The Mariners made things close on a Kyle Seager home run that traveled 438 feet to the second deck in right field in the seventh inning. But the Rangers scored twice in the bottom of the seventh, the big hits being an RBI double by Ian Kinsler and a run-scoring single by Michael Young.
So, it’s a 5-2 game.
Both hits came off Erasmo Ramirez, who had just come on the replace Jason Vargas. The Rangers opened the inning with a Yorvit Torrealba double off Vargas.
Torrealba made it to third base on a groundout when Eric Wedge opted to pull Vargas after 90 pitchers with Kinsler up. Kinsler had already singled twice off Vargas earlier in the game.
The Mariners definitely need some bullpen help. The guys currently in there just aren’t getting it done on a consistent basis.
12:34 p.m.: Seattle is on the board after a leadoff double by Brendan Ryan and an RBI single by Alex Liddi in the sixth. That makes it a 3-1 game, Rangers still leading.
Liddi and Casper Wells had been a combined 0-for-4 with four strikeouts prior to that in this, their first starts of 2012.
12:34 p.m.: So much for that Jason Vargas groove. After retiring nine in a row, he gave up a leadoff single to Alberto Gonzalez in the sixth. Miguel Olivo threw Gonzalez out at second on a poor bunt attempt by Craig Gentry — who was later caught stealing when he overslid the bag at second.
Vargas then allowed a single to Ian Kinsler before Michael Young took a ball over the right field wall for a two-run homer. Mariners now trail 3-0 and have just one hit off Derek Holland.
In other words, they have the Rangers right where they want ’em for the Rope-A-Dope strategy.
12:17 p.m.: Well, it looks like Jason Vargas is settling into a bit of a groove. Vargas just completed a 1-2-3 fourth inning and has now retired nine in a row as the M’s still trail 1-0 heading to the fifth. This game is looking a lot like some others in this series. The Rangers had Vargas in early trouble in the first inning, but he survived that and the M’s have managed to keep hanging around despite doing next to nothing offensively.
Derek Holland has allowed just an Ichiro single through the first four innings while striking out five batters.
11:31 a.m.: Jason Vargas could have been in a heap of early trouble, but did a good job of getting out of the first inning down only 1-0. Ian Kinsler led off with a single, stole second and then scored on a Michael Young single.
Young took second on the throw, then went to third on a groundout. Vargas then walked Adrian Beltre to bring the always-dangerous Nelson Cruz to the plate. But Cruz went down swinging, which keyed the escape. Mike Napoli then flied out to center, so it’s on the the second inning.
11:01 a.m.: Didn’t seem like this would be the case in last night’s eighth inning, but the Mariners have a shot at a series split here today in Arlington. That would certainly be a positive development heading into tomorrow’s home opener.
Jason Vargas has looked sharp in his two outings this season. We’ll see whether that continues against this powerful Texas Rangers lineup.
As usual, you can follow along here or on my @gbakermariners Twitter page.
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