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April 13, 2013 at 5:45 PM

Game thread: Rangers 3, Mariners 1, bottom of 8th

Joe Saunders starts off for the Mariners, pitching against a Texas Rangers squad he beat in last year's AL wild card game.

Joe Saunders starts off for the Mariners, pitching against a Texas Rangers squad he beat in last year’s AL wild card game.

The Rangers just scored twice off Carter Capps in the eighth to take a 3-1 lead. Capps had replaced Joe Saunders to start the inning and yielded a leadoff walk to speedy Craig Gentry to start things off. Gentry advanced on a groundout and then, one popout later, Elvis Andrus lined a single down the right field line to score the go-ahead run. Andrus later broke for second on a steal attempt just as Capps decided to uncork a wild-pitch. That put Andrus on third base and he scored easily when Adrian Beltre lined a single to left.

8:27 p.m.: Well, that lead didn’t last long as Brendan Ryan muffed a routine double play grounder in the sixth to put two on with none out. A sacrifice moved the runners up and then an intentional walk loaded the bases.

Nelson Cruz came up next and hit a shot that first baseman Justin Smoak knocked down. Smoak wound up getting a delayed 3-6-3 double play started, but the tying run scored before it could be completed, so that’s an unearned run courtesy of the Ryan error and we’re all knotted up at 1-1.

Could have been better. Could have been worse.

7:44 p.m.: We’re done five innings here at Safeco Field and the Mariners just took a 1-0 lead on Alexi Ogando and the Texas Rangers. Can the Mariners pull yet another game ou while missing four lineup regulars? Kelly Shoppach led the fifth off with a ground-rule double to left, followed by a Dustin Ackley single to right field that put runners at the corners with nobody out.

One strikeout and one shallow flyout later, Shoppach was still on third, but Jason Bay came through with the RBI single to center, just out of the reach of a diving Craig Gentry.

5:45 p.m.: We’ll see a depleted-looking Mariners lineup try its luck for a second straight night. The last time Joe Saunders faced the Texas Rangers, he was beating them in the AL wild-card game last October whole pitching for Baltimore.

Jesus Montero is sitting out again while Kelly Shoppach catches. Mariners manager Eric Wedge said he just wants to give Montero some time to collect himself and work on catching stuff behind the scenes, but I’m sure Saunders is happier throwing to a veteran with this Rangers lineup looming.

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Comments | More in game thread | Topics: carter capps; joe saunders; justin smoak; brendan ryan

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