Mariners lose 8-3 to Rangers

Joe Saunders felt he pitched OK. The line didn’t look so

good.

Saunders surrendered A.J. Pierzynski’s three-run homer in the

seventh inning of the Seattle Mariners’ 8-3 loss to the Texas

Rangers on Monday night.

”It was one of those weird nights where I thought I pitched

better than the results,” he said. ”I’ve just been having some

bad luck.”

Saunders (10-13) was charged with seven runs and nine hits in

seven innings to fall to 1-5 with a 7.71 ERA in his last seven

starts.

Alex Rios had two hits and two RBIs as the Rangers picked up

their fifth win in seven games. Elvis Andrus celebrated his 25th

birthday with three hits and an RBI.

It was more than enough run support for Travis Blackley (2-1),

who allowed three runs and five hits over six innings in his first

win since he was acquired in a trade with Houston on Aug. 14.

”With all the injuries we’ve had, especially pitching injuries,

anyone we can get that can come in and give us six innings and a

quality start and give us a chance, that’s an added bonus,”

Pierzynski said. ”We’ve had a bunch of guys step in kind of from

out of nowhere and done some good things for us.”

Kyle Seager hit his 20th home run of the season for the

Mariners, who have lost four in a row.

”We’ve got to just collectively get it together,” Seattle

manager Eric Wedge said. ”We just haven’t competed at home plate

like I’d like to see us do, be tougher outs, get over that hump and

get back on track.”

Saunders got off to a slow start, and the Rangers took

advantage. Saunders hit Craig Gentry leading off the game and

Andrus followed with a single. The runners moved up on Ian

Kinsler’s sacrifice before Adrian Beltre was walked intentionally

to load the bases.

After Pierzynski bounced into a fielder’s choice, Rios singled

to center to lift Texas to a 2-0 lead.

The Mariners rallied in the third on Brad Miller’s tying two-run

single.

”It got in on me a little bit, but luckily it dropped,” Miller

said. ”I just wanted to cash in some runs, get us back in

it.”

Seager hit a drive to right with one out in the fourth, but that

was all for Seattle.

The Rangers scored two runs in the fourth to take a 4-2 lead,

and Saunders very easily could have escaped the inning

unscathed.

Rios’ leadoff double bounced off the glove of diving right

fielder Franklin Gutierrez, and Jeff Baker’s infield single glanced

off Saunders’ glove before hitting second base umpire Dale Scott.

With one out, second baseman Nick Franklin bobbled a possible

double-play ball and was only able to get the runner at second,

allowing a run to score.

”Debacle. Absolute debacle,” Saunders said of the inning.

”It’s just something I’m going through right now. Just have to

keep your head up, your chin up and keep pushing on.”

The Rangers’ lead was down to one before Pierzynski hit a drive

to right after Beltre was intentionally walked with two out and a

runner on second in the seventh. It was Pierzynski’s 15th homer in

his first season with AL West-leading Texas.

”It was the right thing to do right there,” Wedge said of the

intentional walk. ”If you have a chance to pitch around Beltre

you’ve got to do it. He’s one of the hottest hitters over the last

couple months. It just didn’t work out for us.”

Mitch Moreland added his 19th homer in the eighth, giving the

Rangers an 8-3 lead.

NOTES: The Mariners activated Gutierrez from the disabled list

and designated RHP Aaron Harang for assignment. … Rangers OF

Leonys Martin (sprained right ankle) was out of the lineup for the

second straight game.