Rapid Reaction: Mariners 7, Rangers 1
April, 14, 2014
By Richard Durrett | ESPNDallas.com
ARLINGTON, Texas -- A wild sixth inning, complete with three Texas Rangers errors, six Seattle Mariners runs, an overturned replay call and an ejection, decided Monday's game. Seattle takes the first game of a four-game set, 7-1. Some quick thoughts:
Crazy sixth inning: Monday's game got away from the Rangers with an awful sixth inning. The club committed three errors in the inning (and there were two more that probably could have been called errors), and the Mariners took advantage with six runs. The Rangers needed three pitchers to get through it, and manager Ron Washington was ejected.
Alex Rios bobbled a ball in right, J.P. Arencibia couldn't hold the ball on a transfer (we'll get to that below), and Kevin Kouzmanoff couldn't handle a bouncer and was late throwing to second on what should have been a double play to end the inning with limited damage. Amid all of that, the Mariners just kept collecting singles and a sacrifice fly to keep scoring runs.
Transfer rule: We can debate the merits of the new transfer rule (I think it's awful), but the rule is pretty clear: If a player is trying to get a double play and doesn't have control transferring the ball from his glove to his hand, he doesn't get an out. Arencibia caught a ground ball from Pedro Figueroa and started to throw to first for a double play but dropped the ball. The Mariners challenged it, and replays showed Arencibia never did have control of the ball once it was transferred. So the call was overturned -- after a 3-minute, 30-second delay -- and Arencibia was charged with an error.
Washington charged out of the dugout and was ejected automatically because you can't argue a call once replay has made a decision. What Washington was arguing was likely the rule, not the result.
Lewis' debut: Colby Lewis started for the first time in nearly two years and looked crisp through his first five innings. But once the strange sixth began, Lewis seemed to run out of steam. He ended up allowing four runs (three earned) on eight hits with four strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings. He threw 89 pitches (56 strikes). Not bad for his first outing on a big league mound since July 2012.
PFP helps: Lewis got a chance to test his hip with two fielding plays Monday. The first was a routine play off the mound and a throw to first on a soft bouncer from Corey Hart. But the second, a ground ball to first from Abraham Almonte in the fifth, required Lewis to run all the way to the bag, where he received Prince Fielder's throw and barely got the runner. The hip looked fine on both plays.
Scoreless streak snapped: Catcher Mike Zunino's home run -- a crushing blow halfway up Greene's Hill at 422 feet -- in the fifth inning ended the Mariners' scoreless streak at 21 innings. They hadn't scored since early in Saturday's game.
No stealing for you: The Rangers' catchers are making it difficult on opposing baserunners. Arencibia was the latest to do it, making a terrific throw to second to get Michael Saunders after he hit a one-out single in the fourth. It was Arencibia's first caught-stealing of the season. Rangers catchers are 5-for-9 on throwing runners out this season (Robinson Chirinos is 4-for-4).
Briefly: Michael Choice had a hit and a walk Monday, and has played well so far this homestand. ... Hector Noesi made his Rangers debut against one of his former teams. The long reliever ate innings in a blowout game, allowing no runs on one hit with two strikeouts in 2 1/3 innings. Shawn Tolleson pitched the ninth, issuing a walk and getting a strikeout.
Up next: Game 2 of this four-game series takes place at 7:05 p.m. on FSSW and ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM. Left-handed pitcher Robbie Ross (0-0, 1.74 ERA) takes on former Rangers right-handed pitcher Blake Beavan (season debut).