There was no carry-over Saturday for the Mariners from Friday’s dramatic walk-off victory over Cleveland’s rampaging Indians. None. Ball just doesn’t work that way.
Form returned Saturday at Safeco Field.
With a vengeance.
The Indians took advantage of five errors worth of sloppy defense by the Mariners, hit four homers (including two by Yan Gomes) and flashed their deep bullpen after getting a strong start from Carlos Carrasco.
The result saw the Tribe coast to an 11-4 victory over the Mariners at Safeco Field. That makes 28 victories for Cleveland in its last 30 games and had Mariners manager Scott Servais biting off his words in his postgame remarks.
"You can’t make five errors and think you’re going to stay in the game against a quality team," Servais said. "We just didn’t respond today, and it was about catching the baseball and doing things right fundamentally.
"We haven’t done that. We’ve struggled with that. That’s one area that needs to be addressed as we go forward. That’s one area we need to take more pride in doing. It’s starts with me, then the coaching staff and down through the players.
"We’ve got to protect the baseball. Every out is so crucial in this game. When you don’t get them, you pay the price."
The Mariners resumed their September swoon by losing for the seventh time in eight games. They fell to 75-80 and must now win their remaining seven games to finish with a winning record.
The loss also helped reduce the Mariners’ tragic number to two. Any combination of two Minnesota victories and Mariners losses mathematically eliminates the Mariners from postseason contention. That could come as soon as Sunday.
It gets worse.
Shortstop Jean Segura left the game in the ninth inning because of a sprained middle finger on his right hand after being hit when a poor throw to second by pitcher Ariel Miranda ticked off the glove of second baseman Robinson Cano.
"X-rays were negative," Servais said. "He did not break the bone. It’ll be day to day. It’s going to be sore because it plays into his throwing."
Segura’s injury was part of a five-run ninth inning against Miranda, who is closing the season in the bullpen after getting pulled from rotation because of a rising innings count in combination with diminishing effectiveness.
This one didn’t just end in disaster. It was bad from the start.
The first pitch from Andrew Moore (1-5) went to the backstop, but he worked the count full on Francisco Lindor, who then cranked a 93-mph fastball over the right-center wall for his 33rd homer of the season.
"It was pretty frustrating there in the first in not being able to command anything," Moore said. "Getting behind against a team like that, you’re getting into dangerous territory."
Lindor’s next at-bat resulted in a one-out double to right in the third inning and led to two more runs when the Mariners’ defense began imploding on Austin Jackson’s single.
Lindor scored on the single, and Jackson went to second when first baseman Yonder Alonso failed to make a clean cut on the throw the plate.
The ball dribbled through to catcher Mike Zunino, who made a poor throw to second that got away from Cano and permitted Jackson to reach third. Alonso and Zunino received errors on the play.
Jackson scored when Jose Ramirez followed with a sacrifice fly.
The Mariners broke through in the sixth inning against Carrasco (17-6) when Nelson Cruz reached on a one-out single and scored on Kyle Seager’s double past a diving Greg Allen in center field.
Andrew Miller replaced Carrasco with two outs and Seager still at second. Two walks loaded the bases before Miller struck out Guillermo Heredia.
More bad defense ended any comeback hopes.
First, Cleveland struck back with two runs in the seventh inning against Dan Altavilla after Lindor reached on an Alonso error and Jackson followed with a double on a drive to left that Mitch Haniger reached by failed to catch.
Sacrifice flies by Ramirez and Allen made it 5-1.
Gomes’ first homer came in the eighth against Ryan Garton. After Cruz answered later in the inning, his 37th homer of the year, the Indians pummeled Miranda in the ninth.
"You’ve got to execute and make the plays," Servais said "That’s what it takes to get into October. Throughout the season, we have not done that. That’s why we’re in the situation we’re in. We’ve got to get better. We know that.
"We don’t have the type of pitching that’s going to strike 10-to-12 guys out every night. You’ve got to catch the baseball. It didn’t happen today."
***Too athletic?: The Mariners, like many teams, have their share of pitchers who are often too slow to react quickly on plays such as fielding a bunt or breaking to first base on a ball hit to the right side.
Marco Gonzales is in the opposite camp and, on a play in the sixth inning, it cost him.
Gonzales broke quickly from the mound when Tyler Naquin hit a dribbler up the first-base line. Gonzales misplayed the pickup, and was charged with an error. Had Gonzales not reached the ball, it was headed for Alonso at first base.
***Injury avoided: One of the few things that could derail the Indians is an injury or a series or injuries.
They avoided just such a potential problem in the fifth inning when a throw by third baseman Giovanny Urshela forced first baseman Carlos Santana to reach into the runner, Segura, to make the catch.
The collision forced Santana’s arm and wrist to hyper-extend in the wrong direction, and he went to the ground in pain. After a brief examination from the Indians trainer, however, Santana remained in the game.
"I think it’s his shoulder," Indians manager Terry Francona said, "and we won’t play him (Sunday). I think he’s going to get an X-ray, precautionary, but you could see the way he was swinging, he was letting it go pretty good."
Also worth noting: The ball was foul when Urshela fielded it and threw to first.
***Zych on shelf: Reliever Tony Zych’s continuing battle with forearm soreness prompted club officials to shut him down for the remainder of the season. He is 6-3 with a 2.66 ERA in 45 games but hasn’t pitched since Aug. 19.
"He threw really well for a nice chunk of the season," Servais said. "He worked his way into a prominent role in being to guy to get us out of trouble in the sixth and seventh inning."
Zych opened the season on the disabled list after undergoing surgery in October for a biceps tendon transfer.
"The important thing for Tony," Servais said, "is early on is we were very cautious about giving him enough rest in-between outings. You didn’t see us use him back-to-back.
"When some other things happened — when (Steve) Cishek got traded — Tony’s usage creeped up. He should be ready to go (next season). There’s no surgery involved. It’s just some inflammation."
Bob Dutton: @TNT_Mariners