Streaking Rangers stopped by Mariners' Iwakuma
Texas finally ran into a pitcher who was hot enough to stop the streaking Rangers.
Seattle's Hisashi Iwakuma, who threw a no-hitter in his last start, limited the Rangers to just two runs on five hits Monday as the Mariners topped the Rangers 3-2.
The loss snapped an eight game home winning-streak for the Rangers, who were also on a five-game streak overall.
Iwakuma didn't have no-hit stuff â Shin-Soo Choo's single in the first inning took care of that âbut he was still dominant. The Rangers got runs on a solo homer from Rougned Odor in the second and a sacrifice fly from Bobby Wilson in the seventh.
That was it against Iwakuma, struck out six in seven innings and allowed the Rangers to string together more than one hit in an inning just once.
"He was pitching everything down," said Odor, who was the lone Ranger with two hits. "He was throwing everything to us â fastball, changeup, split and slider. He did a good job tonight. We tried to do everything we can, but it happens. We tried our best, but he did a good job today."
Iwakuma's strong showing overshadowed a quality start from Texas right-hander Chi Chi Gonzalez, who was sent to Triple-A Round Rock following his quality start. Sending Gonzalez down will clear a roster spot for Wednesday starter Derek Holland. The club will also have to make a 40-man move for Holland.
Gonzalez goes down knowing he can rebound from a shaky start. The Mariners led 3-0 five batters into the game as Nelson Cruz ripped an RBI double to left and then Seth Smith hit a two-run homer into the Texas bullpen.
But Gonzalez pitched six innings and allowed just two more hits after the first. He finished with a career-high seven strikeouts and felt good about his outing.
"I just continued to do what I did in the first inning," said Gonzalez. "I made two bad pitches, I feel like, and they hit them. The home run obviously and the fastball to Cruz they got the double on. I stuck to it. I started pounded the ball down in the zone and I had good results."
Texas manager Jeff Banister was impressed with the poise Gonzalez showed after his early struggles.
"The early innings the last couple of times have posed a challenge for him, but I like the way he continues to compete," said Banister. "He doesn't really give in. He continues to compete and continues to try and make pitches. You don't see him rattled on the mound at all."
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