July 2, 2013 at 5:00 PM
Game thread, Mariners vs. Rangers, July 2: Mariners win, 9-2
Kendrys Morales drives in six as the Mariners start their road trip with a decisive victory. Raul Ibanez also homered.
Some worrisome news in Tacoma, where Danny Hultzen couldn’t get loose and was a precautionary scratch from his scheduled start. Hultzen had made just one start for the Rainiers after coming back from a two-month absence for a rotator cuff strain.
MARINERS NINTH: Justin Smoak’s double gives every Mariner starter at least one hit. 9-2 Mariners.
RANGERS SEVENTH: Saunders comes out of the game after a smash up the middle by Nelson Cruz catches some of his leg. He was limping around, but was about ready to come out of the game anyway. He gave up just one earned run in 6 2/3 innings and stands to earn his first regular-season win over the Rangers at this ballpark after seven straight losses. Yoervis Medina replaced him with one out and two on, and got out of the inning. 9-1 Mariners.
MARINERS SEVENTH: Mike Zunino chips in with an RBI single, and Brad Miller follows with a hit. Everyone in starting lineup has at least one hit except Justin Smoak. 9-1 Mariners.
MARINERS SIXTH: What a night for Morales, who adds a two-run single to give him six RBIs. He now has the team RBI lead, 48-46 over Ibanez, and matches Ibanez for biggest RBI game of the year. Raul drove in six against the Yankees on May 15. 8-1 Mariners.
RANGERS FIFTH: Saunders gets out of the fifth with a nicely turned DP from Miller to Franklin to Smoak. 6-1 Mariners.
MARINERS FIFTH: Kendrys Morales blows it open with a three-run homer that knocks out Justin Grimm, and extends Mariners lead to 6-1. It’s Morales’ first two-homer game as a Mariner, and 10th of his career. One of the runs was unearned as a result of an Ian Kinsler error.
RANGERS FOURTH: Saunders gets out of a bases-loaded, two-out jam by snatching a hard comebacker from Andrus and throwing him out. Still 3-1 Mariners.
RANGERS THIRD: Texas gets one back on three straight hits to start the third, but Saunders gets out without further damage. 2-1 Mariners
MARINERS THIRD: Grimm doesn’t mess around with Ibanez this time, walking him with two outs before striking out Morales to end the inning. 2-0 Mariners
MARINERS SECOND — Three outs to the outfield, as Ackley and Miller hit rockets right at, respectively, the center fielder and right fielder. 2-0 Mariners.
RANGERS FIRST: Saunders gets the Rangers in order, with the help of a fine back-handed play by Seager on a ball hit by Andrus, made more difficult by Andrus’s bat flying in his direction along with the ball. 2-0 Mariners
MARINERS FIRST: Rangers rookie Justin Grimm got two quick outs, but then Raul Ibanez and Kendrys Morales unloaded for back-to-back homers to right for a 2-0 Seattle lead. Ibanez, continuing where he left off in a torrid June in which he homered 10 times, picked up No. 20, while Morales hit his 10th. Seager followed with a single before Smoak grounded out. 2-0 Mariners
Joe Saunders hasn’t exactly distinguished himself at Rangers Ballpark, with a career 0-7 record and 9.91 ERA in seven career regular-season starts. But he did beat the Rangers here last year in the wild-card playoff game while with the Orioles. Saunders is coming off a terrible outing at Safeco in which he give up six hits and six runs in just 1 2/3 innings against the Pirates.