Smoak helps M’s hold off Rangers
ARLINGTON, Texas — Justin Smoak homered in the eighth and drove in a run in the ninth to lead the Seattle Mariners to an 8-6 win over the Texas Rangers on Saturday night.
Smoak had three hits, two runs and three RBIs.
Seattle built a 6-0 lead in the first three innings before Texas rallied to tie the game.
Lucas Luetge (2-1) got two outs for the victory while Tom Wilhelmsen got the final four outs for his 27th save in 30 chances.
Tanner Scheppers (1-1) took the loss.
With the game tied 6-6 in the eighth Smoak led off the inning with his 15th homer. He then had an RBI single in the ninth that scored Jaso.
Seattle got to Rangers starter Scott Feldman early. He lasted just 2 2-3 innings and threw 71 pitches. He had lost his last five starts going into the game.
Dustin Ackley homered to lead off the third and Saunders had a two-run triple. He also had a RBI single in the first. Smoak scored Saunders with a single and Thames plated Smoak to make it 6-0.
Martin Perez kept the Rangers in the gem in relief of Feldman. He retired 13 of the 15 batters he faced, only allowing a walk and hitting a batter. He struck out five.
Texas got on the board in the third after Seattle starter Jason Vargas walked the bases loaded. Nelson Cruz’s sacrifice fly scored a run for the Rangers to make it 6-1, but Vargas struck out Michael Young to end the inning.
In the sixth, catcher Mike Napoli, in his first start after a stint on the 15-day disabled list because of a left quadriceps strain, hit a three-run home run to bring the Rangers within two, 6-4.
Napoli made his last rehab start at DH on Friday night for Double A Frisco by going 0-for-4 with four strikeouts. Going into Saturday’s game against the Mariners, Napoli joked that he told his Rangers teammates that he got those out of the way and “left the strikeouts down there.”
Cruz had an RBI single in the sixth and David Murphy a run-scoring ground out to tie it.
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