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Iwakuma's strong outing let down by defense in 3-2 loss


6/5 at TEX by TOM HAYDEN

GLOBE LIFE PARK, ARLINGTON, TX. ----

The Mariners dropped their third straight game to their AL West rival Texas Rangers on Sunday by a score of 3-2. RHP Hisashi Iwakuma made his twelfth start of the year, and had himself a solid outing. Unfortunately, a couple of defensive errors costed 'Kuma and the M's in what was a series finale loss. Some good news for the next series back home in Seattle however is the fact that SS Ketel Marte will be returning from the 15-day DL (thumb sprain). Hopefully we'll see Marte's smooth defense and powerful offense return starting on Monday night in Seattle against the Cleveland Indians. Prior to his injury, Marte is batting a .267 AVG with 1 HR and 14 RBI so far on the season.

Now, back to Sunday's game in Texas. Offensively the Mariners put up only 3 hits in the 3-2 loss. Hits came from RF Nelson Cruz (.289 AVG), 2B Robinson Canó (.289 AVG) and C Chris Iannetta (.222 AVG). Nelson Cruz connected for 2 RBI on the day with a 2-run blast to left-center in the fourth inning of this one to give the M's a 2-0 lead. Cruz now has 13 HR on the year and 40 RBI!

On the mound, RHP Hisashi Iwakuma made his twelfth start of the 2016 season. Iwakuma went a solid 7.0 innings giving up only 3 runs on 4 hits, with only 1 of those runs earned. 'Kuma struck out 7 Rangers and walked only 1 in his outing. LF Stefen Romero made a tough error that possibly costed the M's in the end, mainly because he hesitated to get a ball home to get out Elvis Andrus (Andrus was the third TEX run). Unfortunately, Hisashi suffered the loss and now has a W-L record of 4-5 with an ERA of 4.13. In relief of Iwakuma was RHP Nick Vincent (2.16 ERA). Vincent tossed the eighth inning giving up only 1 hit and nothing else in his outing.

The Mariners will now look to keep their solid record of 31-25 going as they open up a 4-GAME series with the AL Central leading 31-24 Cleveland Indians. The 4-game series are a part of what will be 7 straight games at home in Seattle for the M's (CLE- 4 games TEX- 3 games). It will be LHP James Paxton making his second start of 2016 for Seattle (in place of RHP Felix Hernandez who's on 15-day DL with a calf strain). Paxton (0-1, 7.36 ERA) and the M's will face CLE RHP Trevor Bauer (3-2, 4.27 ERA). Catch this one on ROOT Sports NW, or listen in on 710 ESPN Seattle! First pitch start time- 7:10 PM PAC, 10:10 PM ET.

This is Tom Hayden signing off saying Go Mariners! Stay #TrueToTheBlue.

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