Derek Holland said that he didn’t give his team a chance to win Friday night.
The left-hander lasted only five innings, and he didn’t execute two pitches to Dae-Ho Lee. Another to Kyle Seager could have been better.
When Holland left, having allowed five runs on three homers, the Rangers were down four and the offense never put it all together in a 7-5 loss to the Seattle Mariners.
“It just wasn’t my night,” Holland said. “I hate losing. These guys are paid to do what they did.”
But he shouldn’t shoulder all the blame. The Rangers’ shortcomings in the eighth inning also played a part in the Mariners winning the first of three weekend games at Safeco Field.
The game was there for the Rangers to take in the eighth inning after they had trimmed their 5-1 deficit to 5-4 after and had Ian Desmond at second with no outs.
But Desmond didn’t go any further, though, as the middle of the lineup missed three chances, and the Rangers only fell further behind.
It just wasn’t my night. I hate losing. These guys are paid to do what they did.
Rangers lefty Derek Holland
Had the Rangers tied the game, Matt Bush would have entered. Instead, the Mariners scored twice in a messy eighth that started with Shawn Tolleson striking out Nelson Cruz, who reached on a wild pitch.
Lee was next, and he banged a grounder off Tolleson’s foot that allowed Cruz to move to second. Rather than have two outs with no one on, the Rangers walked Seager, and Chris Iannetta followed with a single to left.
Cruz had stopped at third, but Ryan Rua’s throw sailed over cutoff man Jurickson Profar in the middle of the infield, and an out-of-position Tolleson also missed it as it went to the backstop and allowed Cruz to score and both runners to advance.
Seth Smith followed with a sacrifice fly to put the Rangers in a three-run hole.
“If it’s a tie game, we bring in Bush there,” manager Jeff Banister said. “But even with that, a strikeout to lead off the inning, the ball gets away. A soft ground ball back to the pitcher that we don’t make a play on. There were a lot of things inside that inning that set that inning up.”
7 Home runs hit by both teams Friday night, four by the Rangers
Lee connected for two of the three home runs off Holland, a solo homer in the second and a three-run shot in the fourth inning that was the big blow. Seager hit the third homer, a solo shot the batter after Lee gave the Mariners a 4-1 lead.
The Rangers hit four homers, solo shots by Desmond, Rua and Mitch Moreland in the seventh and ninth. Desmond doubled home Profar in the eighth to make it a one-run game, but Nomar Mazara, Rougned Odor and Rua couldn’t get a timely hit.
“I was just trying to see something over the plate,” Rua said. “I got the pitch I was looking for. I just didn’t do anything with it.”
Though Holland wasn’t at his best, that’s where a game that was there for the Rangers to take got away from them for good.