August 6, 2010 in Sports

M’s blanked

Seattle’s anemic offense no match for Texas
Gregg Bell Everett Herald
Associated Press photo

M’s Franklin Gutierrez missed the catch on this ball hit by Nelson Cruz for a double.
(Full-size photo)(All photos)

SEATTLE – The meaning of power became an in-your-face example of what the Seattle Mariners have lacked – and what the Texas Rangers have – Thursday night at Safeco Field.

The Mariners nicked Rangers starting pitcher Tommy Hunter with at least one hit in each of the first seven innings and put the leadoff man on base five times. And they didn’t score.

Meanwhile, the Rangers were Felix Hernandez’s fodder through six innings before David Murphy did what the Mariners didn’t.

His line-drive home run over the left-field fence in the seventh inning broke a scoreless tie and became the springboard to a 6-0 Rangers victory.

“We’ve got to score runs to have a ballgame,” Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu said. “We had plenty of opportunities early in the ballgame. The top of the order has done the job for the third straight day, but we have to be able to drive guys in.”

Until the seventh, Hernandez had shut down the Rangers.

After Nelson Cruz’s leadoff double in the second inning, Hernandez retired 14 straight Rangers and 15 of 16.

But the Mariners’ offense offered him nothing, going 0-for-12 with runners in scoring position, and it was a key reason Hernandez, 7-9, has lost four of his past five starts and is winless since July 10,

“It’s been 18 innings since we’ve scored for Felix,” Wakamatsu said. “It’s got to wear on a young guy like him.’’

As in many of his other losses and no-decisions, Hernandez wouldn’t bury his hitters, even though they’ve scored eight runs in the nine games he has lost this season.

“It’s baseball. It happens,” he said. “What do you want me to answer? It’s just hard.”

The Mariners had seven hits off Hunter through six innings and put their leadoff man on base in the first, second, fourth and sixth, and they had a runner as far as second base with less than two outs five times.

Yet, they didn’t score. Here’s how:

• Casey Kotchman grounded out and Russell Branyan popped out with Ichiro Suzuki on third with one out in the first inning.

• Jose Lopez struck out, Adam Moore flied out and Michael Saunders struck out after Franklin Gutierrez doubled to lead off the second inning.

• Moore and Saunders struck out with runners on first and second in the fourth.

• And Lopez popped out, Moore grounded out and Saunders popped out in the sixth after Branyan and Gutierrez had led off with back-to-back singles.

Hernandez couldn’t hold off the Rangers any longer.

Andrus ss 502103.276
M.Young 3b 501001.298
Hamilton cf 512001.358
Guerrero dh 412000.305
Borbon pr-dh 110000.269
N.Cruz rf 512100.325
Dav.Murphy lf 311210.259
B.Molina c 300100.211
Moreland 1b 210021.333
A.Blanco 2b 401001.230
Totals 37611537
I.Suzuki rf 502001.313
Figgins 2b 302000.249
Kotchman 1b 400000.218
Branyan dh 301010.249
F.Gutierrez cf 402000.247
Jo.Lopez 3b 401001.238
A.Moore c 400001.176
M.Saunders lf 300002.234
Langerhans lf 100001.190
Ja.Wilson ss 300011.239
Totals 3408027
Texas 000000330—6111
Seattle 000000000—081

E—Tom.Hunter (1), Jo.Lopez (13). LOB—Texas 8, Seattle 10. 2B—N.Cruz 2 (19), I.Suzuki 2 (23). HR—Dav.Murphy (7), off F.Hernandez. RBI—Andrus (28), N.Cruz (60), Dav.Murphy 2 (34), B.Molina (9). S—Figgins. SF—B.Molina.

T.Hntr W,9-1 61/3800253.01
Harrison H, 2 2/3000003.92
O’Day 1000001.23
N.Feliz 1000023.50
FHrndz L,7-9 62/3833132.94
J.Wright 2/3333105.45
Seddon 2/3000122.84
White 1000026.00

IBB—Dav.Murphy. WP—J.Wright, Seddon 2. T—3:04. A—22,624 (47,878).

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