The Seattle Mariners (18-12) dropped a 15-1 loss to the Texas Rangers on Saturday night at T-Mobile Park.
Here are three takeaways from the loss.
1. LEAKE LOSES THIRD STRAIGHT
Mariners right-hander Mike Leake (2-3, 4.98 ERA) recorded his third loss in as many starts, allowing nine runs (five earned) on 10 hits in five innings. He struck out four batters and walked one.
“It was not a great start, and it didn’t really finish that great either,” Leake said.
He was tagged with a pair of three-run homers by Elvis Andrus and Rougned Odor in the first and second innings, and allowed two more runs in the third, and one in the fifth.
“The one on Andrus, he was ready on the first pitch. It wasn’t a terrible pitch,” Leake said. “The other one wasn’t terrible either, (Odor) was just ready again.”
“They were on him,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “Mike did make a few mistakes. The home run pitches were in the middle of the plate after the errors. But, again, it’s a team loss. A lot of guys just didn’t have their best games tonight.”
Leake, who has routinely worked through six innings for Seattle this season, threw 98 pitches in his shorter-than-usual start. It was the first time in six starts this season Leake has given up double-digit hits and more than four runs.
2. EARLY ERRORS COSTLY
Leake’s six-run allowance in the first two innings may have turned out differently if a pair of early fielding errors hadn’t contributed.
After Leake walked Shin-Soo Choo to open the game, Mariners shortstop Tim Beckham bobbled the ball on a grounder that could have resulted in at least one out. Andrus hit his homer in the following at-bat.
In the second, after Leake allowed a one-out double to Logan Forsythe, Mariners center fielder Mallex Smith tracked down a Jeff Mathis fly ball, but dropped it, and both runners were safe. Odor hit his home run two batters later.
“We’ve got to play good defense, and certainly we made some costly errors that didn’t help out Mike Leake at all tonight,” Servais said.
The Mariners recorded three errors in the game, pushing their MLB lead in that category to 33 in 30 games. Beckham’s nine errors lead the majors.
“Errors are errors,” Servais said. “Certainly the runs that they led to after the errors hurt, and really dictated which way the ballgame was going to go.
“Defense, we’ve had good stretches where we’ve played better, and we’ve had some games like tonight. Games like tonight it’s hard to overcome that.”
3. FIRST LOOK AT WRIGHT
Seattle got its first look at right-handed reliever Mike Wright, who was activated ahead of Saturday’s game, in the sixth.
Wright struggled in 10 relief appearances with Baltimore this season — where he compiled a 9.45 ERA in 13 1/3 innings — before he was designated for assignment on April 21. Some of those early issues resurfaced in his two innings against the Rangers.
Wright threw 37 pitches to get through the sixth, and allowed Texas to tack on its 10th run on a two-out RBI double by Hunter Pence. He then walked Joey Gallo and hit Danny Santana with a pitch to load the bases before striking out Logan Forsythe to retire the side.
The seventh was better, but Wright allowed two more hits, and spent 58 pitches across his two innings. He allowed the one run on three hits, struck out three and walked two in his outing.
“He threw a lot of pitches out there tonight,” Servais said. “I don’t think it’s going to be an issue with him. He’s a multi-inning guy. He has started in the past.
“But, we’ve got some work to do. We’ve got to throw a few things at him, we’ve got some ideas to try to help him out and that’s kind of the position he’s in at this point in his career. We’ll do everything we can to try to help him and get more out of him and see where it leads to.”