Seattle Mariners Drop Series to Miami Marlins After Rough Start; Here's How it Happened

After giving up four runs in the first inning, the Seattle Mariners were unable to complete the comeback in what turned out to be a 6-4 loss Sunday afternoon.
Jun 23, 2024; Miami, Florida, USA;  Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Bryce Miller (50) pitches in the first inning against the Miami Marlins at loanDepot Park.
Jun 23, 2024; Miami, Florida, USA; Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Bryce Miller (50) pitches in the first inning against the Miami Marlins at loanDepot Park. / Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Mariners found themselves back in the loss column Sunday, falling 6-4 to the Miami Marlins. Things got ugly early, with Bryce Miller giving up six earned runs in 4.0 innings of work, but the bullpen stabilized things and didn't let the Marlins score again all afternoon. Unfortunately, the deficit was too much to overcome, and Seattle officially lost a series to the worst team in the National League.

The Overwhelming Story

Miller's shaky start set the tone in all the wrong ways. Despite entering Sunday with a 3.46 ERA, Miller has been prone to turn in a dud every few times out, and this was certainly one of those. The only positive to come out of his performance was that he survived 4.0 innings and didn't force the Mariners to turn to their bullpen too quickly.

That gave the lowly Marlins a perfect chance to blow the win, as the Mariners' bats consistently strung together some solid chances after the first three frames. The winning run even got on base in the top of the ninth, but Julio Rodríguez couldn't convert with the bases loaded.

The Big Plays

Most of the early highlights belonged to the Marlins, considering they owned a 6-0 lead through three.

Four of the six runs Miller allowed came off of home runs. Center fielder Nick Gordon went yard first, blasting a three-run shot in the bottom of the first, before right fielder Jesús Sánchez cranked a solo homer in the third.

Left fielder Luke Raley got Seattle on the board with a two-run homer in the fourth, then second baseman Ryan Bliss cut the gap down to three with an RBI groundout in the seventh. Shortstop JP Crawford kept the ball rolling the very next at-bat with an RBI single up the middle.

Catcher Mitch Garver and designated hitter Cal Raleigh led off the top of the ninth with a single and a walk, respectively, only for Bliss and Crawford to record back-to-back outs. Third baseman Dylan Moore kept the Mariners' hopes alive with a single to right, loading the bases for Rodríguez.

It seemed like the superstar outfielder had a base hit to right-center, but second baseman Otto Lopez made a leaping grab to end the game. Had the ball dropped, the score would have been tied 6-6 and Seattle could have found a way to force extra innings.

The Odds and Ends

For as much as he has struggled in 2024, Rodríguez coming up short in the ninth inning was still out of character. He entered Sunday batting .318 with two outs and runners in scoring position, .333 with the bases loaded and .474 in the ninth inning. Rodríguez finished the series finale 0-for-5 with a strikeout. ... Miller is now 6-6 with a 3.90 ERA this season. He owns a 5.20 ERA in his eight starts since May 17. ... Raley went 3-for-4 on Sunday, accounting for nearly half of Seattle's hits. His home run was his ninth so far this season, breaking a tie with Garver and Moore for second-most on the active roster. ... The Mariners have now lost back-to-back series for the first time since April 14.

The Mariners will hang around in Florida this week, opening up a road series with the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday. First pitch is scheduled for 6:50 p.m. ET.

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Sam Connon