Felix Hernandez entered Wednesday’s game at Globe Life Park with an opportunity to become the second Seattle pitcher in 40 years to go 5-0 in a calendar month (Jamie Moyer, August 2001). Instead, he was brutalized by the Texas Rangers, who bombed five home runs en route to a three-game sweep of the non-competitive Mariners with a 14-1 victory (box).
The eighth defeat in nine games and 11th in the past 18 extended Seattle’s (68-65) losing streak to five. Not that it matters, but the third-place Mariners, who allowed a season high in runs, fell 11.5 games back of Texas in the AL West and 4.5 in arrears of Baltimore for the second wild card.
The Rangers scored on a ground-ball out in the third (1-0), then unloaded on King Felix in the fourth, the big blow a grand slam by newly acquired LF Carlos Gomez on an 86 mph change-up that caught the inner half of the plate. Texas led 6-0 when Hernandez departed after four.
The Mariners had eight hits, including 3B Kyle Seager’s 25th homer of the year in the eighth. Seager has 86 RBIs.
1B Dae-Ho Lee had three hits, but the Mariners went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position and stranded nine.
Hernandez entered with a 4-0, 2.43 mark in five August starts, but had nothing in his shortest outing of the season. Hernandez threw 86 pitches, a whopping 41 in the fourth, second-highest total of his career over the first four innings of a game. He threw 92 in the first four against the Angels Sept. 22, 2013. Hernandez walked four and all scored.
The Rangers had two-run homer from Adrian Beltre (fifth inning off Vidal Nuno), a two-run shot by Rougned Odor (seventh off Arquimedes Caminero), a solo by Ryan Rua (eighth off Pat Venditte), and a three-run jolt by Odor (eighth off Venditte).
Nuno and Caminero worked a combined 2.1 innings and allowed four earned runs. Switch-handed pitcher Venditte made his second appearance for Seattle and also allowed four earned runs.
“We had a rough day on the mound, obviously. We had to get Felix out of there and then the bullpen didn’t do anything. These things happen once in a while. But it was not our day and it got out of hand late. That can happen in this ballpark. It was a rough trip, no doubt, very disappointing. This month certainly did not end on a positive note. We just need to pick it up when we get home.” — Mariners manager Scott Servais
Servais said he doesn’t expect LHP James Paxton to miss his next start. Paxton tore the nail on the middle finger of his pitching hand during the third inning Tuesday . . . The Mariners concluded the road swing 1-6 and fell to 4-11 this season against the Rangers. Seattle has four remaining against Texas at Safeco Field . . . The Mariners are 20-15-8 in overall series, 9-8-5 on the road . . . DH Nelson Cruz sat out his second consecutive game with a nerve problem in his left hand. The injury happened while checking his swing in Sunday’s 4-1 loss to the White Sox . . . Servais said the club is likely to add four to five players Friday when rosters can be expanded for the final month. Servais said additional players will be added when club affiliates, such as the AAA Tacoma Rainiers, finish their seasons.
After an off-day Thursday, the Mariners begin a three-game set with the Angels Friday at 7:10 p.m. at Safeco Field. LHP Ariel Miranda (1-1, 4.98) will throw for Seattle opposite LHP Brett Oberholtzer (1-0, 7.00).