay where they did very little right.
Start with 14 strikeouts by Mariners hitters - three each from Chone Figgins and Brendan Ryan.
“That’s ridiculous,” manager Eric Wedge said. “These guys are better than that. If we have to change personnel, so be it. If we have to change roles, so be it.
“It’s about producing.”
Kyle Seager produced: two home runs and a single with Ichiro on second base that didn't score a run, and all four RBI in this one.
But the defense?
First baseman Alex Liddi and second baseman Dustin Ackley let a pop fly drop between them in the fourth inning, a critical mistake that cost Seattle two runs and put them behind for the first time, 4-3.
“At it’s peak, I lost it,” Ackley said. “Liddi said he had it, but I think he may have lost it to. I yelled, ‘You got it?’ and with the noise he might have just heard ‘got it.’
"We’ve got to do better than that.”
And then there was the fifth Tampa run, the game winner. With the game tied in the sixth inning, Luke Scott hammered a pitch to straightaway center field. Michael Saunders turned in chase, leaping near the wall only to have the ball hit his glove and bounce over the wall.
“I think my glove was at the top of the wall, I got a piece of it,” Saunders said. “I haven’t seen a replay, so I really don’t know exactly what happened – if I hit the fence as the ball came down, before it did or just after.
“It happened kind of fast.”
In the end, the Mariners were left with decisions to make on players like Figgins (.198), Ryan (.125) and Justin Smoak (.184). They won't be made today, the final day of a 10-game trip, but they're coming.
“It’s not carte blanche, patience doesn’t last forever,” Wedge said. “It’s about production, and I’ve said it before. If you’re not getting it done, we’ll change roles.”