Mariners get clutch hit in extras to top Cubs

Curtis Crabtree, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange


SEATTLE -- Just two days earlier, the Seattle Mariners had an opportunity against the Pittsburgh Pirates to break a late stalemate and win a ballgame with one key hit in a clutch situation.
It wasn't meant to be as the Pirates came through to earn a late-game victory. Mariners manager Eric Wedge lamented the team's lack of hitting in critical situations following the loss. Given the opportunity once again Friday night, Seattle wouldn't squander its chances for a second consecutive game.
Mike Zunino delivered a bases loaded RBI single off reliever Shawn Camp in the 10th inning as the Mariners rallied to defeat the Chicago Cubs 5-4 on Friday night.
It was the first walk-off hit of Zunino's career.
"He did a good job of not trying to do too much and just take it right back up the middle," Wedge said.
Blake Parker (0-1) walked Michael Saunders and Raul Ibanez to start the 10th inning. After a sacrifice bunt from Jason Bay, an intentional walk to Justin Smoak loaded the bases, Zunino worked the count full before singling up the middle to drive in the winning run.
"Usually he's a guy that we had in our report throws a bunch of sliders so I was looking for one of those early but he kept coming with the fastball," Zunino said. "With a 3-2 count I knew I had to stay aggressive."
The Mariners (35-45) rallied to tie the game in the eighth inning. Nick Franklin led off with a double and advanced to third on a groundout by Kyle Seager. Kendrys Morales added a double to score Franklin and put the tying run in scoring position. Ibanez followed with a triple to left that just ducked under the glove of a sliding Brian Bugosevic to score pinch-runner Saunders from second and even the game at four.
A pair of home runs in the seventh inning extended the Cubs' (33-45) lead. Alfonso Soriano homered to left field off Hisashi Iwakuma to lead off the inning and Dioner Navarro followed with a two-out blast to right to give the Cubs a 4-1 lead.
Seattle earned a run back in the bottom of the inning. After a leadoff walk to Bay, Zunino flared a fly ball to right field that managed to find the turf after an apparent miscommunication between center fielder Ryan Sweeney and right fielder Nate Schierholtz. The play put runners on the corners and Bay scored on a fielder's choice by Brad Miller.
Yoervis Medina (3-2) earned the victory in relief.
The Cubs squandered another strong outing from starter Travis Wood. Wood left the game with the Cubs holding a lead in the seventh inning before the bullpen allowed the Mariners to rally.
Wood has earned a quality start in each of his five outings in June but has nothing to show for it in the win column as he earned a no-decision against Seattle and finishes with a 0-3 record for the month.
"He's about as snake bit as it can get giving up his wins," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said.
Wood still felt he wasn't as sharp as he would have liked.
"The results were good but for me, arm-side command tonight was off. I threw a lot of pitches," Wood said. "...I walked three guys and fell behind a lot of guys and that walk there in the seventh to lead off, that just can't happen."
NOTES: The Mariners selected the contract of SS Brad Miller from Triple-A Tacoma and he made his major-league debut batting ninth. In his first at-bat, Miller lined out to right field. He did collect his first big league RBI on a fielder's choice in the seventh inning. ... Seattle optioned INF Carlos Triunfel to Tacoma and designated minor league INF Alex Liddi for assignment. ... Dustin Ackley saw his first playing time in the outfield for Seattle since being recalled on June 25. Ackley, the No. 2 pick in the 2009 draft, had played only first and second base for Seattle in his prior two seasons with the team. ... Entering Friday night's game, Wood was 0-3 in his last four outings despite quality starts in each. ... Wood's season-high for strikeouts was eight against St. Louis on May 7. He's struck out five Mariners through five innings and finished the game with six.