SEATTLE – A young Seattle Mariners team feeling its way through at-bats turned to fodder again Tuesday night.
The Mariners struck out 17 times in a 3-2 loss to the New York Yankees at Safeco Field in a game that ended with a historic moment.
Yankees closer Mariano Rivera record his 600th career save, and the only uncommon element of it was that he didn’t do it with a strikeout.
With Mariners rookie Dustin Ackley batting and two outs, Yankees catcher Russell Martin threw out Ichiro Suzuki trying to steal second base.
Like the other three Yankee pitchers who worked before him, Rivera had the Mariners walking back to the dugout. He struck out pinch hitter Wily Mo Pena and, after Ichiro’s one-out single, fanned Kyle Seager.
Rivera needs one more save to tie Trevor Hoffman for the all-time record.
“I think most people would agree that he’s the best closer in the history of the game,” Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. “You see what he’s done and the consistency he’s had in the regular season and his numbers in the postseason, I think he’s second to none. Rivera has been that good for 15 years. That’s what separates him from the rest.”
What separated the Mariners from a chance to win was their inability to make contact in scoring situations that presented themselves throughout the game.
Justin Smoak struck out to end the first inning with runners at first and third.
Adam Kennedy swung through the second of his three strikeouts to end the third inning with runners at second and third.
Kennedy and Casper Wells struck out with Smoak at second base to end the sixth.
Miguel Olivo whiffed with runners at second and third in the eighth and, after Kennedy was intentionally walked to load the bases, Yankees reliever David Robertson struck out pinch hitter Trayvon Robinson.
Yankees starter A.J. Burnett struck out a career-high 11.
The Mariners struck out at least once in every inning, and they struck out twice in seven of the nine. In six games on this homestand, the Mariners have struck out 57 times. For the season, they’ve whiffed 1,155 times and are 29 strikeouts away from the 2010 team’s franchise record with 14 games remaining.
“It’s too much right now,” Wedge said. “Some of these kids are trying to do too much.”
Yankees 3, Mariners 2
|New York||020||001||000 – 3||9||0|
|Seattle||011||000||000 – 2||6||0|
LOB – New York 2, Seattle 9. 2B – Swisher (25), J.Montero (1), An.Jones (7), Seager (9), Olivo (16). HR – Cano (26). RBIs – Cano 2 (111), Olivo (60), Ryan (39). SB – Ackley (5), M.Saunders (5). CS – I.Suzuki (7). SF – Olivo. RLISP – New York 1, Seattle 6. RMU – Carp, Olivo. GIDP – Swisher, J.Montero, R.Martin. DP – Seattle 4.
|A.J.Brnt W, 10-11||6||4||2||2||2||11||5.20|
|R.Soriano H, 21||1||0||0||0||0||1||4.18|
|Robertson H, 33||1||1||0||0||2||3||1.17|
|M.Rivra S, 41-46||1||1||0||0||0||2||2.05|
|Furbush L, 3-9||51/3||7||3||3||0||6||4.86|
IR-S – Kelley 1-0. IBB – A.Kennedy. HBP – Seager, Smoak. WP – A.J.Burnett 2, Furbush. T – 2:49. A – 18,306 (47,878).