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Seattle Mariners

Mariners fail to score more than 1 run for 4th time this season in loss to Cubs

By Ryan Divish Seattle Times

SEATTLE – Scoring one run isn’t going to lead to wins.

And hitting the ball over the fence occasionally doesn’t allow for teams to rob you of runs.

The Mariners were reminded of both in a disappointing 4-1 loss to the Cubs on Saturday night.

For the fourth time this year, the Mariners failed to score more than one run in a game.

And while their process at the plate seemed somewhat better and they had some tough luck with third baseman Christopher Morel making back-to-back run-saving plays in the sixth inning, an offense that was supposed to be improved to with more consistent hitters and a more mature approach has shown to be neither.

Seattle wasted a solid outing from starter Emerson Hancock.

The rookie right-hander delivered the Mariners’ sixth quality start of the season, working six innings and allowing two runs on four hits with no walks and four strikeouts.

But his outing, which featured a career high in innings pitched, didn’t result in a win for himself or the team. He was saddled with the loss thanks to minimal run support. It’s the only time this season the Mariners have lost a game in which a starter pitched at least six innings and allowed three runs or fewer.

His first run allowed came in the top of the second with one out. Dansby Swanson and Michael Busch came up with back-to-back singles and Nico Hoerner drove in a run with a lineout to center field.

The Mariners answered with a run in the bottom of the inning. Mitch Haniger reached when Busch couldn’t handle a throw from shortstop Swanson at first base. Jorge Polanco singled to center to push Haniger to third and Luis Urias tied the game with a double into the left-field corner.

But the Cubs regained the lead almost immediately and didn’t relinquish it the rest of the way.

With one out in the third, Hancock tried to steal a first-pitch strike with a slider to Seiya Suzuki. The pitch hung on the inner half of the plate and Suzuki crushed it over the wall in left-center to make it 2-1.

Hancock allowed just two more base runners the rest of his outings.

The Mariners should’ve at least tied the game in the sixth. Haniger and Polanco worked back-to-back walks to start the inning.

But Morel made a beautiful diving stop on the 105-mph ground ball down the third-base line off the bat of Mitch Garver, scrambling to his feet and firing to first for the out.

Both runners moved into scoring position and would’ve scored had Dylan Moore’s line drive down the third-base line reached the grass. Instead, Morel made a leaping grab on the play. Pinch-hitter Dom Canzone flew out to left to the end inning.

The Cubs added to their lead against the Mariners bullpen in way where the Mariners couldn’t prevent it.

Busch, who had homered in each of his last two games, crushed a solo homer to right off Hancock’s replacement, Tyson Miller, in the seventh inning.

Miguel Amaya added to the Cubs lead, hammering the second pitch Austin Voth threw in the eighth and sending it into the visitors’ bullpen for his first homer of the season.