SEATTLE If there was any good news to come from Nick Martinez’s start Tuesday night at Safeco Field, it’s that he left the game with all of his teeth.
Dustin Ackley took a swipe at the Martinez grillwork in the fourth inning, sending a liner back to the mound that forced Martinez to become a contortionist to avoid some heavy-duty dental work.
But the hit also drove in a run in the Seattle Mariners’ three-run frame and helped to send Martinez and the Texas Rangers to a 5-0 loss in which the offense continued its sputtering ways.
Martinez was charged with five runs in five innings, and the offense was limited to four hits and fewer than three runs for the fifth straight game and for the seventh time in the past eight.
James Paxton put the kibosh on the Rangers' offense, allowing four singles in 6 2/3 innings. Two of the hits were by third baseman Adrian Beltre.
The Rangers were down 2-0 after two innings as Robinson Cano homered with two outs in the first and Seattle scored again an inning later. Martinez got a terrific back-handed play from Beltre to hold the Mariners to only the one run in the second.
But Martinez opened the fourth by walking Logan Morrison, and Chris Taylor followed with a single before Endy Chavez doubled them both home with a shot over the head of center fielder Daniel Robertson.
Austin Jackson tripled two batters later and scored easily on Ackley’s liner past the mound.
The loss, Martinez’s 10th of the season, snapped a streak of three straight starts in which he had pitched better but not spectacularly. He had shown a knack for limiting damage and making quality pitches when needed.
He couldn’t do that in the fourth. Even if he had, though, the punchless Rangers offense was already in too deep of a hole.