Listless M’s fall to Tampa Bay

SEATTLE — If this wasn’t the Seattle Mariners’ death knell, that bell was ringing somewhere in the distance.

The Mariners turned listless Sunday in a 9-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays at Safeco Field, where the sleepiness of a September playoff race gone awry seemed to affect them all.

Jarrod Washburn continued a horrid stretch by the Mariners’ starting pitchers, lasting 413 innings before being pulled after allowing three runs on six hits and throwing 103 pitches.

The offense wasted opportunities to make Devil Rays starter Andy Sonnanstine look like the 5-9 pitcher he was, scoring two runs for the third straight game.

The end result was another blown opportunity to creep up in the standings. The Mariners remain alive, but barely with 14 games remaining.

They’re 812 games behind the first-place Angels in the American League West and 612 behind the Yankees for the AL wild card.

Since Aug. 25, when the Mariners were one game behind the Angels, they’ve gone 5-17. They’ve also blown six opportunities to make up a game in the standings when they lost on the same day the Angels did, including Sunday.

“It’s an uphill battle for sure,” manager John McLaren said. “We need a lot of help and we need to help ourselves. My main thought is to finish strong. Finish strong and see what happens.”

What happened Sunday was far from strong.

Washburn said he made only one bad pitch, when Carlos Pena hit his 40th home run in the fourth inning for a 1-0 lead, but lost for the fifth straight time.

“The only mistake I think I made the whole game was the home run to Pena,” Washburn said. “It’s frustrating. I thought I threw the ball well and didn’t have anything to show for it.”

He hasn’t had much to show for the past 212 months. Washburn, 9-15, is 1-9 with three no-decisions since July 4.

The Mariners’ offense was just as ineffective, especially with two solid scoring opportunities when they had a chance to get back into the game.

They trailed 3-1 in the fifth but put runners on first and second with nobody out. Then they left them all there when Jose Lopez struck out after failing to drop a sacrifice bunt, Jamie Burke flied out and Yuniesky Betancourt struck out.

And in the sixth, after Ichiro Suzuki singled, Adrian Beltre singled and Raul Ibanez walked, Sonnanstine silenced the only real excitement of the day among the 36,234 at Safeco Field.

He struck out Jose Guillen before Ben Broussard grounded into a double play to end the inning and, ultimately, all hope.

McLaren cleared the bench, sending minor league callups Nick Green, Adam Jones, Mike Morse and Wladimir Balentien to pinch-hit in the eighth inning. By the ninth, there were more changes, with Rob Johnson catching, Charlton Jimerson in right field, Willie Bloomquist at third base and right-hander Sean White on the mound.

Jimerson provided the last hurrah with a leadoff homer in the ninth before Bloomquist, Clement and Lopez all grounded out to end a bleak day.

Read Kirby Arnold’s blog on the Mariners at

Talk to us

More in Sports

The 1987 Cascade boys soccer team poses for a photo in front of the Space Needle in Seattle. (County Sports Hall of Fame photo)
County Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2023 bio: 1987 Cascade boys soccer

The 1987 Cascade boys soccer team won the AAA title and kicked off a run of five straight appearances in the state title game.

Vote for The Herald’s Prep Athlete of the Week for Sept. 18-24

The Athlete of the Week nominees for Sept. 18-24. Voting closes at… Continue reading

Washington's Sami Reynolds bats during a Women's College World Series game this past June in Oklahoma City. (UW Athletics photo)
The Herald’s 2022-23 Woman of the Year in Sports: Sami Reynolds

The Snohomish grad capped an outstanding five-year career with an All-American season and one of the biggest moments in UW history.

Arlington’s Caleb Reed is thrown into the air by lineman Dylan Scott after scoring a touchdown against Ferndale on Friday, Sept. 22, 2023, at Arlington High School in Arlington, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Prep football power rankings after Week 4

Here are our top 8 local teams after all the action from Friday and Saturday.

Monroe’s Mason Davis (1) celebrates with Trent Bublitz (11) after Bublitz’s touchdown reception against Edmonds-Woodway on Friday, Oct. 14, 2022, at Edmonds School District Stadium in Edmonds, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Reader poll: Make your picks for Week 5 prep football games

Do you think you can beat the experts in our weekly high… Continue reading

Prep roundup for Monday, Sept. 25

Prep roundup for Monday, Sept. 25: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

Seattle Seahawks running back Kenneth Walker III celebrates after scoring against the Carolina Panthers during the second half of Sunday’s game in Seattle. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)
Grading the Seahawks in their 37-27 win over the Panthers

Seattle turns in a solid all-around performance in front of the 2013 Super Bowl winners.

Arlington’s defense stuffs Ferndale running back Talan Bungard on Friday, Sept. 22, 2023, at Arlington High School in Arlington, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Arlington steamrolls Ferndale in 3A Wesco North showdown

The Eagles light up offense in the first half, finish business to earn a 46-14 win.

Lake Stevens High School head football coach Tom Tri hoists his team’s championship trophy during a community parade and celebration Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022, in Lake Stevens, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
The Herald’s 2022-23 Man of the Year in Sports: Tom Tri

The Lake Stevens coach guided the Vikings to Snohomish County’s first large classification football state title in more than 30 years.

Most Read