Sep 10, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez (34) taps Texas Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre (29) on the helmet following the final out of the sixth inning at Safeco Field. Seattle defeated Texas, 5-0. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Well they call him King Felix for a reason, and he pitched like royalty in Seattle this afternoon as the Mariners salvage a split with our Texas Rangers, winning 5-0. Derek Holland (3-2, 3.13 ERA) took the loss for the Texas Rangers and Felix Hernandez (17-8, 3.49 ERA) got the win for Seattle. With the loss and the Houston Astros having the day off, the Rangers fall to 2.5 games back of the Astros in the AL West.
This started out as a very promising series for the Texas Rangers, handling the lowly Seattle Mariners in the first two of the four game series. But then the Rangers bats went dead, scoring zero runs and tallying just five hits in the final two games. Even though they did run into a great pitcher this afternoon with King Felix, laying a goose egg two days in a row is simply inexcusable.
Holland had been on a tear recently for the Rangers, but he ran into some issues this afternoon. Holland went seven innings, allowing five earned runs, and struck out five while walking two. After the first inning, he settled down nicely, pitching five innings of scoreless baseball and keeping the Rangers right in the thick of it. But then in the seventh things got away from him, when ex-teammate Nelson Cruz brought out the boomstick and drove a ball into the right field seats. I’m sure Holland would love to have the first and seventh inning back, but overall he did a good job of keeping the Rangers in the game for as long as he could. He certainly won’t be pleased with his outing, especially considering how he has pitched of late, but he is the least of the Rangers worries.
The Rangers worries are solely on the nonexistent offense as of the past two games, and King Felix was a major reason why today. Hernandez dazzled this afternoon, pitching eight innings of three hit ball. Hernandez struck out eight Rangers, but also had command issues at times, walking four batters this afternoon. Unfortunately, the Rangers couldn’t make him pay and took the loss because of it. Tom Wilhelmsen closed it out for the M’s, preserving the 5-0 shutout victory.
The scoring was opened in the bottom of the first inning, when red hot Mark Trumbo doubled down the right field line to score Cruz and Robinson Cano. Trumbo finished the day going 2-for-4 with two RBIs, and was a thorn in the Rangers side all series long. In the seventh inning the Mariners got something going again, with Ketel Marte driving in Jesus Sucre with a base hit to center field. Former Ranger OF Cruz returned to the lineup and brought his famous boomstick in the seventh inning, blasting a home run to right, scoring Marte and giving the Mariners the 5-0 lead.
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For the Rangers there isn’t much offense to talk about, as they put up another lackluster effort this afternoon. Mitch Moreland led the way for the Rangers, going 2-for-4 with a double. Bobby Wilson (1-for-3) and Shin Soo Choo (1-for-4) were the only other Rangers to record hits this afternoon, in what was a four hit showing.
The Rangers will travel back home tonight for a three game series starting tomorrow. Players and fans all across the country will have heavy hearts tomorrow, as tomorrow will mark 14 years since the tragedy that ensued on September 11th, 2001.
Colby Lewis (14-8, 4.68 ERA) will look to get back on track for the Rangers, while the last place Oakland Athletics turn to Jesse Chavez (7-14, 4.17 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 7.05 pm CT and will be carried live locally on Fox Sports Southwest, or streamed anywhere on a connected device with an Mlb.tv subscription. The Rangers head home for a three game battle with the A’s before a huge series against the Houston Astros, and let’s hope they can build a little momentum headed into the series!