The Mariners avoided their fourth sweep of the season with a 3-1 victory over the Tigers at home on Sunday—just their third win in their last 14 games. Seattle is last in AL West—13 games behind first-place Anaheim.
While the Mariners’ rotation has struggled at the start of the season— going 3-9 in April—and the bullpen has been inconsistent, its ineffective offense is most disturbing for a franchise whose 393 wins from 2000-03 were the most in baseball.
Edgar Martinez, Bret Boone, John Olerud, Rich Aurilia and Randy Winn are all hitting .240 or worse. The Mariners rank last in the American League with 29 home runs and 106 extra-base hits while their 176 runs is second-worst.
“We have to score more runs,” Seattle manager Bob Melvin said. “To constantly put that much pressure on the pitching is definitely mounting on us. It’s not just the bullpen, it’s not just the starters at times, or just the offense. It’s been everything.”
The Mariners are coming off a homestand in which they lost four of six, hitting .249 with 50 hits—only nine for extra bases.
“It’s been pretty miserable, going on two months here,” said Olerud, who hit a solo home run on Sunday. “We’ve just got to forget about what’s happened the last six or seven weeks and concentrate on playing good baseball from here on out.”
After a season-high five-game winning streak, the Indians have dropped five straight for the second time this year and are six games under .500.
“Clubs sometimes take things for granted because you’ve got a good streak and things are going your way,” shortstop Omar Vizquel said. “You think you’re going to win a lot because you’ve got a five-game streak, and all of sudden you turn around and lose five in a row.”
Alex Escobar hit his first homer since Sept. 17 while Lou Merloni had a run-scoring single in the Indians’ 5-4 loss to the Devil Rays in 10 innings Sunday. Travis Hafner hit a two-run double and has 15 RBIs in his last 13 games.