Mariners 8, Rangers 6
The Texas Rangers are seeing their lead in the American League
West slip away.
Justin Smoak homered in the eighth inning and drove in a run in
the ninth for Seattle to beat Texas 8-6 on Saturday night.
Texas lead in the division slipped to two games over Oakland,
which beat Baltimore 5-2. It’s as close as anyone has been to the
Rangers since April 13 when the Rangers also led the division by
The Rangers will play their final 17 games against AL West
teams, including six against the Angels and seven against the
Texas trailed 6-0 early before tying the game in the sixth
”We fell behind early, and we fought and got back in it,”
Rangers manager Ron Washington said. ”But we just couldn’t stop
Smoak had three hits, two runs and three RBIs, helping Seattle
build a 6-0 lead in the first three innings while sending Texas
starter Scott Feldman to the bench after just 2 2-3 innings.
Feldman, who had lost his last five starts going into the game,
threw 71 pitches.
Dustin Ackley homered to lead off the third and Michael Saunders
had a two-run triple. Saunders also had a RBI single in the first.
Smoak scored Saunders with a single and Eric Thames plated Smoak to
make it 6-0.
”They did hit some good pitches,” Feldman said. ”There were
some pitches I threw where I wanted to and they hit them and others
that got a little too much plate.
Martin Perez kept the Rangers in the game in relief of Feldman.
He retired 13 of the 15 batters he faced, only allowing a walk and
hitting a batter. He struck out five and became the first Texas
reliever with over 4 1-3 innings pitched to allow no hits and no
runs since Mark Brandenburg did the same in 4 2-3 innings against
Seattle on July 6, 1996.
”I thought he was great,” Washington said. ”The kid came in
and kept the ball down in the zone and had a good change up and was
aggressive. He threw the ball extremely well.”
Texas got on the board in the third after Seattle starter Jason
Vargas walked the bases loaded. Nelson Cruz’s sacrifice fly scored
a run for the Rangers to make it 6-1, but Vargas struck out Michael
Young to end the inning.
In the sixth, catcher Mike Napoli, in his first start after a
stint on the 15-day disabled list because of a left quadriceps
strain, hit a three-run home run to bring the Rangers within two,
Napoli made his last rehab start at DH on Friday night for
Double A Frisco by going 0-for-4 with four strikeouts. Going into
Saturday’s game against the Mariners, Napoli joked that he told his
Rangers teammates that he got those out of the way and `’left the
strikeouts down there.”
Cruz had an RBI single in the sixth and David Murphy a
run-scoring ground out to tie it.
”This team never quits,” Feldman said. ”We kind of take it
for granted sometimes what a competitive team we have and what a
good team we have. They fought their way back and almost pulled it
off in the end.”
With the game tied 6-6 in the eighth, Tanner Scheppers relieved
Perez and Smoak led off the inning with his 15th homer. He then had
an RBI single in the ninth that scored John Jaso. Sheppers (1-1)
took the loss, and after the game, Washington said he pulled Perez
because he, ”just felt like (Perez) was finished.”
Lucas Luetge (2-1) got two outs for the Seattle victory while
Tom Wilhelmsen got the final four outs for his 27th save in 30
NOTES: After the game, Texas recalled RHP Justin Grimm and RHP
Wilmer Font from Double-A Frisco to give the Rangers 34 active
players for Sunday’s game. Grimm had a prior stint with Texas from
June 16-July 6, while Font is looking for his Major League debut.
.Mariners RF Casper Wells was a late scratch and was replaced by
Eric Thames in right field. ”He took a swing in the cage an his
neck locked up pretty good on him,” Manager Eric Wedge said about
Wells. .Wedge reiterated that the team is going to give RHP Kevin
Millwood time to recover from shoulder stiffness, plugging in RHP
Erasmo Ramirez and RHP Hector Noesi. ”We’ll see if (Millwood’s)
going to pitch again,” Wedge said.