Mariners starting pitcher Felix Hernandez yells as he leaves the mound after being removed during the fourth inning of a game against the Rangers on Sept. 20, 2017, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Mariners starting pitcher Felix Hernandez yells as he leaves the mound after being removed during the fourth inning of a game against the Rangers on Sept. 20, 2017, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Mariners lose to Rangers 8-6 for 5th straight loss

Rougned Odors grand slam caps a seven-run fourth inning for Texas.

SEATTLE — The math says the Mariners are still alive in the wild-card race, though each day their pulse is getting more difficult to detect.

A nightmarish collapse in the fourth inning Wednesday sent the Mariners to an 8-6 loss to Texas at Safeco Field. The Rangers scored seven runs in fourth thanks to three walks, two errors and a Rougned Odor grand slam.

It was too much to overcome, although the Mariners did get the go-ahead run to the plate in the seventh inning. A baserunning mistake by Ben Gamel in the eighth inning didn’t help, either.

“We’ve got to play better baseball,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “You’re not going to the playoffs if you continue to make errors and don’t execute in crucial situations or make pitches. That’s just where we’re at. That’s the reality of it.”

Desperately in need of a September surge to avoid extending their postseason drought to 16 seasons, the Mariners have instead lost five in a row. At 74-78, they are four games under .500 for the first time since the All-Star break.

While the Mariners remain four games behind nose-diving Minnesota in the race for the American League’s final wild-card berth, they have just 10 games remaining and must jump past three other clubs to get to the Twins.

Further, while Minnesota has lost five of its past six games, it closes the season by playing seven of its 10 remaining games against Detroit, which has lost 33 of its past 44.

A very faint pulse.

Everything started fine Wednesday for the Mariners, who took a 1-0 lead with two out in the third inning on Mitch Haniger’s 14th homer of the season.

Haniger turned on a 96-mph fastball from Texas starter Andrew Cashner on a 1-2 count and sent a drive into the seats above the line scoreboard down the left-field line.

Felix Hernandez had, at that point, retired the first nine Rangers in order, but that ended when he began the disastrous fourth inning by walking Delino DeShields.

The Mariners’ defense then betrayed Hernandez, who wasn’t nearly as sharp when pitching from the stretch with runners on base.

“I was different from the stretch than from the windup,” he said. “So maybe (that was the problem).”

Shin-Soo Choo grounded a single to right and, when Haniger bobbled the pickup, DeShields went to third. Elvis Andrus then hit a slow chopper that third baseman Kyle Seager mishandled for another error.

Had Seager made a clean pickup, he appeared to have a play at the plate on DeShields, who instead scored the tying run.

A walk to Adrian Beltre loaded the bases with no outs before Nomar Mazara grounded an 0-2 changeup into center field for a two-run single and a 3-1 lead.

“I lost my command a little bit,” Hernandez said. “I was missing, but I was missing down in the zone. Three walks and a couple of base hits.”

Hernandez (5-5) struck out Joey Gallo but exited after he reloaded the bases by walking Robinson Chirinos. In came Andrew Albers, who surrendered a grand slam to Odor on a 1-2 slider.

“Middle, middle,” Albers said. “Hung it. You know he’s going to swing. He’s an aggressive hitter. That’s got to be a better pitch.There’s just no excuse for that. That’s a pitch that just can’t happen in that situation.”

The Rangers led 7-1.

Cashner (10-10) held the Mariners to three run in six innings before four relievers closed out Texas’ victory. Alex Claudio got the final six outs for his 10th save.

NOTES

Reliever Shae Simmons struck out the side in the eighth inning in continuing a strong September after spending nearly the entire season on the disabled list because of a strained right elbow.

“Shae has a really good arm and good stuff,” Servais said. “It’s nice to see him healthy. His fastball has a lot of life, and the last curveball he threw to DeShields was awesome.”

Simmons has allowed only one hit in six scoreless innings over six appearances since being activated Sept. 1 from the 60-day disabled list. He gave up seven runs and 12 hits in 11 innings over 13 rehab appearances in the minors.

Talk to us

More in Sports

Blake Springer draws back for a pass during practice at Monroe High School Tuesday afternoon in Monroe, Washington on August 30, 2022.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Associated Press high school football poll for Week 6

Four Snohomish County teams receive top-10 rankings.

Seattle Mariners' Ty France is doused Jarred Kelenic after the team's 5-4 win over the Detroit Tigers in a baseball game Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022, in Seattle. (AP Photo/John Froschauer)
Mariners roll into playoffs after walk-off win over Tigers

Seattle ends its season with a sweep of Detroit and next faces Toronto starting Friday.

X
Vote for The Herald’s Prep Athlete of the Week for Sept. 26-Oct. 2

The Athlete of the Week nominees for Sept. 26-Oct. 2. Voting closes… Continue reading

The AquaSox's Trent Tingelstad, a Marysville Pilchuck alum. (Shari Sommerfeld / Everett AquaSox).
Community roundup: MP grad Tingelstad recognized by Mariners

The AquaSox outfielder received the Dan Wilson Minor League Community Service Award handed out by the Seattle organization.

White line on Green grass sport field for sport concept
Prep roundup for Wednesday, Oct. 5

Prep roundup for Wednesday, Oct. 5: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

The Mountlake Terrace Hawks rally before the match against Archbishop Murphy Thursday night at Lynnwood High School in Lynnwood, Washington on September 22, 2022. The Hawks and Wildcats finished the match with 1-1 tie. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
After years of struggles, unbeaten Terrace girls thriving in Wesco 3A/2A

The Hawks won just one game during the 2018 and 2019 seasons. The rising program hasn’t lost yet this fall.

Marysville-Pilchuck’s Darren Johnson-Jones, left, tries to block a pass to Miguel Chavez, right, during football practice on Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021 in Marysville, Wash. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Vote for The Herald’s Prep Football Game of the Week

Help pick one of the high school football games we cover Friday… Continue reading

New York Yankees' Aaron Judge, left, hits a solo home, his 62nd of the season, in front of Texas Rangers catcher Sam Huff and home plate umpire Chris Segal during the first inning in the second baseball game of a doubleheader in Arlington, Texas, Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022. With the home run, Judge set the AL record for home runs in a season, passing Roger Maris. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
Yankees’ Judge hits 62nd homer to break Maris’ AL record

The slugger passes the old record set in 1961.

White line on Green grass sport field for sport concept
Prep roundup for Tuesday, Oct. 4

Prep roundup for Tuesday, Oct. 4: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

Most Read