The M’s had a four-run lead against the Orioles but lost it as Ariel Miranda gave up four home runs in an 8-7 loss.
BALTIMORE — It’s over.
Perhaps that’s the only positive after the last five days of frustration and disappointment.
The Mariners left town Aug. 17 and return home to Seattle on Wednesday evening. A five-hour flight will allow the Mariners plenty of time to reflect on how it all went so wrong and how little time they have to get it right.
Their streakiness leads to exasperation. The have six- to eight-game runs when they look like playoff contenders, followed by maddening stretches of eight to 10 games when they make a difficult game seem impossible.
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They are in one those lulls now.
The Mariners squandered a six-run third inning and lost a four-run lead, thanks to yet another poor starting-pitching performance, and were swept by the Orioles with an 8-7 loss on Wednesday afternoon at Camden Yards. They have lost five games in a row, and get a day off Thursday.
“It was a disappointing to end to the road trip here in Baltimore,” manager Scott Servais said. “We’ll regroup. We have a day off tomorrow and we’ll travel back home and get back at it.”
For 12 days, the Mariners traveled up and down the East Coast, visiting four cities and playing 12 games in 14 days.
In the beginning, everything seemed gumdrops and rainbows. Seattle won the first two three-game series, against the Braves and Rays, and started the series at Yankee Stadium with a stunning 2-1 extra-innings win. They were 5-2 on the trip and looking to exceed the minimal hopes of a 6-6 split. But five losses later they are 66-68 and trending in the wrong direction with 28 games left to play.
“It was definitely a long trip, but we’ve got to play better than we did here and in New York,” said Mitch Haniger. “It’s going to be good to get back home and play in front of our own fans.”
Those fans are certain to be skeptical of a team that is sliding in the wild-card race. And given the state of their starting pitching — even with the addition of Mike Leake — and the current slumps of Robinson Cano and Kyle Seager, the Mariners have made it difficult to be optimistic.
The Orioles took the lead for good in the bottom of the eighth inning on Jonathan Schoop’s ground-ball RBI single off lefty Marc Rzepczynski , breaking a 7-7 tie. But this game, like so many…