Coming into Wednesday's game against the Rangers, the Mariners offense was really, really bad. No power. No patience. But last night, something happened against the Texas Rangers, the best team in the American League. The Mariners put 21 runs on the board, including eight runs in the second AND third innings. I've created a special "Hitting Lines of the Night" category just for the Mariners offense. It's funny, though. Even after this 21 run, 20 hit, four homer rout, the Mariners team OPS sits at .669...the second worst mark in the American League, and fourth worst in baseball. Ah, the Mariners...
Game of the Night: Mariners 21, Rangers 8. I'm going to keep talking about this, mostly from the non-Seattle offense side of things. Remember, the Mariners pitching staff still allowed EIGHT RUNS in this game, including the team getting outscored 8-4 over the final three innings of hte game. The Mariners pitchers (Blake Beavan and Hisashi Iwakuma, WHO GOT A SAVE IN A 13 RUN WIN) allowed 13 hits and eight runs, walking just one while only striking out two. After the first 2 1/3 innings, the Texas pitching staff actually didn't do a bad job. They went 6 2/3 innings, allowed five hits and five runs, while walking four and striking out six. One really bad thing for the Rangers: they had to burn nearly their entire bullpen. Texas used six relievers, with the only holdout being closer Joe Nathan. Why are you using Alexi Ogando, Mike Adams, and Koji Uehara in a TEN RUN GAME? Absolutely ridiculous bullpen management by Ron Washington.
Pitching Lines of the Night: Francisco Liriano shut out the A's over six innings, allowing three hits and two walks, striking out nine in the process. AJ Burnett of the Pirates continued his great year, allowing just one unearned run over seven innings to the Reds on two hits, two walks, and three strikeouts.
Hitting Lines of the Night (non-Mariners edition): Carlos Gonzalez of the Rockies went 4/5 with three runs, four RBI, and three homers. In a losing effort, Lucas Duda of the Mets went 3/4 with three RBI and two homers. The Padres Carlos Quentin went 3/4 with four RBI, a walk, a double, and two homers.
Hitting Lines of the Night (Mariners edition): In their rout of the Rangers, the meat of Seattle's order did a ton of damage. Third place hitter Kyle Seager went 4/6 with four runs, two RBI, and two doubles. Cleanup hitter Jesus Montero went 3/4 with four runs, four RBI, two walks, a double, and a homer. And finally, fifth place hitter Justin Smoak went 3/5 with three runs, six RBI, a walk, a double, and two homers. Whew.
Spotlight Series: Shockingly, the White Sox beat the Rays yesterday 4-3 to complete a three game sweep in Tampa Bay. Despite the questionable ejection of Jose Quintana in the fourth inning, reliever Nate Jones kept the Rays relatively in check in relief of him, while the rest of Chicago's bullpen shut down the Rays offense. Tampa scored three runs on the day, all coming via home run. Luke Scott hit a solo shot in the second, and Carlos Pena hit a two-run homer in the sixth that brought the Rays within a run, but they couldn't tie it up. The White Sox took a first inning lead on an RBI single by Alex Rios before Scott's homer tied the game, and they regained the lead for good in the third, thanks to an RBI single by Dayan Viciedo that was followed up with an Alexei Ramirez sac fly. Ramirez would tack another run on in the fifth, doubling in Viciedo for the fourth run of the game for the White Sox. Despite the sweep, the Rays are still in a tie with the Orioles at the top of the AL East, thanks to Baltimore getting swept in Toronto. The red hot White Sox now hold a 1.5 game advantage in the AL Central over the Indians, and their record is equal to that of both the Orioles and Rays. After a day off for both teams today, the White Sox will head home to host the Mariners, while the Rays host divisional rival Baltimore to sort out the tie at the top of the division.
Other Games: The Bruce Chen led Royals knocked off the Indians 6-3. The Twins shut out the A's 4-0. The Cubs got a walkoff homer from Darwin Barney to beat the Padres, and sweep the series, 8-6. The Pirates edged the Reds 2-1, and won the series against the NL Central leaders. The Blue Jays hit four solo homers en route to beating the Orioles 4-1, completing the sweep. The Braves beat the Cardinals 10-7, and are 5-1 against the defending World Champions this year. The Red Sox continue to play good baseball, beating the Tigers 6-4. The Phillies used nine runs in the final three innings to beat the Mets 10-6. The Mariners obliterated the Rangers 21-8 in a game that Texas had no shot in early on. The Marlins used a Giancarlo Stanton homer to beat the first place Nationals 5-3, and to creep to within a half game at the top of the division. Carlos Gonzalez's huge day led the Rockies to a 13-5 win over the Astros. The Yankees edged the Angels 6-5 to avoid a sweep. The Brewers beat Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers 6-3, but the bigger news was Matt Kemp leaving the game for LA. The Diamondbacks beat the Giants 4-1, as Tim Lincecum looked off his game yet again.
Today's Games: Only three games on the slate today. Max Scherzer takes on Josh Beckett in Boston, Bud Norris and Jeremy Guthrie duel in Colorado, and Zack Greinke will take on Chad Billingsley in LA.
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.
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