A ninth-inning single by Leonys Martin off closer Fernando Rodney brought in the winning run in the Rangers’ 4-3 triumph Saturday night at Safeco Field, the Mariners’ fifth consecutive loss, all at home. Seattle starter Erasmo Ramirez pitched five shutout innings, but this time it was the normally reliable bullpen that gave up all the runs.
The Mariners, 14-20 at home, and Rangers are tied at 34-34, with the series-ender Sunday to break the deadlock for third in the American League West. The Mariners have scored 10 runs in their last five games, 27 in their last 10.
With one out in the ninth, Luis Sardinas singled and went to second on an infield out. Martin leaned out to slap a Rodney two-strike fastball past Kyle Seager at third base.
The Mariners tied the game at 3 in the seventh when Robinson Cano’s sinking liner dropped in front of RF Alex Rios for a bases-loaded single that scored Willie Bloomquist. He and James Jones each singled and Cole Gillespie was safe on Sardinas’s error on a potential double-play grounder to load the bases.
But after Cano’s single, Dustin Ackley popped out Logan Morrison struck out. The Mariners went out meekly thereafter, leaving eight runners on base.
The Mariners scored their first run in 21 innings in the fifth when John Buck led off with a single and went to third on Seager’s single. Stefen Romero’s sacrifice fly scored Buck. But Seager killed the inning when he attempted to go from second to third on a grounder to short and was thrown out easily.
After Ramirez finished his best stint of the year by denying the Rangers despite three hits and four walks, Danny Farquhar came on in the sixth and gave up three runs, the final two on a two-run homer by C Robinson Chirinos. He scored Adrian Beltre, who doubled in Shin-Soo Choo, who singled.
The Mariners pulled one back in the sixth when Cano made a great slide at home to avoid a tag by Chirinos, the confirmation requiring one of the game’s four replay reviews. Buck had the RBI single.
The Mariners had a bases-loaded, one-out opportunity in the third, but Gillespie hit into a 6-4-3 double play.
For the fourth time in his career, Felix Hernandez lost a 1-0 game Friday. But he has been the winning pitcher in a club-record seven 1-0 victories (last: Aug. 27, 2012 at Minnesota). Friday also marked the 37th start of his career to allow one or fewer runs and not record a win, most among active pitchers . . . The shutout Friday was the Mariners’ eighth, second in the AL behind Tampa’s 10 . . . The runs off Farquhar were the second, third and fourth off the bullpen in 38 innings back to May 30.