A hot September for the Mariners (72-77) cooled Saturday night Arlington, TX., in a 10-1 loss to the Rangers largely decided by former Seattle third baseman Adrian Beltre, who smacked a two-run double with the bases loaded in the fourth and singled in a run in the fifth (box). Beltre was on base his first four times, helping put Seattle starter Vidal Nuno out of his misery early.
No one moment decided it. The Rangers, whose 12-6 record in September is the American League’s best, scored multiple runs in four innings. They finished with 23 base runners against eight Seattle pitchers, topped not by Beltre but by another ex-Mariner, Shin-Soo Choo, who reached base in his first five times. Choo had two hits, two walks and was hit by a pitch.
The Mariners had seven hits, went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and stranded seven. Franklin Gutierrez smacked his 14th home run of the season in the second inning off Texas starter Cole Hamels. But Hamels otherwise dominated with 12 strikeouts and no walks in seven innings. Ketel Marte had two hits, both doubles.
Nuno lasted only 3.1 innings and allowed five earned runs on five hits with three strikeouts and four walks. Last week in Seattle, Nuno shut out the Rangers over seven innings on one hit and two walks while striking out 10.
Reliever Jose Ramirez coughed up three earned runs on three hits while recording only one out, while Mayckol Guaipe yielded two earned runs while getting just two outs.
“We got through it as best we could. Nuno just wasn’t very sharp today. He pitched behind in the count quite a bit. It was just one of those days” — Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon
Nelson Cruz was limited to DH duties for the ninth consecutive game because of a strained quadriceps muscle. McClendon said Cruz could return to right field during Seattle’s next series at Kansas City.
The rubber game is at noon Sunday PT. Felix Hernandez (17-9), who still has a chance at 20 wins, will contest Derek Holland (3-2). Hernandez is 4-0 against Texas this season with a 1.57 ERA.