Perez, Texas Rangers fall short in Seattle

Posted Saturday, Sep. 22, 2012  comments  Print Reprints
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Michael Young didn't run and hide from the impending questions, not that he ever does, and he gave a direct answer about the key sequence in the Texas Rangers' loss Friday night.

“I should have made that play,” Young said.

With the Rangers missing their two most productive hitters, one of whom just happens to double as the best defensive third baseman in baseball, they had no margin at Safeco Field.

Yet, Young's fourth-inning error at third allowed an unearned run to score, and Alexi Ogando's hanging slider to Miguel Olivo resulted in a two-run homer in the eighth that helped Seattle beat the Rangers 6-3.

The loss prevented the Rangers from gaining a game in the AL West standings on Oakland, which lost at New York. The Rangers' lead in the division held at four games with 12 to play.

David Murphy drove in all three Rangers runs, with a two-run single in the fourth and a solo homer in the sixth, but the offense had only one hit over the final three innings.

The two-out mistakes by Young and Ogando, though, tilted the game back toward the Mariners when it appeared the Rangers were a swing away from taking charge.

“If he makes that play, it's probably a different ballgame,” manager Ron Washington said of the Young error.

“It would have been nice to see what would have happened if it had been 4-3 in the ninth,” Murphy said.

Martin Perez lasted only four innings in his first start since being added to the rotation, surrendering four runs.

The Mariners had base runners in each inning against the left-hander, and they scored single runs in the second and third before posting two in the fourth.

The first came on a chopper from Carlos Truinfel that bounded over Young's head for a double and allowed Casper Wells to score from first.

“That was little frustrating because I was looking for a groundball for the double play,” Perez said. “We didn't have good luck tonight. That's part of the game.”

But the Rangers appeared to be out of the inning as Franklin Gutierrez sent a one-hopper toward Young, who was starting for the Gold Glove-winning Adrian Beltre.

The ball bounded off his glove for an error as Truinfel raced home for a 4-2 lead.

“He hit it hard, but I should have come up with that play,” Young said.

The Rangers had tied the game in the top of the fourth. Young started the one-out rally with a single, and Nelson Cruz followed with a double ahead of Murphy's line drive to center.

Murphy's 14th homer, his first since Sept. 2, came with two outs in the sixth inning off Hisashi Iwakuma, who worked seven innings and beat the Rangers for the first time in three starts.

But he wasn't assured of the win until Olivo drove a 3-2 slider from Ogando into the first row in left field.

“We were in the ballgame,” Washington said. “A couple plays here and we would have stayed in the ballgame. We were in it until Ogando hung that slider to Olivo.”

How Rangers hitters fared: David Murphy drove in three runs with a two-run single and a homer to break out of a mini-slump. He had driven in only one run the past 15 games. Michael Young extended his hitting streak to 10 games, but also bounced into two inning-ending double plays.

How Rangers pitchers fared: Martin Perez wasn't terrible, but he's been better. He allowed four runs (three earned) on six hits in four innings, and was plagued by an inability to work the corner with his fastball. Scott Feldman tossed three scoreless innings in his first relief appearance since losing his rotation spot to Perez.

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