The Rangers traveled to Seattle over Memorial Day weekend and head to Arizona after winning a three game series against the Mariners 2-1.
After winning the first two games, Texas was in position to sweep the series but Seattle forced the issue in game three; winning 4-3 after 13 innings on Sunday.
Saunders Continues to be Rangers Punching Bag:
Coming into Friday’s game, Seattle pitcher Joe Saunders had made 13 starts at Safeco Field and was undefeated. He had a 9-0 record and a 1.72 ERA in Seattle. Unfortunately for Saunders, the Rangers seem to have his number no matter what field he is standing on.
Saunders surrendered six runs in five innings in Texas’ 9-5 win. After the loss, he is 3-9 with an ERA of 6.60 in his 14 career starts against Texas. That ERA is the third highest for any pitcher with at least 10 starts against the Rangers.
Texas got eight of its 13 hits against Saunders and took him deep twice.
Jeff Baker started things off for Texas in the top of the second inning, with his two-run shot that gave the Rangers a 2-1 lead heading into the bottom of the second.
In the Seattle half of the the second, Jesus Surce came to the plate with runners at first and second with nobody out. He grounded to first baseman Mitch Moreland, who threw to second and raced to cover first for the double-play. Grimm was also running to first, but never got there. Subsequently, Elvis Andrus’ throw was caught by Grimm off the bag, but Surce was called out anyways.
The missed call became magnified when Grimm gave up a two-out double to Brendan Ryan, that drove in Raul Ibanez from third. Grimm then struck out Michael Saunders to keep the game tied at 2-2, when it could have easily been 4-2 in Seattle’s favor.
After a Lance Berkman three-run homer in the top of the third, Justin Grimm allowed three consecutive two-out hits in the bottom of the inning. Seattle managed to cut the Rangers lead to two, but Grimm ended his outing with three shut-out innings to get the win.
Grimm has a two-game winning streak going, and is 4-3 with a 4.05 ERA after eight starts.
The Dutch Oven Out Duels ‘King’ Felix:
Derek Holland loves Safeco Field and Ranger fans know that he performs well against the Mariners. After beating Seattle 5-2 on Saturday, Holland has eight wins against the Mariners and has yet to allow an earned run in Seattle as a starter.
Holland out pitched Felix Hernandez by allowing two unearned runs in 6 2/3 innings. Hernandez gave up 11 hits and struck out nine in his 5 2/3 innings of work. He is now 8-2 with a 3.39 ERA against the Mariners in 10 career starts.
The victory was Holland’s first over Hernandez but the losing to Texas is nothing new to the former American League Cy Young winner. Hernandez’s 18 losses to the Rangers ranks second all time. The Rangers have beat Hernandez twice this season; making him 12 with a 3.87 ERA in his career against Texas.
David Murphy had a good night and is starting to come around. He struggled in April and early in May, but has really started to see the ball well and is raising his average. In April Murphy was batting .176 with 2 HR and 7 RBI. In May, he is hitting .279 with 4 HR and 16 RBI.
In addition to Hollands stellar performance, Ranger closer Joe Nathan pitched a 1-2-3 ninth; picking up his 16th save and continuing his dominance in 2013.
Holland moves to 4-2 with a 2.97 ERA on the season. He is also 3-0 with an ERA of 2.53 through five starts in May.
Nathan Unable to Complete Sweep:
On the brink of being swept, the Seattle Mariners forced the Rangers to play 13 inning of baseball.
In the bottom of the 11th inning with a 3-2 lead, there wasn’t anyone the Rangers wanted on the mound other than closer, Joe Nathan. On Saturday he shut the door on Seattle to pick up his 16th save of the season and his 31st consecutive road save. On Sunday, he couldn’t get it done.
Nathan gave up a game-tying home run to Raul Ibanez, which lead to Jason Bay driving in the game-winning run off a broken-bat single in the 13th inning off of reliever Ross Wolf.
Texas jumped out in front early when Jurickson Profar homered from the lead-off spot in the first inning. However the Rangers were unable to keep the lead and couldn’t reclaimed it until catcher A.J. Pierzynski drove in a run in the 11th inning- making the game 3-2.
The Rangers used a total of seven pitchers on Sunday. This is cause for concern for Ranger fans because on Monday Texas will play a double-header in Arizona.
Manager Ron Washington has stated that he will not make any roster moves other than adding starter Martin Perez. For the bullpen and the Rangers’ sake, lets hope that tomorrow’s starters (Perez and Yu Darvish) pitch late into the game.