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Mariners spend entire ballgame looking for broom closet, find brooms in the 10th

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Ending the road trip 5-5 feels okayish

Seattle Mariners v Baltimore Orioles Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Four-game series are often exciting. They give you a glimpse into almost everything a team has to offer. When you consistently get to see your opponent every day for the better part of a week, you begin to see their nuances, their take on the game, and you get a chance to appreciate competition all the more.

But in the case of this four-game series against the Orioles (who in the American league are ranked 11th in pitching, and 15th in both batting and fielding), I was excited to just watch it end. It should not have been as grueling as it was.

Today, the Mariners won a ballgame. They opened the game facing the Orioles’ reliever-turned-starter, Jimmy Yacabonis. Despite Yacabonis’ two terrible appearances in relief this season, he managed to pitch a 1-2-3 inning in the first and allowed only one hit, a sharp liner by Ben Gamel, in the second. After allowing the one hit, Yacabonis went on to strike out Ryon Healy and Chris Herrmann, taking them both to full counts before getting both batters swinging on a slider and a fastball, respectively.

Mike Leake took to the hill coming off one of his more brilliant performances this season. He began his start by issuing a single to Trey Mancini, a sharp grounder up the middle. With Mancini on base, Leake was able to make use of his cutter, getting Colby Rasmus to fly out with the pitch down the middle and later getting Manny Machado to ground into a double play on the same pitch.

The third inning began with a little more life as Guillermo Heredia scribbled off a single to right field on his third pitch. Andrew Romine, batting ninth and playing noticeably better as of late, laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runner. Unfortunately, Dee Gordon struck out swinging at a slider low and away, and Jean Segura soon followed in the wanting of offense by popping up the first pitch of the at bat to Manny Machado. Mike Leake showed his prowess in the bottom frame of the inning, striking out Chance Sisco with his stellar changeup, and retiring the side with his cutter and slider.

Now, I’m not one for naps. I’m not a fan of them and every time I’ve tried to take one, I’ve woken up feeling worse than before. This might have been the case for noted nap-taker Nelson Cruz, who in the second inning popped out to first base. Later, in the fourth inning, after Mitch Haniger was able to garner a walk in five pitches, Cruz seemed to have awoken. Just in time, he returned from the Dreaming and into his rightful place in the batter’s box as Lord of the Boomstick.

According to the broadcast, Cruz’s home run stayed in the air for over six seconds, towering over the stadium like a rocket in flight, and taking its time to come down and allow the M’s to take the lead by two runs. It’s Cruz’s 21st home run this season. In the bottom of the inning, Leake was able to get Colby Rasmus to groundout. Unfortunately, Leake couldn’t keep the ball on the ground for Manny Machado and Chris Davis, both of whom blasted solo shots to tie the game at two apiece.

The ballgame later continued as I believe many ballgames have in Oriole Park. Each inning saw a couple of batters get on base but to no avail. Andrew Romine and Dee Gordon both singled to start the fifth inning, effectively removing Yacabonis from the mound. With Yefry Ramírez in in relief, Jean Segura and Mitch Haniger both grounded out, and Nelson Cruz struck out on a slider low and away. Gamel singled to start the sixth inning, but Ryon Healy hit a lineout to left field and Herrmann grounded into a double play.

The seventh inning, was almost beat-for-beat the same as the third, with a Heredia leadoff base hit, a Romine sacrifice bunt, and a Dee Gordon strikeout on a slider on the outside corner; the only difference was Jean Segura, who instead of popping up to Machado, flew out to Danny Valencia in right field.

Those of you out there who saw a twinkling star beyond the northwest overcast and wished for this final game of the series to go into extra innings, your wish was granted. Nick Vincent and James Pazos were able to hold down the Orioles offense in the eighth and ninth innings, respectively. Vincent allowed a base hit to Steve Wilkerson, but was able to finish off the top of the Orioles’ order striking out Mancini, getting Rasmus to flyout, intentionally walking Machado and getting Mark Trumbo to pop up on a high cutter.

Then came the tenth inning. Upon realizing that they play again tomorrow in Seattle and have to fly across the country to do so, the Mariners offense kicked it into high gear. Dee Gordon opened the inning with an infield single, because Dee Gordon is a fast boy. Then Segura hit this little beauty to Colby Rasmus.

It was too much for Rasmus to handle and an error was charged for his bobbling of the ball. Thanks to the mishandling in the outfield, Dee was able to speed his way across the basepaths to score the go ahead run. Later, Haniger scraped a grounder to Steve Wilkerson who was not able to effectively throw it for the force at first, allowing Mitch to get on base thanks to another error by the Orioles. Nelson Cruz, wanting to continue the fun after awakening from his slumber, scratched a line drive RBI single to turn this into not-a-one-run game. The Mariners would go to the bottom of the tenth, two runs ahead of the home team.

Juan Nicasio came in to close up the game for good and needed only seven pitches to do so. Three to induce a Wilkerson pop out, a single slider to Trey Mancini for a groundout, and three fastballs up and away to Colby Rasmus who flew out to Ben Gamel in right field.

BEN JUST KEEP RUNNING ALL THE WAY TO SEATTLE DON’T FORGET YOUR BROOM

The Mariners were able to sweep the Orioles in Baltimore for the first time in franchise history, and earned themselves their eighth extra-inning win in the process. They leave the east coast not as losers, but also not as winners, effectively going 5-5 in their trip through New York, Boston, and Baltimore. One thing is for sure, they come home to face the Kansas City Royals, who are in last place in their division.

Also, I take back the “not as winners” comment. Any team with this guy is a winner.