Sunday, March 3, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Mariners 7, Rangers 6
By Ron Matejko
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Texas Rangers (2-7-1) dropped their second game in three days to the division rival Seattle Mariners (9-1) after a 7-6 loss on Sunday at Surprise Stadium.
What this means:
Texas lost for the second time in three games and has just two wins in 10 spring games. The Rangers were seeking to win consecutive games for the first time this spring.
Texas loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the ninth and trailing by two, but could only plate one run.
Seattle led 6-0 going into the bottom of the third inning before seeing Texas battle back and nearly pull out the victory.
Starter Justin Grimm was slated to go three innings but only lasted 2.1 frames after allowing six runs on six hits and walking two. He did strike out four, but allowed four extra base hits, including two home runs. Grimm is a contender for the fifth spot in the rotation but has allowed nine earned runs in 4.1 innings during two spring appearances. He also allowed five earned runs in 0.2 innings during an intrasquad game on Feb. 19.
Rookie shortstop Jurickson Profar had his second error of the spring on a wide relay throw during an attempted double play in the third inning. Michael Saunders, who hit the ground ball, scored in front of Jesus Montero, whose home run in the next at bat gave Seattle a 6-0 lead and knocked Grimm from the game.
Two for one:
LF David Murphy went 2-for-2 with a pair of singles and a walk while batting third Sunday. He entered the game with three hits in 15 previous spring at bats and raised his average from .200 to .294.
Rangers closer Joe Nathan made his spring debut Sunday and had to work a little bit harder than hoped during his one inning of work. Nathan didn't allow a run but threw 24 pitches while giving up one hit and walking a batter.
Texas also left the bases loaded in the third and fourth innings and left 13 men on base for the game.
Texas threatened for a big inning in the fourth but impatience at the plate may have kept the Rangers from scoring more than one run. Profar batted with runners at first and third and one out, but popped out to second base. After a Lance Berkman walk, Ian Kinsler came to bat with the bases loaded but was also first-pitch swinging and flew out to center.
Texas plays its second game of a spring-high, three-game homestand when it hosts the San Diego Padres on Monday at 2:05 p.m. CT. RHP Yu Darvish (0-0, 0.00) will make his second start of the spring. LHP Eric Stults (0-1, 36.00) is scheduled to start for San Diego.