Anthony Varvaro got his Welcome to the Big Leagues moment and we’ve got a ballgame, courtesy of a three-run homer by Nelson Cruz in the seventh inning. That makes it a 6-5 game, the Mariners barely clinging to the lead. Seattle was up 6-1 at one point before a run-scoring single by David Murphy in the fifth got one run back off David Pauley.
Varvaro came on in relief this inning and yielded a single to Elvis Andrus and a one-out walk to Murphy. He was fortunate to get the hacking Vladimir Guerrero to go down on strikes, but Mariner-killer Cruz teed off like he was on the 18th fairway and sent a towering fly ball over the left field wall.
6:29 p.m.: Break up the Mariners! Freed from the shackles of trying to win the AL West, the M’s now lead Texas 6-1 in the bottom of the fifth. Justin Smoak hit a three-run homer to left off C.J. Wilson (who had gone seven starts and 49 1/3 innings without a long ball at Arlington) in the top of the fifth.
It was Smoak’s third homer as a Mariner, and his second while batting right-handed for Seattle.
6:22 p.m.: Seattle has a 3-1 lead after four innings of play, scoring again in the third after a leadoff single by the red-hot Chone Figgins. Jose Lopez followed with a single to left and Figgins managed to go to third on the play when left fielder David Murphy made a poor throw to the bag.
Figgins — batting .360 in September — scored on a sacrifice fly by Franklin Gutierrez.
5:47 p.m.: Seattle leads 2-1 after two innings of play, giving up a solo homer in the bottom of the inning to Vladimir Guerrero but then seeing David Pauley pitch out of a jam. Texas had runners at second and third with one out when Pauley got Matt Treanor to pop out to shallow right and Julio Borbon to pop out to third.
The Mariners took the lead in the top of the frame on a leadoff single by Justin Smoak, then arun-scoring double to right center by Adam Moore. One out later, Greg Halman notched his first big-league hit, an RBI double to left off C.J. Wilson.
5:05 p.m.: Final road series of the season starts tonight, with David Pauley taking on the AL West champions, who just raised a banner here pre-game. They just showed Rangers president and owner Nolan Ryan throwing his no-hitters on the big screen.
Also showed Ryan’s one-sided fight with Robin Ventura. That might be the kind of pummeling Ryan’s team dishes out on AL West opponents the next few years once that TV deal kicks in and the Rangers can keep all of their talented players together.