SEATTLE (AP) — A poor outing from Wade Miley in his return from the disabled list was only the start of a bad night for the Seattle Mariners.
Miley lasted just four innings, getting knocked around for five runs in Seattle’s 8-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates to close out the brief two-game interleague series. But Seattle’s issues went well beyond Miley’s problem with leaving pitches up and over the plate.
Seattle will lose backup catcher Steve Clevenger for an extended period with a broken right hand after he took a foul ball square on the exposed hand off the bat of Andrew McCutchen. And that came before the Mariners committed three errors and had reliever Donn Roach give up a three-run double to Sean Rodriguez in the fifth inning that broke the game open.
“Not our finest performance, obviously,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said.
Rodriguez finished with four RBIs and David Freese added a solo home run on the first pitch of the second inning as Miley’s return unraveled quickly. Miley (6-4) had not pitched since June 12 after a brief stint on the disabled list due to an impingement in his left shoulder. He was lucky to make it through the fourth, leaving pitches up in the strike zone and watching them get hit hard.
“Command is the biggest thing. I’m throwing strikes, just not commanding the ball, because everything is middle,” Miley said. “Not being able to get the breaking balls down. I had a couple counts where I was 1-2, tried to bounce a breaking ball and I left them over the plate, and it they hammered them. That’s on me. That entire game, that’s on me. Not a good tempo and just let it get away.”
Roach struggled when he took over in the fifth, giving up two hits and a walk before Rodriguez’s double into the left-field corner to clear the bases and give Pittsburgh an 8-0 lead. That inning also included the first of Kyle Seager’s two errors. Robinson Cano also had an error losing the grip transferring the ball from his glove to his hand.
“We’ve played sloppy, quite frankly, at times. The amount of errors we’ve made is concerning, especially in the last month,” Servais said. “We got to tighten it up. Those aren’t difficult plays. They are plays are guys know should be made.”
The offensive support was more than enough for Pittsburgh rookie Jameson Taillon. Making his fifth career start, Taillon (2-1) overcame a shaky first inning and retired 10 straight at one point. He struck out six and didn’t allow a walk.
Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle thought Taillon’s best pitches were his final ones to get Nelson Cruz and Seager to finish off the sixth.
“Even though the game is 8-1, I don’t want to give up those runs,” Taillon said. “I wanted to really put the foot on the gas there and set the tone still. I knew I was close to being done so I let them eat and was aggressive with them.”
Clevenger fractured the third metacarpal, and Seattle will require a roster move to fill the backup catcher role. Clevenger is scheduled to see a hand specialist on Thursday.
“It hit me pretty square,” he said. “I was on the ground because I couldn’t move my arm too much. It hurt. Like I said, it’s pretty frustrating.”
Mariners: Seattle placed reliever Nick Vincent on the 15-day disabled list with a back strain to clear a spot for Miley. Vincent said he’s been dealing with the discomfort for about two weeks and finally decided rest was the best course. Vincent has made a team-high 35 appearances.
Mariners: Seattle opens a four-game series with Baltimore on Thursday and Taijuan Walker (3-6) on the mound after missing his last start due to a sore ankle.
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