Whether it was the closed roof at Globe Life Field or a better effort from the Rangers’ pitching staff, Texas put a lid on the Mariners’ offense on Tuesday night en route to a 4-2 victory.
A night after Seattle slugged three home runs and had a season-high 15 hits in a runaway 10-2 win in the first open-roof game at the new ballpark in Arlington, the Rangers shut the retractable roof and shut down the young Mariners lineup.
Seattle totaled only four hits and one earned run against six Texas pitchers, as the Rangers evened the three-game series at 1. Kyle Seager continued his hot start with a 2-for-4 night, and J.P. Crawford reached base for an 18th straight game with an RBI single, but the Mariners mustered little else in falling to 7-12.
The Mariners worked three walks off Rangers starter Mike Minor in the first three innings, but they couldn’t convert any of them into runs. After falling behind, 4-0, they pushed across a pair of runs in the fifth, but that was it, as Texas' final four relievers retired 13 straight batters, five by strikeout.
“I thought our at-bats were good early,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “We didn’t get the big hit, but we were running up his pitch count and the at-bats were really good. We just didn’t get that one big double or big hit to get us on the board early on.
“I have to give their bullpen credit. They threw really well and had good stuff and executed. That’s going to happen on certain nights. It was just one of those games where they got a few through the infield, and we didn’t.”
Servais credited the Rangers’ pitching, not the roof, with making the difference. If anything, the more-expansive park cost Texas leadoff hitter Shin-Soo Choo when he drove a ball 408 feet in the fourth that turned into a long out as it landed in Kyle Lewis’ glove at the warning track.
Clearly, the new ballpark plays differently than the former Globe Life Park, which was a tough pitchers’ park with a steady windstream out to right field and the warm summer air in Arlington. But does the closed roof change things in the facility?
“It’s hard to tell,” Servais said. “It’s just the [larger] dimensions of the ballpark as much as anything. They hit some balls probably better than we did tonight to deep center that stayed in the ballpark. Certainly, in the old ballpark, they would not have, so it’s just a different feel.
“It’s a beautiful stadium. It does play fast on the ground, and there’s a lot of room in the outfield. We’re still learning it, as they are. And it’s their home field.”
Left-hander Marco Gonzales took the loss, as the Mariners’ No. 1 starter gave up four runs on seven hits in five innings and is now 2-2 with a 3.97 ERA after four outings.
Gonzales didn’t appear as sharp as his previous starts, but he battled through an 89-pitch outing and said things just didn’t roll his way.
“I felt good,” Gonzales said. “We had a good plan going in, and I felt we executed pretty good, for the most part. There were a lot of ground balls that just seemed to find holes. It wasn’t my night, but I felt good executing all my pitches.”