SEATTLE – Manager Lloyd McClendon summarized the prevailing sentiment of Seattle’s postgame locker room when he opened his news conference with just two words.
Two words that implied plenty: It’s a long season, they all count the same in the standings, let’s regroup for a huge weekend series.
Unfortunately for him and the Mariners, those two words also aptly described Wednesday’s game from the moment Rougned Odor’s third-inning grand slam landed just beyond the right-field fence.
Texas became the first team to score 10 or more runs against the Mariners this season by the home half of the fourth, putting the game out of reach early and adding two more in the sixth en route to a 12-4, series-clinching victory Wednesday at Safeco Field.
Erasmo Ramirez got the start on the mound for Seattle (72-60), both to give the usual rotation an extra day of rest and as a reward for his sharp form with Triple-A Tacoma. He cruised through the top of the first inning – first pitch came at 12:41, his eighth sat the Rangers down in order by 12:45.
But he ran into trouble in the second, loading the bases with a walk and a hit batsman before Tomas Telis lifted a two-out fly ball to the warning track in right. Logan Morrison got a glove on the ball, raising a momentary cheer of relief from the home crowd, but it shook free when the right fielder collided with the wall.
“It bounced out,” Morrison said. “That kind of sums up the day, I guess. I make that play, no runs score, we’ll see what happens. I don’t make that play, three runs score and it’s a new game.
“Obviously from there, it got worse.”
Leonys Martin ran the score to 4-0 a batter later before Mike Zunino pulled one back for Seattle with his 19th home run of the year – momentarily tying Kyle Seager for the team lead – in the bottom half.
Odor’s first grand slam followed in the top of the third, and a double and an error brought Ramirez’s afternoon to an early end with nobody out in the top of the fourth.
His final line: three innings pitched, nine hits, 10 earned runs, one walk, that hit batter and a strikeout.
“He threw strikes, they just hit them,” McClendon said. “He threw bad strikes.”
Martin capped his 3-for-5 day with a two-run homer off Seattle reliever Joe Beimel in the top of the sixth to make it 12-1.
To borrow from their manager, by the time the Mariners scored three unanswered runs down the stretch through a Kendrys Morales two-run double and a solo shot from Seager, the game had long since been “over with.”
“You’ve just gotta flush it,” left fielder Dustin Ackley said. “You can’t worry about how many runs they’re scoring. We know what our pitching is going to do the rest of the way out.
“I don’t think today was a reflection of what we’ve done on the mound all year.”