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April 15, 2014 at 8:31 PM

Rangers 5, Mariners 0 — Blake Beavan leaves game with shoulder stiffness

BOX SCORE … 04.15.14 Box Score

So a day after snapping a 21-inning scoreless streak, the Mariners find themselves starting another one. They were shut out for the third time in five games and have not scored a run in 12 straight innings. The Mariners just seven singles in the game and stranded nine base runners.

Robbie Ross Jr., in just his first year as a starter, was solid, pitching 7 2/3 shutout innings, scattering five hits, striking out two and walking none. He wasn’t overpowering, just efficient, getting 16 ground ball outs.

The Mariners helped him a little.

“We probably went out of the zone a little bit,” Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said. “It was a probably the first night where I was disappointed with our approach a little bit. He did ok. But I don’t think that was a Cy Young performance.”

The players couldn’t argue with McClendon’s assessment.

“I was right there with Mac,” said shortstop Brad Miller, who went 0-for-2 and was hit by a pair of pitches. “It’s the big leagues and if you give a pitcher like that easy outs, he’ll cruise.”

But the lack of offense was the biggest issue of the night. Starter Blake Beavan made it just four innings before being pulled because of shoulder stiffness.

“I just didn’t feel like I could get loose from the get-go,” Beavan said. “The first inning, I felt like I didn’t have the same feel or command, definitely my velocity was way down.”

Beavan’s fastball was right around 85-87 mph, which was down from his usual 90-91, making it that much more hittable.

He hoped the arm would get loose in the game. It never did.

“I just felt like my arm was really tired,” he said. “I tried to work on it between innings, stretching it out and doing some things. I was able to get through four innings. But I just knew something wasn’t right. It was just tight in there.”

Beavan said he’d never felt this type of dead arm and stiffness before in his career.

“As a pitcher, I think everybody has a little bit of tightness in the bullpen or going out to the game, just something you figure will get loose once you get out there and start throwing,” he said. “But today was something I never really felt before.”

Meanwhile up in Tacoma, top prospect Taijuan Walker never set foot on the mound for his scheduled start with the Rainiers. Walker felt tightness in his shoulder during stretching and was scratched immediately.

That leaves the Mariners with a few questions about the rotation. Most notably, who will start Sunday’s game in Miami?

“I don’t have those answers right now,” McClendon said.

Beavan was in line to start on Sunday if all went well, while Walker would have replaced Beavan in the rotation if something went wrong. Now neither appears ready to go.

Not sure who would the Mariners use on Sunday. There isn’t a whole lot to choose from in Tacoma right now.

In the search for highlights of the night, rookie Dominic Leone pitched two scoreless innings and looked sharp. Veteran lefty Joe Beimel added a scoreless seventh inning.

But it fell apart in the eighth inning when Tom Wilhelmsen, who hadn’t pitched since April 8 because of back stiffness, gave up a two-out, two-run double to Kouzmanoff and a RBI single to Mitch Moreland off his shin to put the game out of reach. 

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