Texas wins, 9-5. The Mariners' losing streak grows to a season-high seven games. Over the last three games, Seattle has been outscored 28-6.
Here's some of the clubhouse reaction:
Manager ERIC WEDGEOn Joe Saunders: He struggled tonight. He still battled: got us through five innings. But he still threw a lot of pitches. He made some mistakes and they got to him. The two home run balls were big. But I was pleased with us offensively. A lot of at bats, a lot of hits, played all the way through. But it was tough to be down early like that.
On the odd double-play call in the second inning: Everybody was focused on the bag. I thought he came off the bag, so that was what I was out there arguing. I didn’t come to find out until later with the replay that he didn’t even catch the ball. We were half blocked off in there. You’ve got a bunch of things going on out there, so I was out there arguing for that, but then after the fact I obviously found out it was a different story. … It would have been a much bigger argument if I had known that at the time, no doubt about it.
On catcher Jesus Sucre's debut: I thought he did a nice job. Hit a couple of balls hard, got his first hit. I thought he received the ball well, carried himself well out there.
On the tired bullpen: The bullpen has just been used quite a bit. Our starters have been struggling going through the last week, and you see the results of it. But we’ve got to handle it. We’ve got guys who have to step up here. We’ve got a lot of guys offensively who look like they’re headed in the right direction. I think we’re on the upswing there. I want to be more consistent there. I want to come back out here (Saturday) and bang the ball around again a little bit. But we’ve got to do a better job early in the ball game.
Catcher JESUS SUCREOn his first Major League hit: That was amazing. The people started yelling at me. I was feeling pretty excited about it.
Ninth: Nothing for the Rangers. The Mariners add a couple of runs, helped along by a nice couple of moments as Jesus Sucre got his first Major League hit – a single to left – and along with it a standing ovation from the crowd. He scored his first run a few seconds later on a double by Brendon Ryan.
The second out -- a fly to center -- was made by Carlos Triunfel, sent on as a pinch hitter after being recalled earlier in the day from Tacoma.
Seventh: Rangers add three and now lead, 9-3.
Sixth: Farquhar in to pitch for Mariners. Saunders went five innings, allowing six earned runs, eight hits, two walks, seven strike outs and two home runs.
Rangers go in order. Mariners get a couple of singles, but nothing across. Texas, 6-3.
Fifth: Rangers get two on, but nothing across as Pierzynski hits into double play. Mariners go 1-2-3. Texas, 6-3.
Fourth: Rangers pick up another, but it could have been worse. First three runners reach, but only one comes home on Elvis Andrus sac fly. Rangers, 6-3. Mariners go down in order.
Third: Towering three-run home run into Edgar's Cantina by Lance Berkman. Texas, 5-2. Then Mariners got one back with a two-out rally on consecutive singles by Morales, Morse and Ibanez. The inning ended with Smoak sending one to the warning track. Texas, 5-3.
Second: Texas jumps ahead 2-1 on a two-run home run to right by Jeff Baker. (Beltre had just missed leading off the inning with a home run, but it drifted foul by a few feet.) In the bottom half, Ibanez and Smoak open the inning with singles. But newcomer Jesus Sucre grounds into a double play. But then Brendan Ryan doubles to pull Mariners even, 2-2.
First inning: Three up, three down for Safeco Joe. In the bottom half, Seager hits a two-out double to the wall, and Morales brings hin home with a sharp single. Mariners, 1-0.
Real first pitch: ... has been thrown by Joe Saunders. We're under way.
Ceremonial first pitch: ... thrown by ESPN superstar and News Tribune alum John Clayton.
Pregame: There is plenty of off-field news going on with the club, as you can see from the Ryan Divish posts below. However, eventually they will get around to playing a ball game, and here's the lineup that at the Mariners will roll at at 7:10 against the Texas Rangers.
Meanwhile, here's some of what general manager Jack Zduriencik had to say about the developments around his ball club:
As we watched what Triunfel did in spring training, we watched a little bit last year of course, and you watch what he’s done this year, I think all of us – the whole organization – felt that this is a guy who’s a pretty good defensive player, he’s got a great throwing arm, and there was going to be a point in time when we needed to see him up here at the big league level. We thought that was important. The timing of all of these things, you just decide when it is. And he’s got almost two months down there in Triple-A, he’s been very successful there, and you get to the point where you make a decision on this player going forward as well as the other factors. And I think with Robert Andino’s situation, we signed him this year to be a back-up infielder and we thought it would probably be a short-term deal, and then you just evaluate where you’re at, where you’re going, what you’re tying to accomplish, and I think with Triunfel that he deserves a chance to be up here right in front of our eyes so we can watch this kid play.
On sending Jesus Montero to Tacoma: For him, this was a lot. We kind of pulled the reigns back a little bit, give him an opportunity to play first base down there, which we think will help his versatility for us going forward. So if he becomes a first base/DH/catcher, he adds three things he can do now to help our big league club as we continue to go on. But more than anything else, I think he needed to go somewhere where he can get his swing back and his stroke back and take the big league pressure off of him and watch this guy produce, because I think everyone in this organization has seen last year – as a 22-year-old rookie, 15 home runs; and watch some of the balls he’s hit this year – I think we’ve seen some very, very nice flashes out of him, we just haven’t seen the consistency that we’d like to. So we take the pressure of being an everyday catcher off of him, and give him the chance to catch, first base and DH. We’re anxious to see how that works out.
On how raw Montero is at first: Well, he’s a catcher, so you’ve got to figure that his hands are pretty good. You put him at first base, you’d think that would be a positive. He’s got a big body. He got a really good throwing arm. But there are all the nuances of playing that position that he’s not accomplished. He’s gone out here and taken ground balls at different positions, and I think there have been a lot of guys who have made the transition.
On if the hitting stroke might return sooner without having to learn a new position: It isn’t the big leagues, and I think that’s the biggest pressure that a guy faces, when you have to go behind the plate and squat 130, 140, 150 times a game and catch pitchers that are pretty good. I think that stress level would be higher than him going down there and playing first base, learning a new position. From our standpoint he just has to get back on track, so you take all of these things that I just said and give him that opportunity to do it in Tacoma.