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Mariners Log: Big innings doom M’s in lopsided loss to Rangers

UPDATED: Sat., June 17, 2017, 5:33 p.m.

MARINERS OUTSCORED 50-23 OVER LAST FIVE GAMES

What happened: Mike Napoli homered twice and the Texas Rangers had a pair of five-run innings and beat the Seattle Mariners 10-4 in the second of a three-game series on Saturday at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas.

Napoli, the 35-year old veteran just activated off the disabled list on Friday, hit a two-run shot in the first inning off starter Yovani Gallardo and another two-run bomb off Dan Altavilla in the sixth.

Rougned Odor and Shin-Soo Choo also hit home runs for Texas.

Gallardo (L, 3-7, 6.30) gave up five runs, all in the first inning with two outs, on six hits and one walk with three strikeouts. Altavilla took over in the sixth and was completely ineffective, coughing up five runs – four earned – on four hits with no walks and one strikeout. He gave up three home runs in one inning, bringing his season total to seven in 25 innings.

Mike Zunino crushed a three-run home run for the M’s in the sixth inning, which drew the Mariners to within a run of the Rangers at the time. Zunino now has six homers and 22 RBIs in June after entering the month with one and four.

Line Outs

  • The Rangers jumped all over Gallardo in the bottom of the first – all with two outs. Nomar Mazara singled through the hole on the left side, then Adrian Beltre lined a single to right. Rougned Odor lashed a line-drive double to right, barely beating the throw, and Mazara scored. Carlos Gomez’ hard ground ball got through up the middle and plated both runners.
  • Pitching coach Mel Stottlemyer came out but it did no good, as Mike Napoli smacked a 1-1 hanging slider for his 12th homer of the season, a two-run shot.
  • The M’s got one back in the third. Guillermo Heredia led off with a double and scored on Taylor Motter’s opposite field double. Cano walked with two down but Nelson Cruz struck out on a foul tip to end the rally.
  • Cruz led off the sixth with a walk and after Kyle Seager flied out, Danny Valencia singled to left. Then, on a 3-2 count, Mike Zunino absolutely crushed a center-cut changeup, measured at 463 feet, to dead center, for a three-run homer. That gives Zunino 22 RBIs for June, a franchise record for most RBIs in a month by an M’s catcher.
  • In the bottom half, Dan Altavilla gave it all back – and then some – starting with a no-doubt shot to right by Odor. He then plunked Gomez. Napoli then destroyed a 1-1 fastball for his second home run of the day to restore the Rangers’ four-run lead. With one down, Joey Gallo reached on an error by Motter, then Shin-Soo Choo launched one to dead center (10) to make it 10-4. Altavilla has given up seven homers in 25 innings this season.

The Takeaway

Ugh. Gallardo continues to allow one big inning every start which dooms the M’s. He pitched well after the ugly five-run first, but also could only go five innings after throwing so many pitches so early in 96 degrees and high humidity. Right now, Altavilla isn’t fooling anyone and not throwing it by ’em either. Everything is flat and getting teed off on.

Tweet of the Day

Players of the Game

Hero: Mike Zunino. He was the only M’s highlight of the day. His average is remarkably up to .248.

Goat: Dan Altavilla. He throws hard but they’re coming off the bat harder. Three more homers today. Everything flat. Can’t throw it by big leaguers.

Mariners Notes

The Mariners claimed RHP Pat Light off waivers from the Pittsburgh Pirates and outrighted RHP Ryne Harper to AAA-Tacoma.

Light, 26, was designated for assignment by the Pirates on June 10. He’d spent the season at AAA Indianapolis, where he posted a 3-0, 3.76 mark with four saves (in five chances) in 22 games. He allowed 11 earned runs in 26 1/3 innings and struck out 20 while walking 15.

He appeared in the Majors with both Boston (two games) and Minnesota (15 games) in 2016, posting a combined 0-1, 11.34 mark in 17 games.

Harper, 28, comes off the 40-man roster. He is 2-0 with three saves and a 1.89 ERA (4 earned runs, 19 innings) with 24 strikeouts and nine walks in 15 relief appearances with AAA Tacoma this season.

In another move, RHP Rob Whalen was recalled from Tacoma and LHP Zac Curtis was optioned to AA-Arkansas. Curtis worked three innings and allowed three runs in Friday night’s 10-4 loss to Texas. Whalen is in his third stint with the M’s this season. He is 0-4 with a 5.08 ERA in seven starts with Tacoma.

Next Game

Seattle Mariners (33-37) at Texas Rangers (34-33) on Sunday at 12:05 p.m. at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas. RHP Christian Bergman (3-4, 5.75) vs. RHP Yu Darvish (6-4, 3.03).

What others are saying (and writing)

We will start with good news. Felix Hernandez had another solid rehab outing and is obviously ready to return to the starting rotation. … Jean Segura looks to be headed out for a rehab assignment soon. … Now, for yesterday. There were two bad innings. They were enough for Texas. At least Zunino blasted another home run. It's what the M's need from him. … The bullpen continues to be remade on an almost daily basis. Luckily, baseball isn't a sport in which players have to fit together seamlessly on the field. … Veterans know what it is like to start your baseball journey.

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