“It’s Pathetic”: Gilbert’s late mistake proves costly for Mariners…

“It’s Pathetic”: Gilbert’s Late Mistake Proves Costly for Mariners.

Logan Gilbert was cruising through his start on Tuesday night, seemingly needing just one run of support to secure a win. However, after encountering trouble in the seventh inning — and nearly escaping it — the Mariners’ right-hander paid dearly for a middle-in slider that Nelson Velázquez hammered for a three-run homer. With Seattle managing only two runs, both via solo homers from Mitch Haniger and the red-hot Luke Raley, Gilbert’s crucial mistake defined the Mariners’ 4-2 loss to Kansas City at T-Mobile Park.

“We lost, so it didn’t feel very good, and the home run was a big part of that,” Gilbert said. “So I’ve got to be better. For the most part, I felt like I threw the ball well, but I made a couple of mistakes, and those are the ones that mattered.”

Despite an otherwise dominant outing, Gilbert allowed just four baserunners through the sixth. However, two walks in the seventh — one over eight pitches to leadoff man Bobby Witt Jr. and another intentional pass to Salvador Perez after falling behind 3-0 — proved as costly as Velázquez’s 398-foot blast, which came after Gilbert had struck him out twice earlier.

A bobbled exchange by second baseman Josh Rojas just prior also played a part, as it allowed Witt to reach second base. This missed opportunity for a double play left Gilbert needing to retire an extra batter. With Kansas City veteran Michael Wacha masterfully mixing speeds, any base traffic loomed large.

“I don’t know if it’s frustrating, just disappointing,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “You can’t pitch any better than he did. Certainly, the top of their lineup, they’ve got firepower.”

Gilbert was relieved just after the homer, which came on his 99th pitch. An inning later, Trent Thornton issued a leadoff walk to Hunter Renfroe, followed by an RBI single from Maikel Garcia, giving the Royals the cushion they needed.

In his last two outings, including an eight-run loss at Minnesota last Thursday, Gilbert’s ERA has risen from 1.69 to 3.07. He has been particularly vulnerable with runners in scoring position, as opposing hitters now have a .923 OPS in 30 plate appearances in such situations, significantly higher than the .741 league average. Conversely, batters have just a .550 OPS with the bases empty.

“To win a 1-0 game, 2-0, 2-1, something like that,” Servais said, “you’ve got to make every play and not give them any extra outs. Logan had all those things going for him that allowed him to get deep in the game. We just didn’t finish it off in the seventh.”

The Mariners, meanwhile, had only two runners reach scoring position. Julio Rodríguez advanced from first to third on a two-out single from Ty France in the eighth, but Cal Raleigh struck out swinging as the tying run, halting the rally. Before that, they hadn’t reached second base since Josh Rojas advanced there on a wild pitch in the third after drawing a walk.

As stinging as Gilbert’s ending was, two runs were never going to be enough — and the second didn’t come until the Mariners had only two outs to work with, when Haniger homered in the bottom of the ninth.

Logan Gilbert allows 7 runs against Angels in series finale

Seattle is now 2-14 when scoring two or fewer runs. They average 5.3 runs per game in 23 wins but only 2.1 in their 20 losses.

The team was also without Jorge Polanco, who is nursing right hamstring tightness from Monday’s win, and Mitch Garver, who had been swinging well in May before being scratched with upper back spasms 45 minutes before first pitch. This is a different issue from the lower back pain that sidelined Garver for three games just after Opening Day.

The Mariners still have a chance to win their eighth series of their past nine in Wednesday’s finale. The Royals, much improved, matched their entire first-half win total from 2023 with their 26th victory of 2024 on Tuesday, two months before the All-Star break.

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