Rangers Hammer Mistake Pitches in 7-2 Win Over M’s

Texas Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor celebrates while touching home plate after hitting his second home run of the game against the Seattle Mariners during a Major League Baseball game on Tuesday, July 23, 2019, at T-Mobile Park in Seattle.

By Jordan Nailon / jnailon@chronline.com

SEATTLE — It didn’t take long for that old familiar feeling to settle in at T-Mobile Park on Tuesday during a 7-2 loss to Texas. Specifically, it took one pitch.

Rangers left fielder, and former Mariner, Shin-Soo Choo dug into the batters box to leadoff the game and promptly deposited the first offering from Mariners starting pitcher, Tommy Milone, into the stands in left-centerfield. Things would get better for Milone and company later on, but the key word in that sentence is “later.”

Milone wound up surrendering six runs through 2 ⅓ innings due in large part to propensity to leave the ball over the heart of the plate. Those mistake pitches led to a trio of home runs by the Rangers with Nomar Mazara and Rougned Odor both joining the pinata party in the third inning.

“Early in the ballgame today, Tommy wasn’t quite as sharp. They were on him very agressive from the first pitch on,” noted Mariners manager Scott Servais in his postgame press conference. “Choo jumped on the first pitch of the game and you don’t often see that but he did and put them up early. It took him awhile to get into his rhythm and really locate his pitches. He made some mistakes in the middle of the plate.”

Based on the lack of action in the bullpen in those early innings that disheartening start didn’t seem to phase Servais much in the midst of the game. After surrendering an upper deck shot to Mazara and then a super sonic blast to Odor the lefthanded Milone buffered his manager’s decision to leave him in by settling down to retire 11 of the next 12 batters he faced. His final line included nine hits and six runs allowed over six innings while striking out five batters.

“I will give him a ton of credit. He hung in there and hung three zeroes to kind of keep us in the ballgame and keep us away from using everybody in our bullpen, which is a good job by him to hang his head and come back and compete and fight. He made some good pitches in the last three innings but it was just a little too late,” Servais said.

Servais added that those woes are not endemic to Milone. Rather, they seem to be an affliction with an affinity for southpaws.

“Most of the lefthanders we have need to be fine and live on the edges and execute their pitches. Certainly when they’re not, it can get loud and the Rangers have power. They certainly showed that tonight,” Servais said.

For his part, Milone was on board with Servais’ assessment of his performance.

“Overall I felt like it was okay. It’s just that I was getting ahead and not putting guys away. I just left some balls over the middle of the plate and that’s where the damage was,” noted Milone.

On the contrary, the Mariners offense was set down in order four times on the night but they still managed to make things interesting at times. Mallex Smith led the bottom of the first inning off with a single and later scored on a single up the middle by Omar Narvaez. Three innings later, Kristopher Negron found his way on base with a single and then turned on the afterburners in order to score from first on a double down the right field line by J.P. Crawford.

Servais lamented that the early deficit simply proved too much to overcome for his team as Rangers’ pitchers Brett Martin, Pedro Payano, Rafael Montero and Kyle Bird combined to scatter seven hits over nine innings.

“What does that do to your offense? It puts a lot of pressure on your offense. When you’re down that big early in the game you’ve got to fight, and we did. We added a couple of runs, got a couple guys on and if you get a big hit, it’s 6-4 and you’re right back in it,” Servais said.

Matt Carasiti pitched a scoreless seventh inning for Seattle before handing the ball over to Matt Magill. With two outs in the eighth inning, Magill allowed Odor to stroke his second long ball of the night to extend the Rangers’ lead to its final measure. It was Odor’s 12th multiple home run game in his career.

The win for Texas snapped an eight-game losing streak. Seattle has now lost 16 of their last 20 games and find themselves cemented in the cellar of the American League West Division with a record of 41-63.

Game Notes: Domingo Santana was removed from the game in the second inning after suffering right elbow soreness. Additional details, including a timetable to return, were not available after the game. Earlier in the day Dee Gordon was placed on the Injured List with a quadriceps strain. Gordon joined 11 other Mariners on the IL, including Mitch Haniger, Ryon Healy, Braden Bishop, Dan Altavilla, Austin Adams, Brandon Brennan, Connor Sadzeck, Hunter Strickland, and Arodys Vizcaino.

Tuesday’s Result

At Seattle

RANGERS 7, MARINERS 2

Texas 123 000 010 — 7 10 0

Seattle 100 010 000 — 2 7 1

Batteries: Texas — Brett Martin, Pedro Payano (2), Rafael Montero (6), Kyle Bird (9) and Tim Federowicz; Seattle — Tommy Milone, Matt Carasiti (7), Matt Magill (8) and Omar Narvaez

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