A lot happened at Safeco Field on Tuesday night, and a lot of it wasn’t good.
Even for the victorious Texas Rangers.
The teams combined to throw 365 pitches, with the six Seattle Mariners pitchers 213 times. Mariners starter James Paxton was at 85 pitches after three innings and finished eight strikeouts, four in the first inning.
Thirty-seven players participated.
Each team walked in a run.
The game lasted 3 hours, 44 minutes, the Mariners’ longest nine-inning home game of the season.
Somebody call for the bartender.
Here’s some Rangers Reaction from a 10-7 win.
1. Martin Perez was still standing in the sixth inning, which rates as mildly remarkable all things considered.
The Mariners made him work in each of his first innings, and Elvis Andrus’ dicey defense didn’t help either. Even in two of the scoreless innings Perez posted, he struggled at some point.
Alas, the left-hander made it through six innings with a quality start, as two of the four runs against him were unearned. And he was the winning pitcher, which rates as highly remarkable considering the road woes he had entering the game.
In his first 13 road starts, he went 1-8 with a 6.23 ERA.
He didn’t pitch like Sandy Koufax on Tuesday. He allowed a two-run homer to Kyle Seager, a left-handed hitter, on a hanging slider.
Lefties entered hitting only .172 against Perez, the lowest mark in the AL.
Perez also couldn’t overcome two Andrus errors behind him. Each turned into a run, including one on the Seager homer.
But Perez was good enough to stop the Rangers’ two-game losing streak, to help the Rangers keep their division lead at 8 1/2 games and to give him a late-season boost of confidence with his next start either at Anaheim on Sunday or at Houston early next week.
Confidence goes a long with the Perez.
2. As good as the Rangers’ offense has been the past week, and it’s been phenomenal, they missed chances to put the Mariners away and turn the game into a rout. Twice the Rangers loaded the bases with one out and didn’t score, and once they got only a run.
The first time was in the first inning, with Jonathan Lucroy and Andrus up. Both struck out to keep the Rangers from a big inning and to strand the first of 15 runners in the game.
The same situation arose in the seventh — bases loaded with one out. This time, Carlos Beltran popped to left field and Adrian Beltre lined to left field.
Both misses were significant as the Mariners immediately responded with runs.
The good news for the Rangers was that they responded with runs.
That includes in the ninth, when the bases were loaded with one out for Rougned Odor. He bounced into a fielder’s choice after just missing a grand slam with a long foul ball to right field, but Lucroy drew a two-out walk to make it 10-7.
The offense continues to make life miserable for opposing teams. The Rangers have scored 66 runs in the past seven games with 17 home runs. They have scored at least six runs in eight straight.
Andrus, who continues to flirt with .300, more than atoned for his first-inning miss and his two fielding miscues with three doubles, a solo homer, three runs and two RBIs.
The Rangers’ are getting production from all spots in the lineup and from their regulars and role players.
It’s a good time to be a Rangers hitter.
3. Aside from a bases-loaded walk, Keone Kela pitched well.
Aside from a one-out single, Sam Dyson pitched well.
Matt Bush struggled some and needed to strike out Rangers killer Seager as the potential tying run in the eighth.
No reliever on the team, at least the ones who matter, is struggling as much as Jake Diekman, who failed to retire a batter for a third consecutive outing.
All three batters he faced to open the seventh reached. Robinson Cano singled sharply to center, Nelson Cruz doubled off the wall in right field, and Seager walked.
Diekman didn’t throw many strikes, and when he did, they resulted in line drives.
That’s troubling for the Rangers and their primary left-hander in the bullpen. He said last week that his problems would be an easy fix. Manager Jeff Banister said that Diekman’s cross-fire action is firing too wide.
With Jeremy Jeffress out indefinitely while in treatment in Houston and with Tanner Scheppers being eased into action again, the Rangers’ bullpen needs Diekman to make the quick fix.
If not and the bullpen is left to scramble, it could be a long few weeks and a short playoff run.