The Mariners have their first three-game winning streak of 2015. It took almost a month, but with a 5-2 victory Wednesday over the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington, (box score) the Mariners improved to 10-11 with their first road sweep over the Rangers since a four-gamer in April, 2002.
1B Logan Morrison entered Wednesday batting a .149 with one homer and two RBIs. Part of it was bad luck. Part of it was him struggling. But with the game tied at 2 in the fifth, he broke though with a bases-loaded double that skipped past 1B Kyle Blanks down the right-field line, driving in two go-ahead runs.
Even without his best stuff, RHP Felix Hernandez (4-0) showed he can breeze his way to a quality start. The King allowed two runs on five hits and a walk over 6.2 innings. He struck out four, but mostly stayed out of trouble other than the second inning, when he gave up an RBI double to Carlos Peguero and an RBI single to Carlos Corporan.
Hernandez, 29, surpassed Jamie Moyer for the most innings pitched in club history, 2,095.1 to 2,093.
RHP Danny Farquhar pitched a perfect 1.1 innings and closer Fernando Rodney worked a 1-2-3 ninth, notching his third save in as many games and seventh of the season.
In the first, RF Nelson Cruz obliterated a ball off LHP Wandy Rodriguez into the club level in left field. According to MLB’s Statcast, the solo blast was estimated at 483 feet, longest in the big leagues this season, and came off his bat at 116 miles per hour. Prior to Cruz, Josh Donaldson had the longest at 481 feet.
Meanwhile, Morrison tried to make up for a tough April in one night, going 4-for-5 to lift his average to .194.
“Our pitching is starting to come around,” manager Lloyd McClendon said. “They’re really starting to command the strike zone. When you command the strike zone with your fastball you got a chance to be successful. Our starters did a real nice job of that, which makes their secondary stuff even better.”
After 146 consecutive starts, 3B Kyle Seager sat out Wednesday with a sore left thumb, but the injury doesn’t appear serious. It was the first time he was out of the starting lineup since May 10, 2014. “It’s not too bad,” Seager told MLB.com of his thumb. “If you take a good swing it feels good. If you take a bad swing it feels bad. If it gets jammed, obviously it vibrates you pretty good. But if you’re hitting the ball on the barrel or putting good swings on it, you don’t even feel it.” Seager is 4-for-21 over his last six games. Willie Bloomquist started in his place . . . Cruz’s 10 home runs are tied with Red Sox SS Hanley Ramirez for tops in MLB . . . LHP Danny Hultzen will make his first start of the season Friday with Double-A Jackson. The No. 2 pick in the 2011 MLB draft spent April in extended spring training as he works his way back from rotator cuff and labrum surgery that forced him to miss the 2014 season. His last start was with Triple-A Tacoma in September 2013 . . . Rodney has pitched in four straight games . . . Hernandez threw a season-high 114 pitches.
LHP James Paxton (0-2, 6.86 ERA) gets the nod against the Houston Astros as he tries to end a poor first month on an uptick. It won’t be easy. At 14-7, the first-place Astros have won six in a row and 10 of 11. They start RHP Scott Feldman (2-2, 4.81 ERA) in the opener of a four-game series.