The M’s showed some life, scoring three in the ninth, but still dropped their seventh straight. Jesus Sucre led off the ninth with his first major-league hit, a solid single to right, and scored on Brendan Ryan’s double.
RANGERS SEVENTH: Three more runs, and the rout is on. Mariners have now been outscored 28-3 over the last three games. 9-3 Rangers
MARINERS FIFTH: M’s go down 1-2-3, and suddenly Justin Grimm has put down
RANGERS FOURTH: After the Mariners scored one in the bottom of the third on an RBI double by Ibanez — their third two-out RBI in as many innings — Texas got one back on a sac fly by Elvis Andrus. But that was the only damage from a bases-loaded, no-out situation. 6-3 Rangers.
RANGERS THIRD: The long ball bit Saunders again — a three-run homer by Berkman on the first pitch he saw. Time to re-figure all those home ERA stats. 5-2 Rangers
MARINERS SECOND: They tie it on another two-out hit, and RBI double by Ryan that brings in Ibanez from third. In his first major-league at-bat, Sucre grounded into a double play, but not really. The ump blew the call in two ways — the first baseman pulled his foot,but the first baseman didn’t even catch the ball. Bizarrely, the pitcher, who ran over to cover, grabbed the throw and wasn’t even close to first. As bad a call as you’ll ever see. 2-2.
RANGERS SECOND: Some of Saunders’ home magic went poof with a two-out, two-run homer by Jeff Baker to right field (following a one-out walk to Nelson Cruz). 2-1 Rangers
MARINERS FIRST: The M’s had a two-out rally off Justin Grimm. Kyle Seager ripped a double off the center field wall, followed by a Kendrys Morales RBI single. 1-0 Mariners.
RANGERS FIRST: It looks like typical Saunders at home — a swift 1-2-3 first, capped by two strikeouts. He rung up Lance Berkman on a 3-2 pitch.
The reeling Mariners, losers of six straight games, hope that Safeco Joe shows up tonight. Joe Saunders is 9-0 with a 1.72 ERA in 13 career starts at Safeco, and 3-0, 0.94 in four starts this year. Over his last 11 starts at Safeco, dating back to June 3, 2008, Saunders is 8-0, 0.94. This wouldn’t be a good night for Saunders to revert to his road form. He is 0-4 with an 11.25 ERA in five starts away from Safeco.
Mariners manager Eric Wedge made the point before the game that there might be a little too much panic over the losing streak.
“People have really short memories,” he said. “We won two out of three in New York. Hell, we hadn’t won in New York since 2002. That means something. You go to Cleveland, and you get walked off three times. It’s not that we played bad. We had a chance to win all three of those games. Damn near had a couple of them in our pocket. But they were the home team and had the last at-bat. But our guys battled their butts off.
“I think there was a lot of emotion spent in Cleveland, and it affected us a little bit (against the Angels). Our starting pitching struggled a little, and when that happens, it changes the whole outlook of game. You have to keep it all in perspective and understand that six days ago, everyone was flying high. Six days later, you’re on the exact opposite side of that spectrum. You can’t do that. You can’t be on that roller coaster.”