BY SPNW Staff 04:48PM 08/09/2015

Game recap: Mariners 4, Rangers 2

It’s party time in the dugout after Jesus Montero’s two-run homer put the Mariners ahead to stay. / Alan Chitlik, Sportspress Northwest


Jesus Montero and Nelson Cruz smacked home runs and Felix Hernandez continued his long mastery of the Texas Rangers as the Mariners (52-60) won 4-2 Sunday in front of 29,939 at Safeco Field to take the series 2-1. Hernandez, who fell behind 2-0 after three innings, tied Pittsburgh’s Gerrit Cole for the most wins in the majors at 14 (box score).

Essential moment

After Ketel Marte cut the Texas lead to 2-1 in the third with an RBI single, Montero blasted a two-out, two-run homer in the fourth to stake Seattle to a 3-2 lead. Cruz provided the Mariners with an insurance run in the sixth with a solo shot to left, his 33rd of the season.


Cruz matched the Angels’ Mike Trout for the AL lead, extended his hitting streak to 19 games and his extra-base hitting streak to nine. The 19-game streak is the longest by a Mariner since Mike Carp hit in 20 consecutive from July 30-Aug. 21, 2011, and his nine consecutive games with an extra-base hit is the longest since Ken Griffey Jr. had a 10-game streak in 1993. Cruz has 12 home runs since the All-Star break, most in the majors. Only nine of Cruz’s 33 home runs have come at Safeco Field . . . Marte played in center and went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a stolen base at the top of the lineup. The RBI and stolen base were the first of his MLB career.


Hernandez (14-6, 3.11) allowed two runs on six hits with five strikeouts and a walk in giving the Mariners their 65th quality start, second-highest total in the American League. Hernandez, who departed after seven innings with a 4-2 lead, is 94-6 when the Mariners score four or more runs. Hernandez has 15 victories the Rangers, his most against any team. He is also 6-0 in his past six starts against AL West opponents . . . Fernando Rodney threw a shaky but ultimately successful eighth inning and Carson Smith nailed down his 12th save with a less-than-perfect ninth.


“We continue to swing the bats pretty decent. We had some really quality at-bats. As far as  (Nelson Cruz) goes,  I don’t know where we’d be without him. His productivity is unbelievable. His numbers are almost jaw dropping” — Manager Lloyd McClendon.

“I was just looking for a fastball all the way. He hung that pitch in there and I hit it all the way. I was just trying to hit the ball hard. I’m just happy to help the team win and I’m happy to be here” — Montero.


The Mariners have won five of their past seven, seven of their past nine against Texas and are 6-3 following a four-game losing streak . . . The Mariners improved to 24-32 at Safeco Field, to 12-16-8 in series played and 16-21 in day games . . . OF Franklin Gutierrez was held out of Sunday’s game with the flu . . . LHP James Paxton threw a 25-pitch bullpen session before the game, the first time he’s worked off a mound since going on the disabled list May 28 with an injury to his left middle finger. The Mariners don’t have a timetable for Paxton’s return.


The Mariners begin a three-game series with the Baltimore Orioles at 7:05 p.m. Monday at Safeco Field. LHP Vidal Nuno (0-0, 2.99) makes his second start since joining the rotation and will oppose RHP Chris Tillman (8-7, 4.35).


  • kailymortin
  • bevdog

    What would the Mariner’s record be if Montero had started the season at catcher instead of “strikeout” Zunino?
    Remember Montero has played catcher most of his baseball career and his major league 162 defensive game averages at catcher are acceptable when considering his offensive potential as opposed to Zunino’s.
    Think of the lineup with him at catcher. Clears up the logjam at 1b with Trumbo and Morrison and at dh also.

  • Rj Smith

    It would be awful because he is no longer a catcher. When he was a catcher, it is well known his game calling/defense were mediocre to averse at best. I am all in for him taking plate appearances from Morrison, who is just plain awful.