The Mariners’ hitting woes continued in a 7-3 loss to the Texas Rangers Monday night (box). In front of a small crowd of 13,468 at Safeco Field, the Mariners tied the club record set in 1992 of four consecutive losses to begin a home season. The Mariners have gone 0-3 (or 0-4) in their first home series five times, last in 2011.
After Nelson Cruz’s RBI double in the first inning, Texas starter Colby Lewis retired 13 consecutive batters. By the fifth inning, he had a 3-1 lead. By the top of the eighth, the Rangers had opened up a 7-1 advantage. Cruz drove in the other runs with a two-run homer.
A week’s worth of games, and still no Mariners starting pitcher has a W next to his name. Hisashi Iwakuma was the latest starter to come up short, allowing three runs off eight hits over six innings. Iwakuma rebounded from some serious trouble in the second, third and fourth innings and was able to do enough to keep the Mariners within striking distance. LHP Mike Montgomery came on in the seventh and had a rough outing (2 IP, 6 H, 4 ER).
With a shuffled lineup that had 3B Kyle Seager in the No. 2 spot and SS Ketel Marte hitting eighth, the Mariners didn’t look much different than they have all homestand. They couldn’t generate any momentum from the 1-0 lead. Cruz provided the only offense with his second home run of the season. Through the first four of the six-game homestand, Seattle has seven runs and 22 hits.
“Just to have him here, it means the world. I’ve still got goose bumps. He taught me the game and taught me to love the game. Just to be able to do that in front of him, it’s just a memory I’ll never forget. As far as memories go, that’ll be No. 1.” – Texas C Brett Nicholas, making his debut while playing in front of his grandfather, 92-year-old Frank McCabe, who traveled from his home near Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma
In three of the years the Mariners started 0-3 at home, they lost 90+ games. In only one year, 1991, did they start 0-3 at home and finish with a winning record, 83-79, after which manager Jim Lefebvre was fired . . . RHP Joaquin Benoit, the main setup man, is expected to be sidelined for a few games while dealing with tightness in his right shoulder and back. Benoit, 38, is in his first season with the Mariners after signing as a free agent . . .Seattle LHP Charlie Furbush took a small step toward returning to the mound Monday when he began throwing on the side. There is still no timetable for Furbush’s season debut. He’s been battling soreness in his shoulder. He missed the final three months of last season . . . Nicholas was promoted from Triple-A over the weekend, after C Robinson Chirinos went on the 60-day disabled list. Nicholas, 26, left tickets for McCabe, a Tacoma-area baseball legend who used to pitch for a civilian team at Fort Lewis . . . Rangers reliever Keone Kela, who came on in the eighth, attended Chief Sealth High School in West Seattle and Everett Community College.
LHP Wade Miley (0-0, 7.50 ERA) makes his Mariners home debut Tuesday night after struggling in his first outing last week. The Rangers tagged him for seven hits and five runs in six innings in Arlington. Miley faces fellow lefty Derek Holland (0-0, 5.40 ERA), who has missed most of the past two seasons with knee (2014) and shoulder (2015) injuries.