ARLINGTON, Texas – Everything had been done by the Mariners since last week’s trade to provide a comfort level for incoming pitcher Ian Snell.
Now, in his first trip to the mound since being dealt to Seattle by the Pittsburgh Pirates, it was up to Snell to return some comfort. The Mariners are looking for assurances that Snell can become a rotation fixture for years to come, and his performance in Sunday night’s 4-2 loss to the Texas Rangers certainly helped.
Snell allowed only a pair of runs on three hits over six innings before being pulled with the score tied.
“That’s what I’m here to do,” Snell said. “Keep the team in the game and help them win it.”
The Mariners, knowing he hadn’t pitched in a week, pulled him at that point and reliever Sean White gave up the decisive two-run homer to Jarrod Saltalamacchia in the seventh.
The Mariners lost for the third time in four nights here in front of 28,670 fans at Rangers Ballpark and fell to a double-digit deficit in the American League West. The Los Angeles Angels lead Seattle by 10 games, while the Boston Red Sox took an 8 1/2 -game advantage over the Mariners in a wild-card race that realistically ended for them some time ago.
Snell allowed a pair of solo home runs, by David Murphy in the first inning and by Michael Young in the sixth. Young’s blast over the center-field fence was a tough one for Seattle, because the Mariners had just scored twice to take the lead.
The M’s had only five hits before the ninth inning, but four came off Rangers starter Scott Feldman in that sixth. Rob Johnson singled, Michael Saunders walked and Ichiro Suzuki singled to load the bases.
After Russell Branyan grounded out to score Johnson, Jose Lopez blooped a single over the head of shortstop Elvis Andrus into shallow center field to bring one run home. But Andrus, with his back to the infield, alertly shoveled the ball to charging center fielder Josh Hamilton, who prevented Saunders from trying to score from second.
That proved key because Ken Griffey Jr. hit into a double play that ended the inning with Seattle up 2-1.
Young then tied the game on the fourth pitch of the ensuing half-inning, one of 11 long balls hit by Texas in the series.
Seattle opened the ninth with two hits, but C.J. Wilson retired the side.
Snell had a relatively problem-free outing, not allowing a hit between the Murphy homer in the first and a double by Andrus in the fifth. He walked three batters, but none scored.
Rangers 4, Mariners 2
|Griffey Jr. dh||4||0||0||0||0||0||.220|
LOB—Seattle 4, Texas 4. 2B—Andrus (8). HR—Dav.Murphy (9), off Snell; M.Young (17), off Snell; Saltalamacchia (9), off White. RBIs—Branyan (56), Jo.Lopez (60), M.Young (48), Dav.Murphy (28), Saltalamacchia 2 (34). CS—Hamilton (1). RLSP—Seattle 3 (Griffey Jr., Ja.Wilson 2); Texas 2 (N.Cruz, Vizquel). RMU—Branyan, Griffey Jr., Hamilton. GIDP—Griffey Jr., Ja.Wilson 2, Blalock. DP—Seattle 1 (Snell, Jo.Lopez, Ja.Wilson, Branyan); Texas 3 (Andrus, Vizquel, Blalock), (Andrus, Vizquel, Blalock), (Vizquel, Andrus, Blalock).
HBP—by Snell (Byrd), by C.Wilson (Branyan). T—2:14. A—28,670 (49,170).
Local journalism is essential.
The journalists of The Spokesman-Review are a part of the community. They live here. They work here. They care. You can help keep local journalism strong right now with your contribution. Thank you.
Subscribe to the sports newsletter
Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.