ARLINGTON, Texas – Colby Lewis allowed one run and five hits in seven innings to lead the Texas Rangers over the Mariners 6-2 Friday night to send skidding Seattle to its fourth straight loss.
Lewis (1-0) struck out three and walked four. The 30-year-old right-hander won in the major leagues for the first time since starting for the Rangers and beating Barry Zito at Oakland on April 7, 2004.
Lewis began his career with Texas from 2002-04, had shoulder problems and was waived. He moved on to Detroit and Oakland, then spent the past two seasons with Hiroshima of Japan’s Central League, where he went 26-17 with a 2.82 ERA in 55 games.
He re-signed with the Rangers on Jan. 19 and made his first major league start since May 22, 2007, for the Athletics.
Trailing 5-1, the Mariners loaded the bases with one out in the seventh, but Lewis struck out Jack Wilson and retired Ichiro Suzuki on a groundout.
At 1-4 the Mariners are off to their worst opening since dropping their first five games in 2004.
The Mariners, hitting .199 as a team, were 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position.
“The whole game boiled down to what’s happened the last five games, which is lack of offense and lack of situational hitting,” Seattle manager Don Wakamatsu said. “These guys are going to hit at some point and we hope it’s soon.”
Nelson Cruz homered for the third time in four games, had three hits and drove in a pair of runs for the Rangers, who evened their record at 2-2. Vladimir Guerrero keyed a four-run sixth with an RBI double. He has had multiple hits in each of Texas’ four games, a first for a Rangers newcomer.
Jason Vargas (0-1) gave up five runs and eight hits in 51/3 innings for the Mariners.
Casey Kotchman homered for Seattle. Kotchman’s RBI groundout put Seattle ahead in the first following Ichiro’s leadoff double, and Cruz’s homered tied the score in the fourth.
Josh Hamilton walked in the sixth and scored on Guerrero’s double for a 2-1 lead. Cruz followed with an RBI single, Joaquin Arias singled off Shawn Kelley for a 4-1 lead and Elvis Andrus added an RBI single. Hamilton made it 6-1 with an RBI double in the seventh.
Former Ranger Milton Bradley went 0 for 4 for the Mariners and is hitting .059 on the season. After popping out in the eighth, he glared for about 10 seconds at fans who were jeering him behind the visitor’s dugout.
When he was asked if he knew about Bradley flipping off fans down the left-field line after making a catch in the fourth, Wakamatsu declined comment.
Bradley did not speak to reporters.
Mariners LHP Cliff Lee reported no problems with his strained abdominal muscle after a 25-pitch bullpen session. Wakamatsu said he doesn’t expect Lee to be activated from the 15-day DL until May. Lee is to throw 45 pitches in the bullpen on Sunday, then is scheduled for a simulated game next week. … Seattle LHP Erik Bedard, out until at least July while recovering from left shoulder surgery, threw on flat ground.
Rangers 6, Mariners 2
|Griffey Jr. dh||4||0||1||0||0||0||.182|
LOB—Seattle 6, Texas 6. 2B—I.Suzuki (1), J.Wilson (1), Hamilton (1), Guerrero (1). HR—Kotchman (1), off Ray; N.Cruz (3), off J.Vargas. RBIs—Kotchman 2 (6), Hamilton (1), Guerrero (2), N.Cruz 2 (7), J.Arias (1), Andrus (1). CS—I.Suzuki (2). RLISP—Seattle 4 (Griffey Jr., Kotchman, I.Suzuki 2); Texas 3 (J.Arias, Borbon, C.Davis). RMU—Kotchman. GIDP—Kotchman. DP—Texas 1 (J.Arias, Andrus, C.Davis).
|J.Vargas L,0-1||5 1/3||8||5||5||1||5||8.44|
IR-S—Kelley 2-2, White 1-0. WP—C.Lewis. T—2:22. A—25,271 (49,170).