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Rangers bring the bats again as Felix and Mariners drop series finale

8/31 at TEX by TOM HAYDEN

68-65, 11.5 GB in AL WEST ----

Tough, Tough, Tough. An unfortunately great word to use to describe the Mariners' loss to the Rangers on Wednesday afternoon. The M's fell 14-1 to a hot Texas team in the series finale. RHP felix Hernandez got the start in this one, and started off decent in the first inning, but Texas solved him after that. Offensively, the M's were putting the bat on the baseball, they just could not produce runs; something that really hurt them in this series. The Mariners went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position on Wednesday afternoon and went 4-for-12 on Tuesday night. That simply won't cut it it against a Rangers ball club that leads the Majors, numbers wise, in many categories. With the loss, the Mariners have fallen to 68-65 on the season, and have lost 5 straight games. Luckily, this rough road trip has come to an end, and our M's can now turn the page to September as we head home, and hopefully turn these losses into W's. As of right now, the Mariners are 11.5 games in back of the first place Texas Rangers and 2.0 games in back of the second place Houston Astros in the American League Western division standings. For an American League Wild card spot, the Mariners are still in reach as they are still just 4.5 games behind the Baltimore Orioles who currently sit in that spot. 

On the mound on Wednesday afternoon in Arlington, Texas, RHP Felix Hernandez took the ball for his 19th start of the 2016 season. Felix, who hasn't had too many issues with the Texas Rangers in the past, looked to continue that journey on Wednesday afternoon, but unfortunately that Texas offense solved his breaking ball rather quickly in this one. Hernandez went 4.0 innings, which is very un-Felix like, and gave up 6 runs on 6 hits (all earned) while walking 4 and striking out 3 Rangers in his outing. Hernandez gave up a grand slam to TEX LF Carlos Gomez in the fourth inning of the ball game. Hernandez unfortunately suffered a loss, and now has an individual W-L record of 9-5 on the season with an ERA of 3.48 in just over 120.0 innings pitched so far this season. In relief on Wednesday afternoon for Seattle was LHP Vidal Nuño (3.86 ERA) who went 1.0 inning giving up 2 runs on 3 hits (both runs earned). Nuño gave up a 2-run homer to TEX 3B Adrian Beltre in the bottom of the fifth inning. RHP Arquimedes Caminero (3.60 ERA) then came into pitch going 1.2 innings while giving up 2 runs on 2 hits (both runs earned) while striking out 1 and walking 1 in his outing. Caminero gave up a 2-run homer in the bottom of the seventh inning to TEX 2B Rougned Odor. SHP Pat Venditte (6.23 ERA) made his second career appearance with the Seattle Mariners in this one, finishing up the game on the mound for the M's going 1.1 innings while giving up 4 runs on 3 hits (all earned) while striking out 2 Rangers and walking 1 in his outing. Venditte had a tough time keeping the baseball in the park, as he gave up a 3-run homer to TEX 2B Rougned Odor in the bottom of the eighth inning, and a solo homer to TEX LF Ryan Rua, also in the bottom of the eighth inning. 

Offensively on Wednesday afternoon the M's put up 1 run on 8 hits off of TEX LHP Martin Perez, and RHP Tony Barnette. The only run came in with the bat of 3B Kyle Seager (.288 AVG) who notched his 25th homer of the season on Wednesday, a solo shot to center in the top of the eighth inning off of Barnette. The RBI now gives Seager 86 on the season, which is in fact a team high amount. 2B Robinson Canó (.302 AVG), DH Franklin Gutierrez (.242 AVG), C Chris Iannetta (.214 AVG) and LF Guillermo Heredia (.204 AVG) each connected for a single in this one. 1B Dae-Ho Lee continues to bring up a now .253 batting average as he went 3-for-4 at the dish for the afternoon, batting 3 singles for the M's in this one. As I said earlier, however, the Mariners left 9 on base in this one, while also going 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position, something you cannot do against a team with great offensive power. I feel the bats getting hot come September, however. 

WHAT'S NEXT? : 

The M's will now head back home to Seattle set and ready to turn the pages to September. Our M's will open up a 3-game Labor Day weekend series with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Getting the start on Friday night for Seattle, looking to get this series started off right will be LHP Ariel Miranda, making his 5th start of the season and 7th game appearance. Miranda (1-1, 5.70 ERA) and the M's will face LAA LHP Brett Oberholtzer (3-2, 5.78 ERA). Be sure to tune into ROOT Sports NW for watching or listen in on 710 ESPN Seattle radio! First pitch start time- 7:10 PM PAC, 10:10 PM ET! 

MARINERS 365 NOTES: 

The Mariners have added newly acquired OF Ben Gamel to the roster, while also recalling C Jesus Sucre from AAA Tacoma. Gamel was acquired from the New York Yankees last week for a pair of prospect pitchers. 

The Mariners gave up LHP Jake Brentz and RHP Pedro Vasquez to the Pittsburgh Pirates to complete the trade in which the Mariners received LHP Arquimedes Caminero. 

The Mariners have activated RHP Evan Scribner off of the 60-day DL, while placing RHP Nathan Karns on 60-day DL. 

RF/DH Nelson Cruz will return to Friday's lineup after missing a couple of days with soreness in the nerves of his left hand. It was reported that it was painful for Cruz when he gripped a bat, but the pain should subside in a short amount of time. 

This is Tom Hayden signing off saying Go Mariners! Stay #TrueToTheBlue as our M's #KeepFighting!

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