Sunday, September 16, 2012
Seattle Mariners 8, Texas Rangers 6
Rangers can't overcome poor starting pitching in near-comeback loss.
ARLINGTON The Texas Rangers couldn't overcome their own poor starting pitching Saturday night, losing 8-6 to the Seattle Mariners at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. The loss dropped Texas to 86-59, two games ahead of the surging Oakland A's for first place in both the AL West and the American League as a whole. Seattle improved to 70-76.
Rangers starter Scott Feldman was once again terrible, allowing six runs on seven hits in just two-plus innings. Feldman was replaced by rookie Martin Perez, who pitched brilliantly over four and one-thirds innings of no-hit ball, allowing the Rangers to claw their way back into what had seemed a blowout. Unfortunately, Perez was replaced in the top of the eighth by Tanner Scheppers, who promptly gave up a home run to the first batter he faced to erase the six-run comeback and put the Rangers back in the losing column. Scheppers fell to 1-1 on the season with the loss.
Mariners starter Jason Vargas was near-unhittable until the sixth inning, and ended up giving up four runs over five-plus innings. Lucas Luetge was credited with the win.
Feldman put Texas in a huge hole early, giving up five runs on five hits and a walk in the third to make it 6-0 Seattle.
Texas crawled back into the game, however, getting on the board in the bottom of the third when Ian Kinsler scored on Nelson Cruz' bases-loaded sacrifice fly, and then coming to within two runs on Mike Napoli's three-run first-pitch home run that made it 6-4. It was Napoli's first game back from a 33-game stint on the disabled list, and the catcher went 2-for-3 with three RBI and a walk on the night.
Texas finally tied the game in the bottom of the seventh. After Josh Hamilton drew a one-out walk and Adrian Beltre singled, Cruz singled in Hamilton to make it 6-5. Beltre and Cruz both moved up a base on a wild pitch by Vargas, who then intentionally walked Michael Young to load the bases with one out. David Murphy then grounded out to second, but Beltre scored to tie the game at 6-6. Napoli was intentionally walked to load the bases again, but rookie Jurickson Profar grounded out to end the rally.
Former Ranger prospect Justin Smoak then took Scheppers deep to lead off the eighth, winning the game for Seattle.