The Mariners out-slugged the mighty Rangers offense again, piling up 11 hits on the way to a 6-3 win Friday night to take three out of four in the series (box). It also marked the first time since Aug. 18-19 that Seattle (72-68) has won back-to-back games. The Mariners made up a half game in the AL wild-card standings, moving 4½ behind Baltimore. The Rangers won the season series 12-7.
Kyle Seager, Texas Rangers-killer, struck again. His two-run homer in the seventh inning gave the Mariners breathing room. Seager hit a 3-2 pitch from struggling Texas reliever Jake Diekman into the rightfield seats for a 6-3 advantage.
The groans were audible among the 17,493 fans at Safeco Field when starter Taijuan Walker lived up to his surname, giving out a free pass on four pitches to the leadoff batter before walking No. 2 hitter Ian Desmond. It seemed like another one of those nights for the frustrating young pitcher.
Walker eventually found the strike zone and made it through five innings before leaving with a 4-3 lead, but it was another mediocre performance (7H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO). Walker had a lot of questions that needed answers coming off his last start, and he provided few.
Veterans Evan Scribner and Nick Vincent made the lead hold in the sixth and seventh innings. Since coming off the disabled list, Scribner has thrown 3.2 scoreless innings while allowing two hits.
Seattle’s platoon hitters had a big series, with 1B Dae-Ho Lee providing another big hit. His second-inning solo homer was Lee’s first since July 31. Seager chipped in with three hits, including his 27th homer. Lee, Guillermo Heredia and Leonys Martin each added two hits. Seattle finished the series with 35 runs, one short of the Safeco Field record for most runs by one team in a four-game seriies (Detroit scored 36 runs in 2000).
“We are not done.I know a lot of people want to write us off, but we’ve still got some baseball left to be played.” — Mariners manager Scott Sevais
“It was like: OK, this is not going to work. But I stuck with it. It’s a small step forward. I’ve just got to keep working.” – Walker, talking about the two walks to open the game
The Mariners are in Oakland Friday night, but that doesn’t mean Safeco Field will be empty. The Everett AquaSox are scheduled to host the Spokane Indians in a Northwest League playoff game at 7:15 p.m. . . . Seattle has two more homestands: Sept. 16-21 and Sept. 29-Oct. 2 . . . Heredia had two hits, but his biggest play came when the rookie leftfielder threw out a Texas runner at home plate in the third inning.
Fading veteran Hisashi Iwakuma will get another chance to get back on track when the Mariners open a three-game series in Oakland at 7 p.m. Friday. Iwakuma (14-11, 4.01 ERA) has lost his past three starts, but he’s 3-0 with a 3.29 ERA against the A’s this season. Oakland starts RHP Daniel Mengden (1-6, 6.66 ERA).