When the reigning AL champion Texas Rangers swept a three-game
series from the Seattle Mariners in early April, it came as no
Less than a month later, the AL West rivals appear much more
Surging Seattle hosts inconsistent Texas on Tuesday night in the
opener of a three-game set.
The Mariners (13-16) started 4-11, seemingly picking up where
they left off after stumbling to a 61-101 record and last-place
finish in 2010. The Rangers, meanwhile, improved to 6-0 after
sweeping Seattle from April 4-6, appearing primed for a run at
Much has changed since. The Rangers (16-13) have dropped six of
eight, and one bad break in Sunday’s 3-2 loss to Boston may have
been all that separated Seattle from a 6-0 road trip.
Ichiro Suzuki lost Jed Lowrie’s fly ball in the sun in the ninth
inning, resulting in a triple. Lowrie scored the winning run on a
two-out single by Carl Crawford. Jamey Wright took the loss, ending
a 15-inning scoreless streak for the Mariners’ bullpen.
Manager Eric Wedge didn’t let the defeat dampen his overall
“The guys have played some real good baseball,” he said. “I
think the guys are learning what they can do.”
Erik Bedard (1-4, 5.96 ERA) once again will start the series
opener against Texas. The left-hander lost 6-4 on April 4, allowing
five runs – three earned – in five innings in his first start since
2009, due to shoulder surgery.
Bedard finally earned his first win since 2009 on Wednesday,
allowing one run over seven innings of a 10-1 victory at
“There were things that happened with each and every one of his
starts that continued to help him be better and get closer to where
he needed to be,” Wedge told the team’s official website. “That’s
why I felt, with each start prior to this, he was still headed in
the right direction. He really pitched a heck of a ballgame.”
Suzuki has also come on after a slow start, going 16 for 39
(.410) with seven multi-hit games over his last nine. He’ll look to
continue his hot streak against a Texas team which has regressed
since a 9-1 start.
The Rangers dropped three of four in Oakland, including a 5-4
defeat in 10 innings Monday.
“We’re not where we want to be but we’re not going to panic
either,” manager Ron Washington said. “It was real tough. I
thought we played hard, things just didn’t fall into place.”
Michael Young had three RBIs in the loss, giving him 10 in his
last six games. He’s hitting a team-leading .342, but is 5 for 30
in his career against Bedard.
Alexi Ogando (3-0, 2.30) will take the mound Tuesday looking to
help Texas get back on track. He continues to impress, having
lasted at least six innings in all five of his starts and allowing
two runs or fewer in four of them after pitching out of the bullpen
as a rookie in 2010. The right-hander gave up two runs in six
innings Thursday before the Rangers fell 5-2 to Toronto.
Ogando beat Seattle 3-2 on April 5, when he threw six scoreless
innings for his first career win as a starter.
The Rangers took six of nine games in Seattle last season.