A sloppy sixth inning that saw three Texas errors, six Seattle runs and one Ron Washington ejection was the lowlight of a bad night of Rangers baseball at Globe Life Park in Arlington, as the Mariners earned a 7-1 victory.
Colby Lewis was solid through four scoreless innings before Mike Zunino emphatically ended Seattle’s 21-inning scoreless streak with a 422-foot home run onto Greene’s Hill in center field for the game’s first run.
Lewis was chased from the game after an RBI triple and RBI single from back-to-back Mariners. Leonys Martin could’ve been charged with a fourth error in the inning when he mishandled the ball on Michael Saunders’ RBI triple.
"[Colby] was outstanding," manager Ron Washington said. "He didn't walk anyone, he pounded the strike zone, the runs they got off of him they earned by hitting the ball."
"I felt really good," Lewis said. "I wouldn't say I was nervous, I was more anxious to get out there. I had a lot of fun."
After Lewis’s exit, it only got worse for Texas. Kevin Kouzmanoff and Alex Rios fumbled balls allowing Seattle runners to reach or advance safely. J.P. Arencibia dropped a throw home on the transfer and was charged with an error after an out call was overturned. The review of the transfer play took three minutes and thirty seconds.
The explanation that came from Major League Baseball during the game was that the call was overturned because Arencibia “did not have control of the ball in his throwing hand” before dropping it.
Washington was ejected for arguing after the call was overturned.
"The guy on the base was out," Washington said after the game. "I understand what the rule is, but we've got to do something about it."
In the midst of the rubbish in that sixth frame was an RBI single from Kyle Seager. Seager came into the game batting .322 with eight home runs and 26 RBI in 47 career games against Texas. He was hitting .374 at Globe Life Park.
Lewis looked like he was simply the next victim in the Case of the Missing Ranger Run Support early. He threw seven strikes on 10 pitches in a three-up, three-down first inning, striking out the first Big League batter he faced in 21 months in Abraham Almonte.
The struggles continue for the Rangers’ offense, as its leadoff man reached base four different times Monday only to be erased by a double play ground ball. Shin-Soo Choo led off the game with a nine-pitch walk and Elvis Andrus followed with a single before being erased on a double play grounder by Rios.
Double play balls stymied potential rallies in the first, third, fifth and eighth innings. Arencibia attributed the double plays to Mariner starter Roenis Elias's good changeup.
Getting chances and failing to capitalize is nothing new for the sputtering offense, as it entered the game having gone 9-for-62 (.145 BA) with runners in scoring position and left 47 men on base during its previous six games.
Kevin Kouzmanoff brought home the lone Ranger run with an RBI single to right field, extending his major league hit streak to seven games spanning 931 days, dating back to the end of his tenure with the Rockies in 2011. He has hit safely in all five games as a Ranger.
Prince Fielder hit a bloop double that bounced out of a lunging Brad Miller’s glove down the left field line before Kouzmanoff’s RBI hit in the seventh inning. The first two men reached in the ninth before a pop-up, a pinch-hit strikeout and a fly out to center ended the game.
A bright spot for Texas came in the form of two-and-a-third scoreless innings from Hector Noesi, who was acquired Saturday to be the club’s long relief man. He allowed just one hit Monday.
Roenis Elias pitched six-and-two-thirds innings for Seattle, striking out five Rangers and allowing the only run.
The two teams square off in the second of a four-game series Tuesday. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.