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0-for-17 night with men in scoring position dooms M's

The SportsXchange

Batting with men in scoring position has been a rough spot for Seattle all season, but the Mariners' difficulty was never more evident than in Tuesday's 18-inning, 4-2 loss to the Baltimore Orioles.

The Mariners could have won the game in almost any one of the first 17 innings, but they went hitless in 17 at-bats with runners in scoring position.

"That was a tough one," manager Eric Wedge said. "It was tough for the hitters on both sides, but it's not like we didn't have plenty of chances. We had so many chances, but nobody stepped up."

That's been the story of the Mariners' season offensively. Seattle is hitting just .241 with runners in scoring position, a time when the pressure should weigh heavier on the opposing pitcher.

Things got very bad in extra innings, just after closer Tom Wilhelmsen had let a 2-0 lead slip away in the ninth. Seattle got the potential go-ahead run on base in the 10th, the 11th, the 12th, the 15th, the 16th and the 17th innings.

It didn't help that the Mariners got leadoff hitters on in the 10th and 11th but popped up attempted bunts. Then in the 12th and the 17th innings, Seattle started with doubles, but in neither case could bring the runner around.

Finally, after the Orioles scored twice off rookie lefty Lucas Luetge in the top of the 18th, the bottom of the Mariners' order went down 1-2-3 in the 18th.

The 18-inning contest was the second-longest game in Safeco Field history in terms of innings and the fourth-longest (5 hours, 44 minutes) in terms of time.
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