It was suspiciously fitting that Dallas quarterback Tony Romo threw out the ceremonial first pitch Wednesday night.
The Seahawks and Cowboys don’t face off until Sept. 16, but the Mariners and Rangers decided to pay homage to their gridiron neighbors anyway, as the Mariners dismantled Texas 21-8 at the Ballpark in Arlington to win a second consecutive series over the AL West leaders, falling a run short of their single-game record set in 1999.
Kyle Seager collected a pair of singles and two doubles, Justin Smoak hit two three-run home runs, Dustin Ackley had a three-run dinger and Jesus Montero smashed an opposite-field home run as the club posted the most runs in a single game in the majors this season.
This was the same team that was victimized by a perfect game from Philip Humber of Chicago, where Seattle plays a three-game series starting Friday.
The Mariners, whose team batting average of .229 was 13th in th AL, had 20 hits. Following a 10-3 win Tuesday, the Mariners scored one more run in the past two games than they had in the nine previous combined (30).
Despite entering the night with a 6-1 career record against Seattle, the Mariners chased starting pitcher Derek Holland in the second inning. The Texas southpaw lasted just an inning and two-thirds, getting pasted for eight runs on eight hits. In back-to-back games, the Mariners scored 31 runs.
“I think we’re just going up there and everyone has got their own approach and they’re sticking to it,” Smoak told ROOT Sports. “Early on Holland — he’s a great pitcher, and the first inning he was right on. The second and third we kind of got to him.”
The onslaught started innocently in the second after Montero blooped a single into right field. Smoak followed with a double down the left-field line. After Alex Liddi grounded out to first, Miguel Olivo lined a 3-1 pitch into left field to give the Mariners a 2-0 lead.
After another out, Brendan Ryan reignited the rally with a single. With runners on the corners, Ackley smashed a line drive around the foul pole and into the bleachers to tack on three more.
Chone Figgins, starting in right field as Ichiro took his first game off of the season, singled and stole second. Seager followed with an RBI single before Montero added to Holland’s horrific start with a two-run blast into the Texas bullpen to give Seattle a 8-0 lead.
After Mariners starting pitcher Blake Beavan worked his way around a lead-off double from Adrian Beltre in the bottom of the frame, the Mariners doubled their run production in the third.
Facing Texas long reliever Yoshinori Tateyama, Saunders lined a double into the gap to lead off the inning for one of his three hits. Shortstop Alberto Gonzalez airmailed a routine ground ball from Ryan into the camera well, scoring Saunders for a 9-0 lead.
Montero followed with his third hit in two innings, taking Tateyama off the wall in left-cenervto drive in two more. Still with only one out, Smoak continued to his recent power surge with a towering blast into the Rangers bullpen to give Seattle a staggering 14-0 lead. The switch-hitting first baseman finished 3-5 with six RBIs to raise his average to .231.
Seattle picked up three more hits to lead 16-0 while the near sellout crowd sat stunned. The Mariners added one in the fourth and four in the eighth, thanks in large part to another three-run blast from Smoak to cap.
Meanwhile, Beavan held down the potent Rangers lineup for five scoreless innings until the Rangers tagged him with a five-spot in the sixth. Despite the late-game struggles, the native Texan still managed to scatter eight hits over six innings while striking out two to pick up his third win.
With an off-day Thursday before taking on the White Sox over the weekend, manager Eric Wedge said he was pleased with the way his young team didn’t lose focus after taking a 16-run lead.
“I was particularly pleased they came back and scored more runs later in the ball game after (Texas) scored a few runs,” Wedge said. “That meant a lot to me. I think that says a lot about our guys too. this ballpark against that team you always have to keep going.”
DELABAR DEMOTED — Relief pitcher Steve Delabar, who has given up seven home runs in 24.1 innnings pitched, was optioned to AAA Tacoma after Wednesday’s game. No roster replacement was named.
Delabar, 28, wasi1-1 with a 5.18 ERA in a team-high 25 relief appearances. He made his major league debut with the Mariners last season after being out of affiliated professional baseball since 2008.
wow, 21 runs.
I’m telling you naysayers, it is time to move the fence in
safeco, not make it like a bandbox but move the fence in.
see how fun it is!
you hear in the interview, “when we score runs, it builds
confidence to everyone” and we cant do that at safeco. cold air, headwind, safeco dimension will
never work. look we have a good young
team, moving the fence will help this team
In a bandbox parks, they held their opponents pretty good
safeco is such a momentum killer. lets all let the Ms brass know, that this is
not crazy talk, it’s been 10 years of offensive Ms futility at safeco. AND WE PLAY 81 GAMES THERE, THAT’S 81
GAMES. It messes up with our
hitters. Can you see these fellows, it’s
time to move it next year!!!! You see
how the Ms are when they leave safeco…
It may help sluggers, but it does nothing for the gap hitters, pitchers and fielders that fill the organization. Not saying they shouldn’t do it, but it’s only a small answer.
I thought the M’s were playing in Coors for awhile there! Wha’ hoppen????
Law of Randome Occurrences. Or, stuff happens.
The M’s led the league in runs scored in 2001. You can score runs at Safeco. Move in the fences, and the pitching will suffer. Clearly,
there is something wrong with Safeco, but its not the size of the
outfield. We should be able to spray balls all over the place there, but we just can’t.
Here’s my theory: The front office has
put the importance of The Safeco Experience so far above and beyond
the importance of the product on the field that it makes for a
terrible atmosphere to play a game in.
There is a maddening audible
murmur of thousands of people doing everything except watching baseball. The crowd is not involved, they do not
bring their own energy to the stadium, they are not engaged in the
game until something happens. They no longer go to the stadium expecting to cheer. They arrive expecting to get their entertainment anywhere but on the field of play. Its the exact opposite atmosphere from any other team
sporting event in the city.
Back when Safeco opened, the team
just so happened to have one of the handful of good seasons it has ever
had. The crowds were awesome because they were engaged in watching
good baseball. Unfortunately, the front office convinced itself that
the atmosphere was electric because Safeco Field itself was amazing,
and not because of the winning.
As the team has progressively
suckened over the years, the front office has taken measures not to
make sure the product on the field is of high quality, but rather to
make sure there are things to draw fans back to Safeco in spite of
the team’s continued suckingess. And it worked for a while too!
But now Safeco is no longer the novelty it was, the bobble-heads don’t
draw 20,000 fans by themselves, and the fans want some wins to go
along with those garlic fries. I personally believe that the loser
atmosphere they have willfully created at Safeco simply sucks
the energy right out of the team.
Sooooo much of baseball is a mental thing, and I have come to the conclusion that the poor performance at Safeco is primarily due to the continual lack of talent and the terrible atmosphere caused by the loser attitude of the front office, far more so than the cool, damp air or how far back the fences are.
(Oh geez… sorry about that wacky formatting, I have no idea what happened there.)
Johnthony, there is a mallpark quality to Safeco, but I don’t think it impedes the baseball. The Mariners have had terrible games with big crowds and great games in front of poor ones. No provable correlation. The reason Mariners management has made too many bad baseball personnel decisions that can’t be corrected by the veteran free agent market, because those hitters will not play 81 games in Seattle’s cool air that impacts slugging numbers.