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Mariners bid for bounce-back win vs. Guardians

Aug 16, 2022; Anaheim, California, USA; Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Robbie Ray (38) throws against the Los Angeles Angels during the first inning at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier in the week, the Seattle Mariners unveiled a new nickname for their bullpen — Los Bomberos.

Inspired by reliever Andres Munoz, it translates to “The Firemen.”

It seemed fitting, since the Mariners were 51-0 when taking a lead into the eighth inning, the lone undefeated team in that situation in the major leagues.

But the bullpen finally got burned Saturday night.

Jose Ramirez’s run-scoring double keyed a three-run rally off Munoz in the eighth as the Cleveland Guardians posted a 4-3 win over the host Mariners.

The Guardians will try to split the four-game series when it wraps up Sunday.

“We didn’t have much to show for it (through seven innings), but I thought we fought,” Guardians manager Terry Francona said. “That stuff you saw from start to finish from their staff, that’s phenomenal. … That’s a hard game to win, but we found a way to win, so good for us.”

The loss spoiled a big day for the Mariners, who held a news conference to announce rookie Julio Rodriguez’s massive new deal and inducted Ichiro Suzuki into the team’s Hall of Fame.

Solo homers by Rodriguez, Eugenio Suarez and Jake Lamb gave Seattle a 3-1 lead through seven innings.

Munoz walked Steven Kwan leading off the eighth and Amed Rosario singled to right to bring up Ramirez, who provided Cleveland’s only previous run with a homer in the fourth. Ramirez slapped a 101-mph fastball down the left-field line for a double, scoring Kwan to pull the Guardians within 3-2.

Josh Naylor grounded out to first base to bring home the tying run and Andres Gimenez hit a sacrifice fly to deep center to put Cleveland ahead.

“Coming into this series, you know it’s going to be tight, close, hard-fought games,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “Tonight we just couldn’t shut it down, which is very uncharacteristic of us. When Lamb hit that homer, I had a really good feeling that the extra insurance run was really gonna help.”

Luis Castillo, whom the Mariners acquired at the trade deadline from Cincinnati, was in line for the victory before the bullpen squandered the lead. Castillo allowed one run on four hits over six innings, with one walk and 10 strikeouts.

“Every day is not a party,” Castillo said through an interpreter. “Sometimes you get good days, sometimes you get bad days and I’ve got full confidence in the bullpen every time I go out there. They’ve got my back. Sometimes, it’s just baseball.”

In the series finale, Guardians right-hander Aaron Civale (2-5, 5.37 ERA) is scheduled to face Mariners lefty Robbie Ray (10-8, 3.75).

Civale, who is 0-2 in his past eight starts since his last victory on May 20, is 1-1 with a 3.07 ERA in two career starts against Seattle.

Ray, who has won his past two starts, is 0-0 with a 2.57 ERA in two previous appearances against Cleveland, with one start.

The Mariners have had players ejected for arguing balls and strikes each of the past two nights — Jesse Winker on Friday and Ty France on Saturday.

“It kind of seems like when one thing is going bad, it seems like it’s all going bad,” said France, who was tossed by plate umpire Ted Hendry midway through the fifth inning.

“I thought I was just having a normal conversation and it went the other way. All I said was, all three strikes he called were balls. And he asked me what I said, so I repeated that and he ejected me from there.”

–Field Level Media