Walker rocked early, Mariners lose 9-6 to Rangers
SEATTLE (AP) — Taijuan Walker had no command of his fastball from the very start of the game and it led to a dismal performance against the Texas Rangers on Tuesday night.
Texas homered three times off Walker and beat the Seattle Mariners 9-6 to pull within one game of Houston for the AL West lead.
Walker (10-8) allowed six runs, five earned, in three-plus innings.
“It was a bad game,” he said. “I was getting behind every hitter.”
Mitch Moreland, Shin-Soo Choo and Rougned Odor all went deep against Walker. Even the unearned run was his fault as he sailed a throw over first base on a chopper back to the mound.
“I was leaving stuff right over the middle of the plate and left everything up,” Walker said. “They were just sitting and waiting when they saw I couldn’t command the fastball.”
Moreland’s solo home run gave Texas the lead in the second. A three-run drive by Choo extended it to 4-0 in the third.
Seattle got a run back on Kyle Seager’s fielder’s choice in the bottom half.
After Elvis Andrus reached on Walker’s error, Odor homered to make it 6-1.
“He threw up a clunker. He wasn’t very good,” Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said.
Cole Hamels (3-1) shook off a line drive that deflected off his left shoulder and pitched seven innings for Texas. Hamels, acquired from Philadelphia in late July, gave up four runs on eight hits and improved to 9-8 overall.
“Luckily enough it hit the muscle that I guess I have on me,” Hamels said. “It absorbed everything it could. I’m sure I’ll have a nice bruise in the next couple days.”
Shawn Tolleson earned his 31st save.
Jesus Montero singled home Mark Trumbo, and Shawn O’Malley’s sacrifice fly scored Logan Morrison for Seattle. An RBI groundout from Ketel Marte drove in Montero to close the gap to 7-4.
Joey Gallo homered off Tony Zych in the eighth to extend the Texas lead to 8-4.
Stefen Romero drew a nine-pitch walk from Rangers reliever Jake Diekman in the bottom half. Robinson Cano followed with a two-run homer to center field to close the deficit to 8-6.
Seager and Trumbo extended their hitting streaks. Seager ran his to 11 games with a sixth-inning single. Trumbo reached 10 games with a fourth-inning single and has hit safely in 19 of his last 20.
Rangers: OF Delino DeShields is day to day after leaving Monday’s game with a mild left knee sprain. He was not available. Will Venable started in place of DeShields in center field.
Mariners: LHP James Paxton (3-3, 3.70 ERA) is a strong candidate to start Sunday against Colorado. Paxton has been on the disabled list since May 29 with a strained left middle finger. He partially tore his nail on the same finger during a rehab start last week that set the process back. If all goes well in a bullpen session Thursday, he could be activated Sunday.
Rangers: LHP Martin Perez (2-4, 5.07 ERA) has allowed three earned runs or fewer in eight of his nine starts for Texas since joining the rotation July 17. Perez got a no-decision after tossing six innings with just two earned runs in an 11-3 Rangers victory over the Mariners on Aug. 8.
Mariners: LHP Vidal Nuno (0-2, 3.72) will get a spot start in the third game of the four-game series. Nuno will make his sixth start of the year for the Mariners. He’s made 26 appearances for Seattle, most coming out of the bullpen, since being acquired from Arizona on June 3.