August 28, 2013 in Sports

Mariners drop 6th straight at home

Associated Press
 
Ted Warren photo

Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Felix Hernandez pauses on the mound in the first inning.
(Full-size photo)

SEATTLE — Seattle manager Eric Wedge believes there is plenty of time to find some positives as the season approaches the final month.

For the Mariners to find those, though, they will have to rebound from the worst homestand in team history.

Seattle completed its first winless homestand of more than four games Wednesday, losing to the Texas Rangers 12-4.

The Mariners lost all six games to the Angels and Rangers.

“That team out there will probably be defined by these last 30 games,” Wedge said. “A lot of good things have happened. A lot of things have happened maybe we didn’t like to see, but with 30 games left you can really make a move in a positive direction.”

Friday in Houston will be the Mariners next opportunity to make a push in the right direction. Top pitching prospect Taijuan Walker will get the nod for his first major league start.

On Wednesday, though, it was the Mariners’ current ace, Felix Hernandez, who struggled.

Hernandez allowed nine runs and 11 hits in just three-plus innings. The former AL Cy Young winner’s ERA climbed from 2.63 to 2.97.

After working out of a jam in the first, it looked as if Hernandez would escape trouble yet again in the second. Outfielder Leonys Martin spoiled that notion, though, hitting a three-run homer with two outs.

The Rangers added a pair of runs in the third on a line drive by Geovany Soto that was misplayed by left fielder Raul Ibanez. The ball ended up falling in front of a sliding Ibanez for a two-run single.

It got worse for Hernandez (12-8) in the fourth as he failed to record an out, giving up two doubles and a pair of singles.

“Everything was a little bit up — that was the problem,” Hernandez said. “Everything I threw they just hit, found a hole and a lot of runs.”

Hernandez is now 0-4 with a 7.57 ERA in five starts against the Rangers this year. The right-hander’s 20-career losses against Texas is his most against any team.

Rangers right-hander Martin Perez (8-3), meanwhile, limited the Mariners to two runs and five hits in six innings. The rookie won his fifth straight decision.

Perez breezed through the Mariners, not allowing a hit until Kyle Seager’s one-out single in the fourth. The rookie hasn’t lost since July 21 and has won five times in August, a Rangers rookie record in a month.

“He’s growing,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said. “You’re watching it right in front of your eyes. I just think you need to watch it and enjoy it. He just goes out there and does what he does. That’s throw the fastball down in the zone, change speeds and use his breaking ball and move it around.”

Adrian Beltre, who hit his 28th homer, and Elvis Andrus each got three of the Rangers’ 17 hits. Mitch Moreland also homered as every Texas starter got a hit except for Alex Rios, who chipped in with a walk, a stolen base and a run.

Dustin Ackley hit a solo home run and an RBI double. Seager homered in the sixth, a drive to right that struck the window of the Hit It Here Cafe in the second deck.

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