RHP Hisashi Iwakuma and the Mariners were defeated by a red hot Texas Rangers team on Monday night in Arlington by a final score of 6-3. Iwakuma couldn't seem to find a groove in this one, as he was only able to go 3.0 innings on the night. The game was nationally televised on ESPN for some "Monday Night Baseball", and now, unfortunately, the Mariners are 0-3 this season when their games are aired on ESPN. With the loss, the Mariners are now at a W-L record of 68-63 on the season, now 9.5 GB in the AL Western division behind these first place Rangers. For that second American League Wild Card spot, the Mariners trail the Baltimore Orioles by 3.5 games. Baltimore currently sits in that second spot.
Offensively on Monday night, the M's combined to put up 3 runs on 7 hits off of TEX RHP Yu Darvish, and LHP Jake Diekman. RF Franklin Gutierrez (.239 AVG) pinch-hit in this one for Seth Smith, and in the top of the eighth inning, made this a completely new ball game with a 2-run double down the left field line to score Leonys Martin and Shawn O'Malley. The double was Guti's 8th of the year, and the 2 RBI now give him 33 on the season. Gutierrez didn't stay in the game however after going 1-for-1 at the plate with the hit, for RF Guillermo Heredia came in to pinch run for him at that time. 1B Adam Lind (.231 AVG) connected for his 14th double of the season on Monday night and also drove in the first Mariner run of the game from the hit. The double came in the top of the fourth inning off of Yu Darvish to cut Texas' lead to 4. The RBI was Lind's 52nd of the season. Lind went 1-for-4 at the plate on Monday night for Seattle. Also contributing offensively for the M's was 2B Robinson Canó (.301 AVG) who brought his average above that .300 line with a 2-hit night at the plate. Robbie went 2-for-3 at the dish with 2 singles. CF Leonys Martin (.245 AVG), LF Shawn O'Malley (.238 AVG), and SS Ketel Marte (.262 AVG) each connected for a single in this one for Mariners' offense. C Mike Zunino (.226 AVG) has unfortunately hit an 0-for-his-last-20 slump, as he struck out 4 times on Monday night for a "Golden Sombrero". Luckily, we all know what Mike Z can bring to the game, and he has the team behind him that can help him get back to that stage.
On the mound on Monday night, RHP Hisashi Iwakuma took the baseball for his 27th start of 2016 on Monday night in Arlington. The Iwakuma - Darvish matchup was an "All Japan" matchup, for both are from there. The game was the 14th time between both Hisashi and Yu's career in which they have faced off. This matchup was the first time they have faced off against each other since 2013. In 2009, Iwakuma and Darvish were teammates on the Japanese team in the World Baseball Classic. Unfortunately, RHP Hisashi Iwakuma lost the "All Japan" matchup on Monday night, as he was only able to go 3.0 innings before being taken out. Iwakuma went those 3.0 innings giving up 5 runs on 6 hits (all runs earned), while walking 1 and striking out 2 Rangers in his outing. Kuma gave up a solo homer to TEX DH Carlos Beltran in the bottom of the first inning. Unfortunately, Hisashi suffered his 10th loss of the season on Monday night, and now has an individual W-L record of 14-10 on the season with an ERA of 4.01 in over 160.0 innings pitched so far this year with the M's. In relief of Iwakuma on Monday night at Globe Life Park in Arlington was SHP Pat Venditte, that's right, switch-handed pitcher Pat Venditte, who was stellar in his Seattle Mariners debut. Venditte (3.86 ERA), who was acquired in early August from the Toronto Blue Jays for a PTBNL. Venditte, switching from his left to his right hand throughout, went 3.0 innings giving up just 1 run on 1 hit while walking 1 and striking out an impressive 5 Blue Jays on the day! RHP Arquimedes Caminero then took the ball in relief for the M's, and went a total of 1.0 inning while giving up just 1 hit. Caminero now has a 3.38 ERA. RHP Nick Vincent then tossed the bottom of the eighth inning, giving up nothing and striking out 1 Ranger on the night.
WHAT'S NEXT? :
The Mariners will look to bounce back from a tough series opener loss in seeking a win in game 2 of this 3-game series at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas. Looking to help get them this win is the Southpaw James Paxton (4-5, 3.78 ERA) making his 15th start of the season for Seattle. Paxton and the M's are set to face TEX LHP Cole Hamels (14-4, 2.90 ERA)! Be sure to catch all of the action on ROOT Sports NW or listen in on 710 ESPN Seattle radio! First pitch start time- 5:05 PM PAC, 8:05 PM ET!
This is Tom Hayden signing off saying Go Mariners! Stay #TrueToTheBlue as our M's #KeepFighting.