M’s limp home
Seattle completes opening road trip with 2-5 record
ARLINGTON, Texas – Pretending the first week on the road never happened might be the best thing the Mariners can do.
And now, heading into today’s home opener at Safeco Field, they’ll have to hope their fans can do the same.
The Mariners limped out of Texas on Sunday after a 9-2 loss to the Rangers, having dropped their first two series of the season while seeing a number of vulnerabilities laid bare.
Seattle fell to 2-5 after struggling all week to get decent starting pitching, or timely hitting from an offense many expected to be this squad’s biggest weakness. Sunday, starter Ian Snell trailed 5-1 after two innings and was gone after three, while the offense generated four or fewer runs for the fifth time in seven games.
“Obviously, the five (Texas) runs in two innings kind of put us behind the eight-ball,” manager Don Wakamatsu said.
The series finale, played in front of 26,846 at Rangers Ballpark, was pretty much done after those two innings. Snell threw 63 pitches in the opening two frames, giving up a solo homer to Michael Young in the first and an Elvis Andrus RBI triple in a three-run second.
Mariners catcher Adam Moore wasn’t much help, getting called for his first of two catcher’s interference blunders, both with David Murphy hitting, in that second inning. The last time it happened twice to a catcher in the same game was on April 23, 1986, to Mark Salas of the Minnesota Twins against the Mariners.
Andrus had already tripled home a run to give Texas a 2-1 lead when Moore was first called for interference. An ensuing walk to Josh Hamilton loaded the bases with one out for Vladimir Guerrero, who ripped an RBI single to left.
“It was just a terrible start,” said Snell, who went six strong innings in his first outing last week. “I wish I could take it back.”
The Mariners closed the gap to 5-2 in the fifth as Chone Figgins doubled home Jack Wilson. But the Rangers scored twice off long reliever Jesus Colome in the bottom of the inning.
The Mariners are averaging only three runs per game. Seattle has been hard-pressed to do anything offensively without the help of errors or wild pitches. Indeed, they notched their first run Sunday largely because an error by left fielder Hamilton moved Ken Griffey Jr. into position to score on a Moore ground out.
“I think there are some things that we’re working out right now,” Wakamatsu said. “That’s the bottom line.”