The Mariners can’t take many more days like Friday.
They lost their best starting pitcher when James Paxton was placed on the disabled list because of a strained forearm muscle. They decided their starting catcher, Mike Zunino, required another remedial tour in the minors.
They then suffered a 3-1 loss to Texas in 13 innings that saw them go 0-for-12 with runners in scoring position, provide the Rangers with a gift run by failing to make a catch in the outfield and lose two more pitchers to injury.
Jean Machi couldn’t feel the ball with his thumb because of a nerve problem, and Evan Marshall suffered what appears to be a severely pulled right hamstring. Those injuries occurred within a three-pitch sequence in the 11th inning.
The end came shortly after Rougned Odor hit a two-run homer against rookie right-hander Emilio Pagan, who has had a rough start to his big-league career.
Three takeaways from Friday’s loss:
***Gallardo steps up: Let’s start with a positive. Right-hander Yovani Gallardo gave up just one soft run in six innings.
That’s no small thing because, right now, Gallardo is the only healthy member of what the Mariners once projected as their rotation.
Felix Hernandez, Drew Smyly and Paxton are on the disabled list, and Hisashi Iwakuma is nursing a sore left knee after being hit Tuesday by a line drive. Iwakuma is expected to make his next start.
***Gamel’s roller-coaster: Just 24 hours after a breakout performance, rookie right fielder Ben Gamel had one of those nights that players cite as the game’s way of keeping everyone humble.
Gamel failed to make a catch the he should have made in the first inning, and it resulted in Texas’ first run — the only run the Rangers scored until Rougned Odor’s two-run homer in the 13th inning.
At the plate, Gamel was 1-for-6 with three strikeouts, including a key strikeout in the 11th inning when he failed to execute a bunt after Jean Segura’s leadoff double. A successful bunt puts Segura at third with one out for middle of the order.
***Why Pagan?: The Mariners, for the second time in three days, called on Pagan in a tight game. He gave up three runs in one-third of an inning Wednesday against the Angels in hi big-league debut.
Pagan was better this time. He got the final out in the 11th inning after replacing Marshall and pitched a one-two-three 12th before issuing a leadoff walk in the 13th and then grooving a fastball that Odor rocked for a two-run homer.
Manager Scott Servais used Pagan, who wasn’t even on the 40-man roster until Tuesday, because his only other available option was lefty Dillon Overton, who might need to start Sunday in place of Paxton.
The Mariners didn’t use right-hander Tony Zych, but they wanted to stay away from him. Zych pitched Thursday, and the Mariners are trying to avoid using him on back-to-back days because he underwent shoulder surgery in the offseason.
Bob Dutton: @TNT_Mariners