Former Mariners 3B Adrian Beltre hit a three-run homer and added a two-run double to stake Texas to a 6-1 lead and Seattle, one night after its 10-run comeback in San Diego, could not conjure up anything remotely close and lost to the Rangers 7-3 at Globe Life Park in Arlington, TX (box). Texas (32-22) moved a game ahead of the Mariners (31-23) for first place in the AL West.
Starting pitching fell apart for the third consecutive game as the Rangers roughed up Taijuan Walker (2-6, 3.94) for nine hits and six earned runs in five innings. The Mariners couldn’t produce much of a response, coming up with LF Seth Smith’s sacrifice fly in the third, SS Luis Sardinas’ RBI ground-ball out in the fifth and 3B Kyle Seager’s RBI single in the sixth.
Beltre, who played for the Mariners from 2005-09, settled the issue early with a three-run shot to left off with one out in the first. Walker, who couldn’t command his fastball and had no effective secondary pitches, lost his sixth consecutive decision. Walker hasn’t won a game since April 25 against Houston.
One night after producing an a franchise best of 11-for-12 with runners in scoring position, the Mariners lapsed to 1-for-6. . . 2B Robinson Cano went 1-for-4 with a run scored and extended to 32 his streak of consecutive games reaching base, tops in the majors . . . Dae-Ho Lee, who went 3-for-3 with four RBIs Thursday, got the start at first base Friday against a right-hander and went 2-for-4 with a run scored. Lee has nine hits in his past 16 at-bats . . . Seager and backup C Steve Clevenger both produced multi-hit games, Seager going 2-for-4, Clevenger 2-for-3 with a walk . . . Ian Desmond had a four-hit night for the Rangers.
Walker struck out two, walked four and allowed two home runs among his 107 pitches. His ERA jumped from 3.31 to 3.94 . . . Cody Martin, who collected the win Thursday when the Mariners rallied from a 12-2 deficit and won 16-13 in San Diego, mopped up after Walker, allowing one run on four hits in three innings. He fanned two and walked one . . . Texas starter Yu Darvish, who missed the entire 2015 season with an injury, collected his second win against no losses by allowing three earned runs in 6.2 innings.
“We had a hard time getting this game going. It’s disappointing. We just got beat tonight by a good club. We didn’t pitch particularly well. Taijuan is a young pitcher and he’s still in a developmental mode. He’s having a hard time finding a secondary pitch and it continues to happen over and over. He’s a very talented guy with a lot of upside, but right now he’s in a little bit of a rut. The quality of his pitches is not quite there. We just have to continue to work with him.” — Scott Servais, Mariner manager
The Mariners fell to 3-4 against the Rangers and dropped their ninth road game against 19 wins . . . The Mariners are 1-2 on this five-game road trip and 7-0-2 in road series . . . CF Leonys Martin (strained left hamstring) will head out on a minor league rehab assignment next week and is expected to rejoin the Mariners Friday at Safeco Field . . . SS Ketel Marte is expected to rejoin the club Monday when the Mariners open a home stand against the Cleveland Indians.
The second of three in the series is 6:05 p.m. PT Saturday. RHP Nathan Karns (5-1, 3.43) will throw for Seattle opposite LHP Martin Perez (3-4, 3.12). Karns has won his past five decisions.