Reds 7, Mariners 6

(Cincinnati, OH) All losses count the same when it comes to a team’s record. It is just a plus one in the loss column whether you lose by one or twenty. Not all losses are the same when it comes to morale. For the Seattle Mariners, Tuesday’s loss in Cincinnati was arguably the toughest loss of the season for a team fighting for a division title. Everything felt like it was going the Mariners way. Julio Rodriguez was having a big game at the plate. Cal Raleigh was throwing out would be base stealers constantly. Then came a bullpen implosion. What has been a strength of the Mariners all season has been an issue as of late and Tuesday might have been the worst letdown as the M’s blew a late three-run lead and watched the Reds celebrate a walk-off win, 7-6.

A fast start raised the vibes for the Mariners in the top of the 1st. Connor Phillips only needed five pitches to record the first two outs of his career. Cal Raleigh would be sure to make the debuting starter work for the final out. Raleigh saw ten pitches and drew a walk to give the M’s the first baserunner of the game. That brought up Teoscar Hernandez and he extended his hit streak 14 games with emphasis. Getting ahead 2-0, Teo dropped the barrel on a thigh-high fastball and sent it to straightaway center. It carried for Teo’s 25th home run of the season to give the Mariners and Bryce Miller a 2-0 lead before they ever took the field.

Cincinnati really made Bryce Miller work in the first couple of innings. The rookie hung up a couple of zeros thanks to a couple inning ending double plays and Cal Raleigh throwing out Elly De La Cruz trying to steal second. In the bottom of the 3rd, Cal also erased a leadoff infield single by Noelvi Marte by throwing out the former Mariner prospect attempting to steal second. Luke Maile followed that with a single that magnified the out at second even more. Another former Mariner in Jake Fraley would finally get the Reds to break through. A double into the right field corner was enough to score Maile all the way from first to make it 2-1. Miller would leave a couple more runners stranded to protect the lead.

After finally getting a clean inning from Miller in the bottom of the 4th, the Mariner bats rewarded him by opening up the lead a bit. One out singles by Josh Rojas and J.P. Crawford had runners on the corners for Julio Rodriguez. While he might not be getting quite as many hits as his scorching month of August, the reigning AL Rookie of the Year is still doing plenty of damage. For the second straight game, J-Rod went oppo taco to right center for a home run. The three-run blast was Julio’s 26th of his second season and provided some much needed breathing room for Miller and the M’s who had a 5-1 lead.

In the final inning of his outing, Bryce Miller was once again in hot water. A leadoff hustle double for Noelvi Marte put a runner in scoring position right out of the gate for Cincinnati. He would move to third on a Maile groundout for the first out. Hit batters continued to be an issue in this series for the Mariners as Miller plunked both Jake Fraley and TJ Friedl to load the bases with just the one out. A big strikeout of Spencer Steer took off a lot of the pressure for Miller but he still had to find a way to retire the very dangerous Elly De La Cruz. A rocket of a line drive out to left had trouble written all over it, but Dominic Canzone would go back on the warning track and made a tumbling catch to rob De La Cruz of a game changing hit. That ended the inning with the bases left loaded and the outing for Bryce Miller. The rookie grinded through five innings and only allowed one run on seven hits with one walk and three hit batters allowed with only two strikeouts. The gutsy performance for the rookie put the Mariners in a very good position as they turned things over to the bullpen.

Dominic Leone was the first guy out of the bullpen for Seattle and this is where things began to take a turn for the worse. A leadoff home run for Christian Encarnacion-Strand was the rookie’s sixth of the season and cut the Mariner lead to 5-2. After recording two outs, Leone let the Reds get even closer. Noelvi Marte dealt a blow to the team that he grinded through the minors with as he hit a 108-mph line drive over the left field wall for his first career home run. The two solo shots for the Reds continued to tighten the game up as the score was 5-3.

Seattle got one of those runs back in the top of the 7th. Derek Law was the second reliever out of the bullpen for the Reds and his first task was to retire Julio Rodriguez. That is much easier said than done. Julio sent one to deep right field but it would just slice foul as the Reds avoided some trouble. Later in the AB, Julio made the correction. Pitch number eight of the at-bat was a fastball just above the belt and J-Rod kept this one well fair out to right field for another opposite field home run. The second of the game, third of the series, and 27th of the season inflated the Mariner lead back up to 6-3.

After the M’s left a few runners in scoring position and Matt Brash pitched a scoreless inning, Justin Topa took over for the bottom of the 8th and everything fell apart. After retiring Harrison Bade, Topa lost his command and walked Noelvi Marte and fell behind Tyler Stephenson. A 3-1 sinker in the middle of the plate was grounded to left field for a base hit. That put runners on first and second and brought the tying run to the plate in pinch hitter Nick Martini. A backdoor slider was left up but on the very outside corner. It didn’t matter to Martini as he was able to pull a deep fly ball to right center. Teoscar Hernandez made a leaping effort but the ball sailed out for Martini’s fourth home run of the season. All the momentum was quickly lost for the M’s as Cincinnati had tied it up at 6-6.

Seattle got two runners on base with two outs in the top of the 9th, but couldn’t push across a run against Alexis Diaz. Andrés Muñoz came on in the bottom of the 9th to try to get the game to extra innings. An infield single for Elly De La Cruz gave the Reds unbelievable speed on base to begin the inning. De La Cruz stole his 25th base of the season to put the winning run in scoring position with nobody out. Christian Encarnacion-Strand then completed the Reds comeback with a base hit to right. The throw home was too late to get De La Cruz as he slid in safely and the Reds celebrated a walk-off, comeback win 7-6.

As if the heartbreaking blown lead wasn’t bad enough for the Mariners (77-61), Houston defeated Texas in another blowout on Tuesday night as well. That means the Mariners drop into second place in the AL West and the second AL Wild Card. The M’s are just one game behind Houston and one game ahead of the Rangers who are on the outside looking in after being past by Toronto for the final Wild Card spot. The M’s will look to avoid being swept by the Cincinnati Reds (73-68) in the finale on Wednesday at 3:40pm. Logan Gilbert (12-5, 3.56 ERA) will try to get these guys back on track on what has been a rough road trip. Gilbert was solid in the opener with the Mets, going 6 2/3 innings and allowed just one run on seven hits with no walks and nine strikeouts in the loss. Lyon Richardson (0-1, 6.75 ERA) will try to complete the sweep for the Reds when he takes the mound in the finale. With an injury and illness stricken pitching staff, Richardson will make just his fourth appearance of the season and has not pitched five innings in his previous three MLB appearances.

Notable Performances


  • Julio Rodriguez- 2-5, 2 HRs, 4 RBI, 2 R
  • Teoscar Hernandez- 2-4, HR, 2 RBI, R, BB
  • Bryce Miller (ND)- 5 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO


  • Noelvi Marte- 3-3, 2B, HR, RBI, 2 R, BB
  • Christian Encarnacion-Strand- 3-5, HR, 2 RBI, R
  • Connor Phillips (ND)- 4.2 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 7 SO



WordPress Image Lightbox