Mariners Insider Blog

Mariners @ Rangers: It's Game No. 33!

Ichiro loves facing Texas, sporting a .334 career average against the Rangers, and Jason Vargas wouldn't mind a big night from his right fielder.

There may be tougher parks to make your debut with a team, but this one ranks up there with any - and Vargas has never thrown a pitch here.

Baptism by fire. And we're off.

So, you want to play THAT way

Vargas is holding his own, giving up a handful of long fly balls but keeping the Rangers in the ballpark so far.

The Marinres might have gotten him a run in the fourth, but after Ken Griffey Jr. singled, Adrian Beltre hit a shot toward left field - and rookie shortstop Elvis Andrus made a marvelous diving catch of it.

That took a bit of the air out of the inning, and the Mariners remain without a run. So does Texas, coming up in the bottom half of the fourth.

That's one

Vargas just gave up a long fly ball that didn't say in the park - a Chris Davis solo home run that put Texas ahead.

The lefty is changing speeds (73 mph to 88 mph)and locations well, has struck out two and walked two. He's also gotten deeper into the game already than Seattle would have expected from the man he's replacing, Carlos Silva.

If one run beats him, that's the fault of his hitters.

After five: Rangers 1, Mariners 0

Here comes Seattle

Miguel Batista just left the bases full of Rangers in his first inning of relief after Vargas pitched five marvelous innings - but the Mariners still hadn't pushed a runner as far as second base against Scott Feldman.

Then, one out into the seventh, Franklin Gutierrez singled and, with Gutierrez running, Kenji Johjima doubled to right field for the tie.

Yuniesky Betancourt, facing reliever Derek Holland, grounded out on the first pitch. Raise your hand if you're surprised.

Against the lefty, Wladimir Balentien pinch-hit for Endy Chavez and grounded out.

Vargas won't win but can't lose. That's something.

In the seventh: Mariners 1, Rangers 1

There go the Rangers

Mark Lowe on the mound, and Josh Hamilton followed Michael Young's third single with a home run to left field.

Oops.

That seemed to break Texas loose. An infield single, a double to the wall in left center field and a sacrifice fly got home another run.

Bad? Yes, but a ground ball to first with a man on third base bounced off Branyan's glove for a run-scoring error.

It took the Mariners seven innings to get one run. Now, they face having to score six runs in two innings just to tie.

After seven: Rangers 7, Mariners 1

It's over

Mariners had four, count them, four hits.

Final score: Rangers 7, Mariners 1

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