Mariners' playoff drought reaches 15 years with loss to A's
SEATTLE (AP) Edwin Diaz allowed a run in the 10th inning and the Seattle Mariners playoff hopes ended, extending baseball's longest postseason drought to 15 years with a wild 9-8 loss to the Oakland Athletics on Saturday night.
Joey Wendle snapped an 8-8 tie with a one-out RBI double in the 10th.
Nelson Cruz's comebacker with a man on in the bottom of the inning deflected off pitcher Ryan Madson (6-7) almost directly to first base, preventing Ben Gamel from possibly scoring from second base.
Madson also escaped a bases-loaded situation in the ninth.
The Mariners were hoping to take their playoff chances to the final day of the regular season for the second time in three years. After rallying for three runs in the seventh and one in the eighth to tie it 8-8, the Mariners couldn't make game No. 162 count.
Bruce Maxwell opened the 10th with a double off Diaz (0-4), and Wendle's fourth hit of the night put Oakland in front.
The Mariners last reached the postseason in 2001 when they tied the major league record with 116 wins in the regular season but were eliminated in the AL Championship Series by the New York Yankees.
Seattle was well aware it needed a victory to stay alive in the wild-card race as highlights and updates of the other games were shown in the stadium throughout the early innings. ''New York, New York'' played during batting practice after the Yankees knocked off Baltimore, and cheers erupted when Atlanta beat Detroit.
But there were groans abound after Toronto scored in the ninth to beat Boston and turn Seattle's task into a must-win.
The Mariners did their best, rallying from 5-2 and 7-4 deficits to pull even at 7-all in the seventh inning after a two-run home run from Cruz, his 43rd of the season. Oakland took an 8-7 lead in the eighth but Gamel's two-out single scored Mike Freeman to tie the game again.
Seattle will lament missed opportunities in the eighth and ninth innings. Each time Seattle had the bases loaded with two outs and couldn't push across another run.
Gamel opened the 10th with a single, but Madson recovered to jam Cano and force a weak groundout to third. Cruz's liner off Madson became the second out and Kyle Seager flew out to center field for the final out.
Lost in the drama of all the late action was a shaky final performance by Seattle starter Hisashi Iwakuma. After carrying the Mariners for stretches of the season, Iwakuma lasted just 3 2/3 innings and gave up five runs in his last start of the year. He finished 16-12 on the season.
Athletics: Left-hander Sean Manaea (6-9) closes out his rookie season on Sunday. Since coming off the disabled list in mid-September, Manaea is 1-0 with an 0.50 ERA in three starts.
Mariners: Felix Hernandez (11-7) makes his final start of the year. Hernandez lost his last start against Houston.