1B Adam Lind hit a pair of home runs, including a first-inning grand slam, as the Mariners jumped out to a big early lead to pound Texas 8-3 Wednesday at Safeco Field (box). Starter Ariel Miranda turned in the finest outing of his career, allowing three unearned runs off three hits over six innings.
Up 1-0 after an RBI single from SS Ketel Marte, the Mariners loaded the bases off starter A.J. Griffen in the first inning, then Lind cleared them with his fourth career slam.
Miranda came a Marte error away from pitching a six-inning shutout. His only mistake came after Marte whiffed on a routine ground ball, keeping the sixth alive for Rangers slugger Carlos Beltran to deliver a three-run homer. Miranda pitched into the seventh, the longest outing of his major-league career, and kept the Texas bats mostly silent with a one-hitter into the sixth.
Nick Vincent, Steve Cishek and Edwin Diaz closed the door over the final three innings. Diaz’s ninth-inning performance, coming in a non-save situation, included a leadoff single before he got the next three outs – fanning pinch hitter Joey Gallo on a 100-mile-per-hour fastball – as he bounced back nicely from a blown save his last time out.
Lind wasn’t the only star. LF Seth Smith, hitting leadoff for only the second time this season, went 3-for-3 and scored three times. He had a double and a solo homer, driving in one run. The top six hitters provided the offense, as Leonys Martin, Mike Zunino and Ben Gamel combined to go 0-for-12 at the bottom of the order. Zunino struck out in each of his first three at-bats and is just 3-for-36 over his past 12 games.
“Anytime you can get out front and give your pitchers some room to work, it’s good for everybody.” — Smith
The Mariners have 56 multi-home run games this season, fifth-most in club history, trailing 1997 (78 such games), 1996 (68), 1998 (68) and 1999 (64). Thirty-three have come at Safeco Field, most in the history of the ballpark (previous: 2006, 26) . . . 2B Robinson Cano was in Wednesday’s lineup after leaving the previous night’s game with a sore ankle . . . The Mariners extended their contract with the Everett AquaSox on Wednesday, locking up the Single-A affiliate through 2020 . . . Rangers 3B Adrian Beltre had a streak of 12 consecutive games scoring a run snapped.
RHP Taijuan Walker gets another shot at 7:10 p.m. Thursday to impress the club’s bosses. The 24-year-old hasn’t done a lot to endear himself in Year 1 of the Scott Servais/Jerry Dipoto era. Walker (4-10, 4.60 ERA) could start by getting out of the first inning, something he couldn’t do his last time out. Texas will counter with another lefty in veteran Derek Holland (7-6, 4.57 ERA) as the clubs play for the final time this season.