Rapid Reaction: Rangers 7, Mariners 3
ARLINGTON, Texas -- A makeshift Rangers lineup racked up 12 hits and seven runs off Seattle ace Felix Hernandez and the newly-crowned AL West champions coasted to a 7-3 victory Saturday afternoon before 40,242 at Rangers Ballpark.
Hernandez (14-14) left the game in the fourth after being struck on the right forearm by a line drive off the bat of Michael Young. The report of Hernandez’ injury was a contusion.
Texas, down 2-1, sent 11 men to the play in the fourth and eight in a row reached base safely. The Rangers did their damage with a flurry of singles.
Five pitchers worked for Rangers, all trying to impress as Ron Washington begins the job of paring the bullpen to eight with a playoff roster in mind.
The Rangers with the victory moved ahead of Detroit by a half-game in the race for the No. 2 seed in the American League playoff structure. The Tigers host Baltimore tonight.
*Alexi Ogando was economical and sharp in his two-inning starting stint. He did not allow a baserunner and struck out two, throwing 18 of his 28 pitches for strikes. Ogando is the likely odd man out of the starting rotation for the playoffs, but his move to the bullpen gives the Rangers flexibility for varying relief roles.
*Leonys Martin hasn’t gotten much playing time while the Rangers were in the pennant race, but in his sixth major league game against Felix Hernandez, the 23-year-old from Cuba doubled sharply to right and scored the game’s first run on a base hit by Andres Blanco. He added a single in the fourth. Martin also displayed a strong throwing arm, cutting loose from medium-deep right-center to third base on the fly, although slightly offline.
*Andres Blanco made a nice pivot to double Ichiro to end the third inning and lined an RBI single in the second inning for Texas’ first run. He added another RBI hit early in the six-run fourth.
*Craig Gentry’s alert slide allowed him to avoid the desperate tag of Seattle second baseman Dustin Ackley, setting up the Rangers’ six-run outburst in the fourth inning.
*David Murphy, starting at DH for only the fifth time this season, had two hits including a two-run single in the fourth. Murphy has hit safely in 22 of his last 25 games with six homers and 23 RBIs.
*Endy Chavez, starting in left field for the second time this season, rapped out two base hits and drove in a run. He has had 16 multi-hit games in his last 54 games.
*While many of the Rangers regulars had a day off, Michael Young told Ron Washington he would be available if needed. Young lined a pair of hits, including a hard-hit ball that struck Hernandez in the right forearm and forced him out of the game in the fourth inning.
*Esteban German, who recently returned from the Dominican Republic after the passing of his mother, reached base on his first four at-bats on two singles, a double and an infield error. In his first start of the year, German batted in the leadoff spot.
*Matt Treanor had the distinction of making the first and second out in the Rangers‘ six-run fourth inning. Treanor flied out to right to begin the fourth and struck out after eight straight Rangers had reached.
*The competition for eight bullpen spots on the playoff roster is on. Scott Feldman was charged with three runs on five hits in four innings. Three of the first five left-handed hitters he face had hits, including a double by Dustin Ackley to set up a two-run Mariners outburst in the fourth. Yoshinori Tateyama looked sharp in working a perfect seventh inning, recording two strikeouts. Darren O'Day and Michael Kirkman also worked perfect innings.
*Today’s attendance increased the season total over the 2.9 million mark, third highest in Rangers history.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus joins Galloway & Company to discuss having Scott Boras as his agent, his new contract and having Jurickson Profar in the lineup.
Play Podcast Rangers manager Ron Washington joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett for his weekly visit to discuss Yu Darvish's pitch count and how he spends time in the clubhouse during weather delays.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway & Company for his weekly visit to discuss the latest Rangers news.
Play Podcast Reid Ryan joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss his new position with the Houston Astros and whether he could see his dad, Nolan, joining him there in the future.
Play Podcast ESPN MLB Insider Jayson Stark joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss if the Rangers are the best team in baseball, what makes them so good and if he thinks the team will trade Jurickson Profar.
Play Podcast Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss Ron Washington's decision to send Yu Darvish to the mound for the eighth inning Thursday night and how he would handle a situation like that if he were still a GM.
Play Podcast Randy Galloway, Matt Mosley and Glenn "Stretch" Smith discuss the latest Rangers news, including the Yu Darvish-Justin Verlander matchup.
Play Podcast Nelson Cruz joins Galloway & Company to discuss the Rangers' series in Oakland, his ups and downs at the plate and if the PED talks before the season were a distraction.