MILWAUKEE – This problematic season for Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Ryan Rowland-Smith has often seen a bad inning or two scuttle what could have been an acceptable performance.
But seldom has a night turned on Rowland-Smith as fast as this one did Friday night, with one three-pitch sequence leading to two home runs and a four-spot for the Milwaukee Brewers. In the end, the one fourth-inning sequence proved his downfall in an 8-3 loss for the Mariners that opened a nine-game, three-city trip.
Seattle had grabbed a 3-0 lead by the third inning, with sacrifice flies by Milton Bradley and Franklin Gutierrez and a run-scoring single from Mike Sweeney doing the trick.
But the Brewers stormed back in the fourth, taking the lead on home runs by Jonathan Lucroy and Carlos Gomez, and then adding more later to make the final score a lot more lopsided than the game actually was.
That fourth-inning rally got started with singles by Corey Hart and Ryan Braun.
Then, with two out, and Rowland-Smith one strike away from escaping the jam, Lucroy hit a 1-2 pitch into the bullpen in left-center that tied the game.
Lucroy was called up from Triple-A last month by the Brewers to replace injured catcher Gregg Zaun.
The next batter, Gomez, took a first-pitch ball, then golfed the next Rowland-Smith offering over the wall in left to put the Brewers ahead to stay and set off a wild celebration by the 30,087 fans at Miller Park.
“As soon as he hit it, I was thinking to myself, just that one pitch,” Rowland-Smith said. “Those two pitches in the fourth inning, that’s just what really changed the game.”
Rowland-Smith went 5
Chad Cordero came on in relief, walked the bases full, then yielded a sacrifice fly that made it a 5-3 game.
Milwaukee tacked on an insurance run in the seventh and added two more in the eighth on a single.
The progress of Rowland-Smith is one the Mariners will be paying close attention to as the rest of this season, already long lost, plays itself out. After a strong finish in each of his last two seasons, Rowland-Smith went winless the first 21/2 months of the 2010 campaign before notching his first victory Sunday.
Rowland-Smith prides himself on an ability to go deeper into games, yet has lasted seven innings just once all season.
He’s lasted at least six innings only three times in his 13 starts so far.
The M’s activated right-hander Doug Fister from the 15-day disabled list to start today’s game at Milwaukee. They also placed reliever Shawn Kelley on the DL because of inflammation in his right elbow.
Brewers 8, Mariners 3
|C.Cordero p||0||0||0||0||0||0||– -|
|Olson p||0||0||0||0||0||0||– -|
|Aardsma p||0||0||0||0||0||0||– -|
|Hoffman p||0||0||0||0||0||0||– -|
|Seattle||012||000||000 – 3||7||0|
|Milwaukee||000||401||12x – 8||8||1|
E – A.Escobar (10). LOB – Seattle 5, Milwaukee 5. 2B – Jo.Lopez (12), Fielder (12), Lucroy (2), Bush (1). HR – Lucroy (1), off Rowland-Smith; Gomez (5), off Rowland-Smith. RBIs – F.Gutierrez (32), M.Sweeney (18), Bradley (26), Fielder (30), Lucroy 3 (3), Gomez 2 (18), A.Escobar 2 (23). SB – I.Suzuki (21), Figgins 3 (19). SF – F.Gutierrez, Bradley, A.Escobar 2. RLISP – Seattle 2 (Bradley, Figgins); Milwaukee 2 (Fielder, Braun). DP – Seattle 1 (I.Suzuki, I.Suzuki, M.Sweeney, Jo.Lopez).
|Rwlnd- Smth L, 1-7||51/3||5||5||5||2||4||85||6.18|
|Bush W, 3-5||6||7||3||2||0||3||98||4.54|
|Villanueva H, 10||1||0||0||0||1||1||17||3.82|
|Loe H, 4||1||0||0||0||0||0||9||0.63|
IR-S – C.Cordero 2-1, Olson 1-1, Aardsma 1-0. HBP – by Rowland-Smith (Weeks), by C.Cordero (Weeks). T – 2:53. A – 30,087 (41,900).