By Larry LaRue The News Tribune
SEATTLE — Even for those who watch late-night television, staying up until the end of the Seattle Mariners 18-inning marathon Tuesday — a game they lost to Baltimore, 4-2 — was a challenge.
Five hours and 44 minutes after it began at 7:10 p.m., pinch hitter Mike Carp grounded out to end it shortly before 1 a.m.
Dozens of fans were still on hand.
What they saw was the second-longest game in Safeco Field history and fourth longest since the Mariners began playing baseball.
“It was the longest game I’ve ever been part of,” said Dusin Ackley, who had three hits in eight at-bats. “By the end, my body was tired. That’s a long night.”
What the box score showed was that the Mariners scored all their runs no one fourth-inning swing: Miguel Olivo’s 11th home run, which followed a Casper Wells walk.
What manager Eric Wedge will remember?
“Our starting pitcher (Erasmo Ramirez) was fantastic, our bullpen came through for us, our defense came through for us,” Wedge said. “Offensively, no one came through — and we had eight, nine, 10 opportunities to win that game.”
Two of them were slowed by sacrifice bunts that were popped up, plays by Franklin Gutierrez and Wells that changed rallies.
“It wasn’t the kids who didn’t get the bunts down, it was the older guys,” Wedge said. “You’ve got to be able to do that. That’s the kind of team we have to be at times.”
Ramirez took a two-hit shutout into the ninth inning, and was excited when given the chance to finish what was a 2-0 shutout headed in.
“I tried to overdo it,” Ramirez said. “I tried to throw too hard.”
He threw two pitches in the ninth inning, and when both turned into hits, the Mariners went to closer Tom Wilhelmsen, who blew his fourth save opportunity of the season.
Before the night was over, Seattle had used eight pitchers, Baltimore another eight, and the Mariners were down to their last reliever.
“Carter Capps wasn’t available, so if we’d gone to the 19th innining, it would have been Blake Beavan on the mound,” Wedge said.
Statistically, it was an odd game.
Jesus Montero went 0-for-8, Adam Jones went 0-for-7 and the Mariners were a how-did-they-do-that 0-for-17 with runners in scoring position.
Olivo, who began the night with four walks in 79 games this season, not only homered and stole a base, he walked three times. Justin Smoak pushed his hitting streak to five consecutive games with three hits that pushed his season average from .189 when the streak began to .204.
And usually mild-mannered outfielder Michael Saunders was ejected in the 10th inning for arguing a called third strike.
Olivo caught all 18 innings and each of Seattle’s 245 pitches Tuesday. … The 17 hitless at-bats with RISP by the Mariners Tuesday was the worst one-game total since 2004, when Boston went 0-for-19 in a 12-inning, 3-2 loss to New York.
On tap: Seattle has the day off before opening a three-game series with Texas on Friday at Safeco Field. Probable starting pitchers: Martin Perez (1-1, 3.38) vs. Hisashi Iwakuma (6-5, 3.39).