D-backs bullpen falls apart in 11th as Mariners finish 3-game sweep
PHOENIX — A disastrous 11th inning capped off a Seattle Mariners sweep over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday.
The D-backs gave up seven runs in the final frame to take a 10-4 loss in the final duel of a three-game set.
Pitching has been a problem for the D-backs, who have given up six or more runs in eight of their last 10 games.
“It’s about cleaning things up,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said after the game.
The D-backs bullpen gave up seven runs in the decisive 11th inning.
Arizona right-handed pitcher Taylor Clarke gave up a combined six earned runs in the frame while only recording two outs.
“It’s our job as teachers and coaches to figure out the best solutions moving forward to allow someone to go out and compete at the highest level every day,” Lovullo said.
D-backs starter Tyler Gilbert was not the problem as he was able to pound the zone with 65 strikes on 91 pitches. His only two hiccups came in the fourth and sixth innings.
A walk, hit and fielder’s choice loaded the bases for Seattle to start the fourth inning. They capitalized with two runs on an RBI by Abraham Toro and a sac-fly by Tom Murphy.
Diamondbacks catcher Daulton Varsho was able to throw out Toro while attempting to steal second to end the inning.
In the sixth, two hits put runners at the corners with no outs. Gilbert then induced a run-scoring double play by Mariners’ Jarred Kelenic to tie the game and one batter later, he was out of the inning.
Gilbert finished with three earned runs, four hits, two walks and three strikeouts in 7.0 innings.
Through five innings, the only hit the D-backs had was a bunt single away from a shift by Josh VanMeter.
But they would find some hits in the sixth inning with the top of the order.
Josh Rojas led off with a double and was driven home two batters later on another double by Pavin Smith. The next batter, David Peralta launched a homer to give Arizona a 3-2 lead.
For Peralta, it was his 97th career home run and moved into a tie with Miguel Montero for eighth all-time in D-backs history.
Seattle tied it in the seventh after Toro led off the inning with a double and later came around to score on a double-play ball.
There were a few defensive highlights for Arizona, including a sliding catch by Ketel Marte in center to end the first inning and a leaping snag of a line drive by VanMeter at third base to rob Ty France of a hit in the sixth.
In the 10th, Varsho fielded a leadoff bunt by Dylan Moore and threw out free runner Kelenic trying to advance to third base. Varsho then threw out Moore trying to steal second, the second runner caught stealing on the day.
But the Mariners would seal it in the 11th.
Back-to-back walks issued by Clarke to start the inning loaded the bases for Kyle Seager, who delivered with a two-run double. The next batter, Toro, followed with a run-scoring single up the middle.
Two more run-scoring hits by Murphy and Kelenic broke the game open before the D-backs were able to record an out.
Seattle tacked on another two with a double by Jake Bauers and one more on an RBI by Mitch Haniger before the D-backs finally got out of the inning. Arizona ran three pitchers out to the mound in the inning.
Marte got one back for Arizona with a hit scoring the free runner, but it would not matter.
The D-backs started the second half of the season with a .500, 19-19 record and have since dropped eight of their last nine games. The skid has moved the team within a half-game of the Baltimore Orioles for the worst record in baseball.
Henry Ramos made his MLB debut, ripping a single up the middle in the seventh inning.
“That was a great moment for all of us, our entire dugout,” Lovullo said. “It was an 11-year journey through the minor leagues.”
The 29-year-old was called up after batting .371 in Triple-A with the Reno Aces.
The D-backs wrap up an eight-game homestand with a two-game set against the Texas Rangers.
Zac Gallen takes on Spencer Howard in Game 1 on Tuesday at 6:40 p.m. That game can be heard on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.