BALTIMORE -- Lucas Luetge has been one of the Mariners' best stories -- and best relievers -- all season long. But every baseball season has a rough patch somewhere. It's an inevitable part of the game. And Luetge had his first real rugged outing in Tuesday's 8-7, 14-inning loss to the Orioles.
Luetge gave up his first home run of the season and it was a three-run bomb by shortstop J.J. Hardy that tied the game at 7 in the seventh inning and ultimately sent the contest into extra innings after the Mariners had blown a 7-2 lead.
Luetge, 25, took the low much the way he's accepted the highs of this season after making the club as a Rule-5 rookie who'd never pitched above Double-A ball in his time with the Brewers.
"It happened," he said. "I made a mistake and he hit it. That's part of it."
Luetge, who is 1-1 with a 2.64 ERA in 46 appearances, replaced Blake Beavan with a runner on second and a 7-3 lead. His first batter, Omar Quintanilla, singled home Beavan's run with a ground ball that deflected off the glove of a diving Dustin Ackley at second.
Then Nick Markakis singled on a lazy pop fly just over the glove of shortstop Munenori Kawasaki in short left field. His one bad pitch: Leaving a fastball up over the plate that Hardy scorched for the tying home run.
"It was one of those outings where it looks bad on paper," Luetge said. "I made one big mistake and the guy hit it. The other hits, they're going to happen. I'm not OK with giving them up, but there's nothing you can do about it. I made my pitches to both those guys. It's a game of inches. An inch closer to Ackley and he makes the play and it's a whole different game."