- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

SEATTLE (AP) - The ninth-inning rally capped by Mike Zunino’s unlikely two-out, two-strike hit got the Seattle Mariners to extra innings.

It also forced overworked rookie closer Carson Smith to the mound when he could have used a day off.

“We’ve got to get him a couple of days off. We’re spinning our wheels with him, and you could see, he was flying open, trying to find something and just didn’t have it,” Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon said.

Smith loaded the bases in the 10th inning before being pulled, and Jake Lamb’s sacrifice fly scored Paul Goldschmidt with the go-ahead run as the Arizona Diamondbacks pulled out a 4-3 win over the Mariners on Monday night.

Seattle staged a rally in the ninth inning, capped by Zunino’s RBI single on a 0-2 pitch off reliever Oliver Perez (2-1) to score pinch-runner Chris Taylor with the tying run.

But the rally ended there and the Mariners’ already taxed bullpen was forced to use Smith (1-4) in the 10th and the Diamondbacks took advantage. Smith walked two of the first three batters, then hit Welington Castillo on the arm to load the bases.

Smith was pulled in favor of Vidal Nuno to face Lamb. The Seattle native drove Nuno’s pitch deep enough to center for Goldschmidt to score from third.

“I wouldn’t call it fatigue. I don’t know what it was today,” Smith said. “Maybe I was just trying to rush the plate, maybe throw a little harder than usual. I was pulling my slider for the most part, maybe trying to make it too good. And then the fastball sometimes was leaking on me a little bit.”

Arizona was one out from winning in the ninth when Zunino came through with the RBI single to extend his hitting streak to a career-best seven games.

“We felt like Perez had the pitches to get him out. He got 0-2 on him and made a bad pitch,” Arizona manager Chip Hale said.

Arizona tried to get through the ninth with Daniel Hudson and Perez after closer Brad Ziegler - having converted 15 straight save attempts - was given the night off after pitching the previous three days.

Hudson gave up a two-out double to Mark Trumbo, and Perez walked Logan Morrison on a 3-2 pitch to set the stage for Zunino.

“I definitely feel more confident now. I think that comes with having better at bats, more productive at-bats. You want to be in those spots all the time because you want to be the guy that pulls through for your team,” Zunino said.

“But honestly, a month ago, probably not. You’re worried about too many different things and when that situation comes up, you’ve got to be trusting yourself. Now I feel like I’m to a point where I’m starting to feel that way and hopefully I can build on these at-bats.”

Andrew Chafin pitched the 10th for his second save, striking out Seth Smith for the final out with the tying run at second base.

Goldschmidt continued his stellar season with 22nd homer in the first inning off Seattle starter Mike Montgomery. Castillo, who was with Seattle for all of two weeks earlier in the season before being traded to the Diamondbacks, added his eighth homer with a drive deep to left-center.

Robinson Cano hit his 11th homer and ninth in the past 30 games, a solo shot in the sixth off Robbie Ray that cut Arizona’s lead to 3-2. Morrison added an RBI single for Seattle.


The Mariners acquired right-handed pitcher J.C. Ramirez in a minor league trade with the Diamondbacks in exchange for cash on Monday. Ramirez was originally signed by Seattle and traded to Philadelphia in 2009. He was 0-1 with a 2.88 ERA in 23 games with Triple-A Reno and 1-1 with a 4.11 ERA in 12 games with Arizona this season. He will report to Triple-A Tacoma.


Diamondbacks: Zack Godley (1-0) makes his second career start. Godley became the first pitcher since 1900 to throw at least six scoreless innings with no walks and strike out seven or more in his major league debut.

Mariners: Hisashi Iwakuma (2-1) will make his fifth start since coming off the disabled list. Iwakuma gave up two first-inning runs in his last start against Detroit, then shut out the Tigers for the next six innings.

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