It happened again.
For the second-straight game, the Seattle Mariners gave up a late-inning lead thanks to the clutch hitting of St. Louis Cardinals second baseman Tommy Edman.
With the bases loaded in the top of the seventh inning, Edman’s two-run single was the difference in the Cardinals 5-4 win over the Seattle Mariners at T-Mobile Field on Thursday.
“Huge at-bat obviously. Tough at-bat. (He) fought, fought, fought.” Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said. “Almost hit a (grand slam) foul. Just foul. He stayed with it and had a nice stroke to right field. Nice job by (Harrison) Bader, good jump, scored. He got us the lead and we were able to bring it home.”
The Mariners led 1-0, 3-1 and 4-3 against Cardinals starter Michael Wacha. But once Wacha left the game after 3 1/3 innings, the Mariners offense dried up. Seattle managed only four hits against four St. Louis relievers.
“It’s how you finish off ballgames and execute late in the games,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “Whether it’s an at-bat, a play in the field, a pitch — finishing off the count, striking a guy out or getting weak contact on a hit.
“Some of it is inexperience, you’ve gotta go through it. I’ve said it before, plenty of times. There are teams that some in with a little more experience than we do. We’re gonna grow and learn in stretches and we’re doing that. The talent is so equal in this league and what separates teams is execution. That’s where it shows up.”
Mariners pitcher Tommy Milone began the seventh by walking Dexter Fowler. After a single by Bader, Milone exited the contest and Matt Festa entered.
Festa walked Matt Wieters on four pitches to load the bases for Edman, who played the hero in Wednesday night’s 5-2 victory by St. Louis. This time, Edman hit a two-run single scoring Fowler and Bader and St. Louis took a 5-4 lead as Festa exited the game.
J.P. Crawford’s solo home run to deep right field staked Seattle to a 1-0 lead in the first. The blast was Crawford’s fourth of the season and first since going deep vs. Houston on June 30.
St. Louis tied it in the third inning on Wieters’ solo home run off Milone in the second. Milone came on after Mariners opener Matt Carasiti pitched one inning, striking out two.
Seattle responded in the bottom of the inning. A ground out by Crawford brought in Dee Gordon, and then a Daniel Vogelback RBI single scored Mallex Smith to make it 3-1.
The long ball burned Milone again, however. In the fourth, Fowler hit a two-run homer to tie it at 3.
“That’s always frustrating, two innings in the middle we take the lead and I give it back,” Milone said. “It’s definitely frustrating, can’t do anything about it now. You just have to move on to the next game.
Again, the Mariners answered. In the bottom half of the inning when Tim Beckham led off with his 14th home run.
Mariners bolster bullpen
On Thursday, the Mariners acquired right-handed pitcher Matt Wisler from the San Diego Padres for cash considerations. The 26-year old was designated for assignment by San Diego on June 29. Wisler made 21 appearances with a 2-2 record and a 5.28 ERA this season.
Although Servais doesn’t know much about his new pitcher, he feels they can make a new home for Wisler.
“He’s a multi-inning reliever,” Servais said. “I definitely see him as a reliever at this point, we’ve gotta get our arms around him. Get to know him a little bit better.
Drafted by the Padres in the seventh round in 2011 Wisler has spent time in Atlanta, Cincinnati, and San Diego. Wisler has a career record of 18-25 with an ERA of 5.15.
Servais said outfielder Mitch Haniger, who’s coming back from a ruptured testicle that he suffered on June 17, has had to slow down his rehab because he might have pushed it too hard. “We need to be really patient with the injury, it’s a serious injury,” Servais said. “He came back, got it checked out by the doctor and he said to slow it down. ... He’s a competitor and it’s hard for him. He wants to get out there and help the team and be with his teammates but you’ve gotta be smart about it, these things are bigger than the game.” ...
Reliever Hunter Strickland threw off the mound Wednesday and will have a full mound session on Saturday. Strickland is on the 60-day injured list with a right lat strain... Shildt was thrown out in the fourth inning after arguing with home plate Rob Drake during the at-bat by Yario Munoz. Munoz asked for time, but Drake did not grant it. The pitch, with Munoz out of the box, was taken for a strike. After Munoz grounded out Shildt was thrown out.