M’s pound Rangers, snap five-game skid
ARLINGTON, Texas — John Jaso drove in three runs, Jason Vargas pitched into the seventh inning and the Seattle Mariners snapped a five-game losing streak with a 10-3 victory over the A.L. West-leading Texas Rangers on Tuesday night.
Jaso’s two-run homer in the second put the Mariners ahead to stay on way to matching their highest run total this season. They scored twice with two outs in the fifth for a 4-1 lead after third baseman Adrian Beltre’s throwing error.
That troubled fifth for Scott Feldman (0-3) and the Rangers came at the same time team president Nolan Ryan and general manager Jon Daniels were announcing that Texas had reached a minor league deal with free agent right-hander Roy Oswalt.
Josh Hamilton hit his majors-best 21st homer and drove in all three runs for the Rangers. The slugger was playing despite a sinus infection and upper respiratory problem that kept him out of the lineup the previous night, and even though he said before the game he felt no better.
The Rangers (31-19) had a four-game winning streak ended by their most lopsided loss of the season. They still matched their best 50-game record in team history.
Vargas (6-4) allowed three runs and five hits over 6 2/3 innings. The left-hander struck out two and walked three.
Feldman was making his second start in place of injured Neftali Feliz since the closer-turned-starter went on the disabled list May 21 with right elbow inflammation. The big right-hander gave up four runs (two earned) with three strikeouts and three walks over 4 2-3 innings.
The injury to Feliz accelerated the Rangers’ interest in Oswalt, who they had been in contact since the offseason. They had watched him pitch at his home in Mississippi only days before Feliz got hurt.
Oswalt, who has pitched 11 major league seasons with Houston (2001-10) and Philadelphia (2010-11) is scheduled to travel to Texas on Thursday for a physical. If all goes well, he will then go to Triple-A Round Rock and on Saturday make the first of what will likely be several minor league starts.
Seattle got going in the fifth after a one-out double by light-hitting Brendan Ryan, the No. 9 batter hitting only .176 coming into the game, before Dustin Ackley walked. Alex Liddi then struck out, but both runners advanced on a double steal
The Rangers then intentionally walked Ichiro Suzuki to load the bases. Jesus Montero hit a grounder wide of third that Beltre fielded in the hole. But his throw sailed high over first baseman Mike Napoli’s head and out of play, allowing two runs to score and ending Feldman’s night.
Jaso’s second homer of the season made it 2-1, putting the Mariners ahead to stay. Jaso added an RBI single to start the scoring in a six-run eighth inning against three relievers.
Hamilton’s two-run homer came in the sixth off Vargas, bumping his majors-best RBIs total to 56. His grounder in the first pushed home Elvis Andrus, who had doubled and advanced on a wild pitch.
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