For the third consecutive outing, Hisashi Iwakuma pitched eight dominant innings, leading the Mariners to a 6-2 victory over the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park Tuesday. Iwakuma (3-0, 1.76 ERA) allowed six hits, one walk and two runs while striking out three.
After losing four in a row, Seattle (22-22) has won two with with Felix Hernandez and Iwakuma pitching back-to-back. With the rehab progress of young starters James Paxton and Taijuan Walker, who each threw simulated games Tuesday afternoon, the Mariners’ rotation is nearing the vision seen in spring training.
For the second game in a row, the offense clicked, churning out 12 hits and three walks for six runs, most of the damage coming against Texas starter Colby Lewis.
Along with Yu Darvish, Lewis (3-3, 5.40 ERA) is a rare Rangers’ starter to avoid injury. Three projected starters for Ron Washington’s club — Derek Holland, Matt Harrison and Martin Perez — are all on the disabled list.
Seattle sliced and diced Lewis over the course of six innings, generating five runs off nine hits, all singles, in building a 5-2 lead before Washington went to the bullpen for the final three innings.
The damage started in the third. The Mariners sent eight men to the plate and scored four runs. With one out, Kyle Seager came through with a two-run bloop single with the bases loaded.
In the fourth, the M’s added another run to take a 5-1 lead on Robinson Cano’s second hit, a single to right field scoring Mike Zunino. The Mariners added one more in the seventh inning when Dustin Ackley doubled home Nick Franklin.
in his first game since being recalled, Franklin went 2-for-3 with an RBI He took the roster spot, and the position Tuesday, of designated hitter Corey Hart, who was placed on the 15-day DL with a grade-2 strain of his left hamstring. Hart is expected to miss four to six weeks.
Seager, Ackley and Cano all had multi-hit games and at least one RBI.
Adrian Beltre, who has hit Iwakuma well over his two years, put the Rangers on the scoreboard first with a solo home run in the second inning. Texas cut the lead to 5-2 in the fourth when Alex Rios singled home Elvis Andrus.
The series concludes starting at 11 a.m. PT Wednesday in a matchup that pits Chris Young against Nick Tepesch.
The eight-inning effort from Iwakuma marked the first time in his career that he has pitched at least eight innings in three consecutive starts . . . Paxton (lat strain) and Walker (shoulder impingement) threw 53 and 35-pitch simulated games respectively Tuesday. While it was the first for Walker, it was Paxton’s second simulated game and the left-hander appears ready for a minor-league rehab assignment within the week . . . OF/1B Logan Morrison (hamstring) was again a participant in the simulated games as he nears his own minor-league rehab assignment.