A night after combining for 20 runs on 26 hits with seven homers in a never-ending slowpitch-softball-like slugfest, the Dodgers and Mariners delivered quite the opposite with a more normal form of baseball on Tuesday afternoon in the finale of the two-game series at Dodger Stadium.
But regardless of the style of game, the blemishes of this year’s Mariners team – minor miscues that end up being costly against a good team, a major malfunctioning bullpen and an offense that is highly unpredictable – could not be hidden or avoided in a 2-1 loss.
Despite a brilliant outing from starter Marco Gonzales, the Mariners’ offense that looked so potent less that 24 hours earlier couldn’t generate him the requisite run support to put him in line for a victory or provide a lead of any sort.
Meanwhile, the mercurial bullpen didn’t implode, but did allow the go-ahead run in its first and only inning of work.
Reliever Dan Altavilla entered the game in the eighth inning with the game tied at 1 and eventually gave up the go-ahead RBI single to Corey Seager with two outs.
Similar to most of the evening, the Mariners had no answer in the ninth, going down 1-2-3 against reliever Blake Treinen.
After winning the opening game of the eight-game road trip, Seattle lost the last seven games.
The Mariners (7-18) return home for a brief five-game homestand, starting on Wednesday at 6:40 p.m. with two more games against the Dodgers (18-7).
Facing a dangerous and power-laden lineup that has made the Dodgers the most prolific offense in baseball, averaging a MLB-leading 5.79 runs per game with 46 homers, also the most in baseball, Gonzales delivered perhaps his best outing of the season. He worked seven innings, allowing just one run on five hits – all singles – with no walks while tying a career high with nine strikeouts.
“It started with what Marco brought today, just an awesome outing,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said.
“He just dominated the strike zone really from the first pitch of the game through seven innings and really shutting down a team like that as it says a lot.”
Gonzales struck out the side on two occasions and held the Dodgers’ first five hitters – Mookie Betts, Corey Seager, Justin Turner, A.J. Pollock and Cody Bellinger – to just two hits in 15 plate appearances.
“I’m thinking as I’m watching the game today, I don’t think you could draw it up any better as far as like what you’re looking for young pitchers to emulate,” Servais said.
“What Marco Gonzales does in his preparation, execution, his competitiveness, can’t say enough about the job that he did today and continues to do.”
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