The big inning once again stung the Rangers Tuesday, as a four-run third was the catalyst in a 6-2 Mariners win at Globe Life Park in Arlington.
Rangers starter Colby Lewis battled in a very Colby Lewis-esque fashion in five of his six innings, limiting the damage despite having nine hits fall in against him. But the floodgates opened in the third.
Lewis said the third frame was his one bad inning. It started with a couple soft hits and led to an escalated inning.
Seattle strung together three consecutive hits to lead off the third, including a Michael Saunders RBI single and a bunt hit from James Jones, who has hit safely in his first 11 major league starts. Ranger-obliterator Kyle Seager lofted a flare just over the head of Adrian Beltre to plate two runners, and Nick Franklin added a sacrifice fly to cap the damage.
Through four innings, Lewis had allowed 11 base runners while recording just 12 outs. The Mariners totaled nine hits in 27 at-bats against Lewis, which actually lowered the astronomical .349 opponent batting average with which he entered the game.
Robinson Cano added an RBI hit in the fourth inning, tallying the final run against Lewis, who held Seattle to the one run in the fourth despite walking two in the inning. Lewis would post two zeroes in his final two frames, including a perfect sixth.
"He made some good pitches, but they were able to muscle them over the infield," manager Ron Washington said. "He battled. When he was in the third I didn't think he would make it to the sixth. He kept attacking, we just couldn't put runs on the board to support him."
"I didn't get hit around," Lewis said. "It was just a bunch of singles, a bunch of jam jobs, maybe one or two that was hit hard all night."
It was the first time since June 17, 2012 that Lewis completed six innings of work. He threw 104 pitches Tuesday, one start after throwing 108 against Houston last week.
The middle of the order produced the two runs for Texas, as Adrian Beltre lined a home run over the 14-foot-high left field wall on the second pitch of the second inning, and Alex Rios lined an RBI single up the middle in the fourth.
Beltre’s blast was just the second home run Seattle starter Hisashi Iwakuma has allowed in 2014. Iwakuma dealt eight strong innings Tuesday, scattering just four other hits outside of the RBIs from Beltre and Rios.
"He looked like he was in control the whole time," Rios said. "His split was good, his slider was good also. There's not much we could do offensively."
"It was the same Iwakuma," Washington said. "He was sinking the ball, cutting the ball, hitting his spots, changing speeds. That's what he does."
Iwakuma has gone eight innings in each of his last three starts.
Texas was unable to manufacture scoring chances beyond the second and fourth innings, as the Rangers put multiple men on base only once in the entire game.
Aaron Poreda allowed a run for the fourth consecutive outing. The sixth and final run came off back-to-back doubles off the Ranger lefty. Alexi Ogando added two scoreless innings of relief after being struck in the hand by a line drive in his last outing Saturday.
For the second game in a row, the Rangers and their opponent waited through a long instant replay review. Umpires took three minutes, 15 seconds to review an out call on a Kyle Seager stolen base attempt in the seventh inning. The call wasn’t confirmed by replay, but the out call stood.
Seager collected three more hits in five at-bats, adding to his .322 career batting average against the Rangers.
The finale of the two-game set with Seattle is slated for 1:05 p.m. Wednesday afternoon.