The Mariners won for the fourth time in five games, beating the surging Texas Rangers 4-3 Friday night at Safeco Field (box score). Home runs by Mark Trumbo, Nelson Cruz and Robinson Cano accounted for most of the offense, while closer Carson Smith got back on track to earn his 11th save.
Back-to-back home runs from Cruz and Cano in the sixth inning put the Mariners in front 4-3. Seattle’s bullpen made sure the lead held up this time.
Starter Hisashi Iwakuma was in bulldog mode, throwing a career-high (on this side of the Pacific) 118 pitches – 85 for strikes. Iwakuma allowed three runs off six hits over seven innings, but his numbers would have been significantly better if not for a couple of misplayed balls by Mark Trumbo in left field. Smith and the bullpen were in rare form, closing out the win without much drama.
Hitting three home runs off Texas ace Cole Hamels was a pretty good start, as Seattle piled up 10 hitsl. SS Ketel Marte continues to make noise at the top of the order, while Trumbo’s bat has really come alive. But Cruz was the star, hitting his 32nd homer of the season and his sixth in a span of seven games.
“He was in such a good groove, I didn’t want to mess that up.” –manager Lloyd McClendon, on moving Iwakuma up in the rotation to stay on his four days of rest
The Mariners have won six consecutive matchups with the Rangers . . . Marte and LHP Rob Rasmussen were making their home debuts Friday. Rasmussen was acquired in the Mark Lowe trade, while Marte was promoted from Triple-A Tacoma after the trade deadline . . . Hamels was making his second start since being traded from Philadelphia in a deadline deal . . . Hamels is 12-2 since 2014 when receiving three runs of support or more.
While a pair of left-handed starters will be on the mound in Seattle’s Mike Montgomery (4-4, 3.07 ERA) and the Rangers’ Martin Perez (1-2, 6.64 ERA), the most important southpaw on hand will be the one being honored before the game. Jamie Moyer’s induction into the Mariners Hall of Fame is scheduled to begin at 12:30 p.m. – and considering Moyer and his pinpoint accuracy, it probably won’t start a minute later.