Friday, June 11, 2010

MARINERS: Abysmal pitching leads to 12-3 loss to Texas

By: Jeff Stoss
The tone for the Mariners’ pitching was established early. Unfortunately, that tone favored the bats of the Texas Rangers, as they were able to score twelve runs against the Mariners. The M’s offense was also absent in the game against their division rivals, managing just five hits and three runs.

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Ryan Rowland-Smith (0-5) had another shaky outing right from the start. In the bottom of the first, Vladimir Guerrero hit a single, plating Elvis Andrus to score the first run of the game. The next batter, Josh Hamilton, hit his thirteenth home run of the year, adding two more runs to the lead. The troubles continued in the third as Michael Young led off the inning with a solo home run, his seventh of the season. At the end of the third inning, the Rangers had put seven runs on the board to the M’s two.

Rowland-Smith was relieved with two outs in the sixth and a runner on first. He left having allowed eight runs, only four of which were earned, on eleven hits and two walks. With a small glimmer of hope left for the M’s, they turned to their bullpen for help. Brandon League allowed the next five batters to reach base before finally retiring Matt Treanor to end the sixth. The scoring ended there, but by then, the game had already been decided.

The only bright spot for the Mariners was 2B Chone Figgins. In the third inning, Figgins hit a ball to center field, which led to a throwing error, allowing Michael Saunders to score from first and Figgins to reach third. Franklin Gutierrez stepped up to the plate and hit a sacrifice fly to score Figgins, cutting the deficit to one run at that point. In the fourth, Figgins stepped up with two outs and Rob Johnson on third. Much like the inning before, Chone hit a pitch to center field, earning him an RBI as Johnson crossed home plate. Saunders and Figgins, batting eighth and ninth, respectively, accounted for four of the M’s five hits. Batters one through five for the Mariners went 0-for17 with six strikeouts and stranded seven runners on base.

For Texas, twenty-three year old Tommy Hunter had his second impressive start of the season. Hunter (2-0) pitched six innings, giving up five hits with five strikeouts. He had more than enough run support and handed the game to his bullpen who pitched three perfect innings to finish the M’s. On the offensive end, all nine starting position players had at least one hit with a total of seventeen on the night. Texas managed to go 6-for-12 with runners in scoring position and scored nine runs with two outs on the night.

The loss wrapped up a four game series with the Rangers in which the M’s went 1-3. To this point of the season, Seattle has only managed to win two of their ten games against the Rangers and has a record of 7-21 against the AL West. The Mariners hope their luck will turn as they head to San Diego to start their second stretch of Interleague play. Friday evening, the M’s will send Jason Vargas (4-2) to the hill to square off against Kevin Correia (5-4) for the Padres.

Reach Jacob Kehle at