Sunday, August 18, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Mariners 4, Rangers 3
By Todd Wills
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers lost another home series to the Seattle Mariners. Yu Darvish struggled in his first start since losing a no-hitter in the eighth inning in Houston, and the offense continued to go powerless in a 4-3 loss Sunday afternoon at Rangers Ballpark.
Seager again: The Rangers allowed Kyle Seager to have a chance to decide Sunday's game, and they paid for it. Closer Joe Nathan walked Nick Franklin to put runners at first and second with two outs in the top of the ninth. Nathan got ahead of Seager with an 0-2 count, but the Rangers killer battled back, ripping a double down the right-field line for a 4-3 lead.
Keep responding: Three times the Rangers scored a run after the Mariners took the lead in the top of the inning. Mitch Moreland had a sacrifice fly in the fifth for a 1-1 tie. Adrian Beltre had a clutch two-out single to tie the game 2-2 in the bottom of the sixth after Elvis Andrus and Ian Kinsler had failed to score Craig Gentry from third base. Andrus came through with a one-out double in the bottom of the eighth to score Gentry from first base and tie the game 3-3.
No relief: Manager Ron Washington stuck with Darvish to start the eighth inning with his ace at 105 pitches. Darvish responded by walking Seager on four pitches to open the inning. Then Kendrys Morales had a single to left that Gentry almost made a diving catch on. Darvish struck out Justin Smoak for the first out and turned the game over to Robbie Ross with the Rangers' starter at 120 pitches. Ross got a fly ball for the second out but allowed an RBI single to Dustin Ackley to put Texas down 3-2.
ESPN Insider and senior MLB analyst Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett for his weekly segment to discuss the Rangers and MLB replay.
Erratic Darvish: It wasn't Darvish's cleanest start of the season, but he kept the Rangers in the game. Darvish allowed two hits through the first four innings. His last 3 1/3 innings were more difficult as nine of 18 Mariners reached base. Still, Darvish gave up only three runs. He did excellent work in the top of the seventh after walking No. 8 hitter Endy Chavez and allowing a single to catcher Humberto Quintero. Darvish induced Brad Miller to ground into a double play and struck out Franklin.
Shoddy defense: The Rangers handed the Mariners a run in the top of the fifth. After Michael Saunders' leadoff single, Ackley was credited with a single on a chopper that Moreland fielded in front of first base but didn't make a play on. Saunders stole third base to put runners at first and third. Chavez followed by hitting a ground ball right at the first-base bag. Moreland went for two outs, as he should have, but got only the out at first. Saunders scored for a 1-0 Seattle lead.
Power outage: The Rangers haven't homered since Moreland's solo shot in the third inning of Tuesday's 5-1 loss to Milwaukee. That's 40 consecutive innings without a long ball.
Up next: The Rangers open a three-game series against the Houston Astros, who they have beaten 11 out of 13 times this season. The pitching matchups are: Monday, right-hander Matt Garza (8-2, 3.40 ERA) versus Lucas Harrell; Tuesday, TBA versus right-hander Jarred Cosart (1-0, 1.15); and Wednesday, left-hander Derek Holland (9-6, 2.95) versus left-hander Erik Bedard (3-9, 4.49). All three games are at 7:05 p.m. and on Fox Sports Southwest and ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and 1540 AM.