American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, April 17th
(All times Eastern)
Seattle Mariners (7-7) at Texas Rangers (8-7), 2:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Seattle - Erasmo Ramirez (1-2, 5.63)
Texas - Tanner Scheppers (0-1, 7.88)
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Texas Rangers target a series win over the Seattle
Mariners Thursday afternoon in the finale of a four-game set in Arlington.
The Rangers lost the opener by a 7-1 score, but have bounced back with 5-0 and
3-2 victories to set themselves up for taking the series from their AL West
rivals. In Wednesday's one-run decision, the Rangers rallied for two runs in
the bottom of the ninth inning for their fourth win in six tries on a 10-game
Kevin Kouzmanoff scored on a wild pitch and Leonys Martin singled home Mitch
Moreland to end the game. Martin had a team-high two hits and also scored a
run for the Rangers.
"You just try to create that opportunity, and Leonys got up there and made it
happen," said Moreland. "You've got to tip your hat to what our pitchers did
It was a duel between starting pitchers, as Seattle ace Felix Hernandez
allowed just a run and four hits in seven innings to go along with nine
strikeouts and one walk in the no-decision.
"Felix did a great job," said Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon. "He got tired
a little bit in the eighth inning ... but he did a fabulous job for us."
Texas starter Yu Darvish fanned eight batters, walked two and gave up two runs
and seven hits in seven frames. Pedro Figueroa tossed a scoreless inning of
relief for the win and Mariners closer Fernando Rodney was dealt the loss for
surrendering a pair of unearned runs.
The Rangers will hand the ball to Tanner Scheppers for Thursday's finale and
he is 0-1 with a 7.88 earned run average in three starts. In last Saturday's
6-5 loss to Houston, Scheppers did not record a decision and gave up five runs
in seven innings. He has allowed five or more runs twice already this season.
Scheppers, a right-hander, is 1-1 with a 1.69 ERA in 11 career relief
appearances against the Mariners.
Seattle has lost two in a row and four of five games, and couldn't build on
Hernandez's solid start on Wednesday. Abraham Almonte had two hits and an RBI,
while Nick Franklin and Dustin Ackley scored runs in the loss.
Mike Zunino also had a pair of hits for the Mariners. He was disappointed his
team couldn't hold the win for King Felix.
"After he turns in that outing right there, you want to seal the deal for
him," Zunino told the club's website. "He did everything in his power to get
us to that spot and it's unfortunate we couldn't. Hopefully next time he has a
start like that, we can turn it in for him."
Rodney appeared to have the save in control after getting the first two
batters of the ninth inning out. However, the bases were then loaded on a Brad
Miller throwing error and Rodney uncorked a wild pitch for the tying run. The
tilted-cap wearing Rodney then gave up the winning hit to Martin.
"Rodney did a great job for us," Mariners skipper Lloyd McClendon said. "It's
unfortunate we made the error there, but that's baseball. Those things happen.
Over the course of a 162-game schedule, you're going to win your share of
those and lose your share of them. When you're on the losing end, it never
feels good. But like I told my guys, turn the page and get ready for
Taking the mound for McClendon's club Thursday will be Erasmo Ramirez, who has
a 1-2 record and 5.63 ERA in three starts. Ramirez has allowed eight runs and
12 hits over his last two starts (9 innings) and permitted three runs in five
innings of a 3-1 loss last Saturday to Oakland.
Ramirez, who tossed seven innings of two-run ball in his season debut, has no
record and a 2.38 ERA in three career meetings (1 start) with Texas.
Texas went 12-7 against the Mariners last year.
04/17 10:27:27 ET