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April 13, 2013 at 9:06 PM

Mariners can’t generate enough offense, lose despite fine Joe Saunders pitching

Crowd files out of Safeco Field after the Mariners do down in order in the ninth and take a 3-1 loss to the Texas Rangers.

Crowd files out of Safeco Field after the Mariners do down in order in the ninth and take a 3-1 loss to the Texas Rangers.

Joe Saunders duplicated his playoff magic from last fall against the Texas Rangers, holding them to zero earned runs over seven innings. Unfortunately for Saunders, the Rangers got an unearend run in the sixth courtesy of a Brendan Ryan error and that kept them alive long enough to wait the Mariners starter out and get to the bullpen.

From there, Carter Capps, looking every bit the rookie he is, made too many mistakes and they came back to bite the Mariners in a 3-1 loss.

Capps walked the leadoff batter, who just happened to be the very quick Craig Gentry, always a no-no. He then rallied to get a pair of outs, with Gentry only advancing to second. But Capps couldn’t slam the door, giving up a single to right by Elvus Andrus that put the Rangers ahead to stay.

The bigger mistake by Capps was still to come, as he uncorked a wild-pitch just as Andrus was breaking for second on a steal attempt. Andrus made it all the way to third base on the play and was able to score easily when the next batter, Adrian Beltre, hit a single to left field.

Down by a run, the Mariners might have had a shot. But down by two? No way. Not with this depleted offense, which managed just one extra base hit all night in the cool, damp air — with backup catcher Kelly Shoppach providing that one with a double.

Shoppach is looking like the most dangerous hitter in this lineup right now, which tells you all you need to know. The Mariners need Michael Morse to come back and they need Franklin Gutierrez to stay healthy.

Until that happens and the young guys start hitting, nights like this one could become more commonplace.

It’s too bad for Saunders, because he did his job tonight. Other than that one “slippery baseball” night in Oakland, he’s looked OK so far.

Comments | More in postgame | Topics: joe saunders; adrian beltre; elvis andrus; brendan ryan

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