Coming into the game today, the Mariners had dropped five games in a row. I was getting a bit worried as to when the skid would end because things were just not looking well. Well they put on a good show today, defeating Texas10-3 and evening up the series at one game a piece.
Jason Vargas took the mound tonight against Texas, and he has been pitching well as of late. He kept things up though after another strong performance against the always scary Rangers offense. Vargas had some trouble in the first, giving up one run as Josh Hamilton hit Elvis Andrus in from third. He really settled down after that though up until the 6th inning. Andrus lead off the inning with a lead off single and Hamilton followed up with a bomb to center as he continues to be one of the hottest hitters in all of baseball. Vargas went on to go 1-2-3 the rest of the 6th inning. Vargas came back on in the seventh getting the first two batters out but then giving up a base hit to Craig Gentry. That was it for Vargas and he was relieved by Shawn Kelley. Vargas’ final line on the day was 6.2 IP 5H 3 ER 3BB and 2K. He has continued to lower his ERA as this is his third consecutive start allowing just three earned runs in more than 6 innings of work. He’s performing well as the trade deadline approaches and solid lefty’s are always in demand. I’m sure we will hear his name come up in the next few weeks though.
Kelley did his job when he entered the game, getting Ian Kinsler to line out to center and end the inning. He came back out in the 8th, getting two quick outs but then he got into some trouble. Adrian Beltre picked up a two out double and Michael Young followed that up with a walk. Kelley was then relieved by Lucas Luetge who entered to get out of the inning. He came up with a huge strikeout, getting Mitch Moreland and stranding the two runners on base. Tom Wilhelmsen came on to pitch the ninth and the only damage against him was a base hit by Craig Gentry but Wilhelmsen got out of the inning. It was nice to see the bullpen lock things down after some shaky starts over the last few games.
The pitching did their part today, and it was really nice to see the offense step up. John Jaso continues to please Mariners fans as he got the start today and picked up a two out, two run homerun in the second to take a 2-1 lead. Jaso had himself a real nice day going 2-5 with three RBI.
The Mariners struck again in the 5th inning putting up two runs on the board. Brendan Ryan picked up a one out double and Dustin Ackley walked. Alex Liddi followed with a strikeout but Ryan and Ackley each stole and moved up a base. After, Ichiro was intentionally walked brining up Jesus Montero with the bases loaded. He hit a ball to third and Adrian Beltre threw it away, allowing two runs to score. Kyle Seager ended the inning, grounding out to first.
The big inning for the Mariners came in the eighth when the posted a six run inning. Seager led off the inning with a double and Smoak followed up with a base hit, moving Seager over to third. Jaso came up big again, with an RBI base hit. The Rangers then brought in Alexi Ogando and Saunders kept things going with a base hit, loading the bases. Brendan Ryan reached base after an error by Elvis Andrus, bringing in Justin Smoak to score. Ackley followed with a base hit scoring one run and the bases remained loaded. The base this continued as Carp followed up with one scoring a runner and the bases were again loaded. Ichiro hit brought in Ryan on a sac fly and that was the last of the damage in the inning. The score was then 10-3 and would remain the final score.
It was really nice to see the Mariners put together 14 hits today but most importantly, score 10 runs. Justin Smoak has continued to improve, going 1-3 with two walks. Kyle Seager and Michael Saunders each picked up three hits. The Mariners will look to take the final game of the three game series tomorrow.