SEATTLE -- Rangers starter Doug Fister was at the top of his game for six-plus innings on Memorial Day at Safeco Field, throwing the ball as well as he has all season.But the work of Mariners starter Marco Gonzales left little room for error, mistakes or lapses of judgment, and
SEATTLE -- Rangers starter Doug Fister was at the top of his game for six-plus innings on Memorial Day at Safeco Field, throwing the ball as well as he has all season.
But the work of Mariners starter Marco Gonzales left little room for error, mistakes or lapses of judgment, and that's what cost the Rangers in a 2-1 loss on Monday afternoon.
Fister allowed two runs in six-plus innings while Gonzales gave up just one unearned run on four hits through 6 2/3 innings. Gonzales has allowed just two unearned runs over 19 1/3 innings in his last three starts.
"Nothing is easy," Fister said. "Fastball command was good and I was able to locate the sinker. Whether we're up 10 or down 10, I've got a job to do. Our guys were working hard and putting up good at-bats. We just came up short today."
Gonzales did walk four, but the Rangers were 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position on the afternoon and had three runners thrown out on the base, two of whom were picked off at second base by Gonzales: Ronald Guzman was caught in the third and Rougned Odor thrown out in a rundown after breaking too early for third base in the fifth.
"A lot of positives out there today but there were a few negatives in there for us," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "The non-turned double play ball … the last few days we've given up some runs after situations like that. Picked off the bases a couple times … a situation where our offense -- and Gonzales did a great job against us -- but when we have run-scoring opportunities against him, we can't make those kind of mistakes."
Fister was still able to hold a 1-0 lead until the Mariners broke through with two runs in the sixth. Guillermo Heredia started the rally with a one-out single. Denard Span followed with a one-hop smash right at Odor at second, who bobbled it momentarily. He recovered to get the force at second but the bobble and Span's speed kept the Rangers from getting an inning-ending double play.
"I missed the ball," Odor said. "The sun and the white shirts made it tough to see the ball but there are no excuses. It was a ground ball and I just missed it."
Mitch Haniger, Nelson Cruz and Kyle Seager followed with three straight singles to give the Mariners a 2-1 lead. Fister came out in the seventh after the first two batters reached on a hit by pitch and a single. He has now gone almost two months since his only win in his first start on March 30 and is 1-5 with a 4.09 ERA after 10 starts.
"I still thought he was throwing the ball well," Banister said. "I thought he was throwing the ball well when I went and took him out. It was just the situation. I wanted to give them a different look [with Jose Leclerc] and it was getting back to the top of the lineup. He didn't do anything wrong. He threw the ball extremely well, as good as he has thrown all year. Very veteran, big league start by a guy I thought had a great feel for the baseball today."
The Rangers' only run off of Gonzales came in the third inning, when Odor scored an unearned run on a passed ball by catcher Mike Zunino.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Odor singled and stole second with one out in the fifth inning. He then tried to steal third and the Mariners were ready. They had a pickoff play on and Gonzales fired to second just as Odor broke for third. He was tagged out in the rundown.
"They put on a pickoff play -- no-look timed play -- and they executed it well," Banister said. "Rougned has always been an aggressive runner and we are going to encourage him to continue. But there are times when you have to be aware of the situation."
Shin-Soo Choo has reached base in 15 straight games. He is hitting .327 (17-for-52) with 16 walks in that stretch.
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
With two out in the top of the second, Ryan Rua hit a soft line drive to right field and Haniger seemed to make a nice sliding catch just before the baseball was going to hit the ground. Second-base umpire Chris Segal ruled no catch, but nobody seemed to notice. Haniger flipped the ball to second baseman James Beckham and started trotting off the field while Rua pulled up jogging around first base. Finally, when everybody woke up, Rua bolted for second and was thrown out. But if he had been called safe, the Mariners could have easily challenged the no-catch call and had it overturned anyway.
"On my way to first, I saw him catch the ball," Rua said. "As I turned around first, I saw the umpire signal no call. It seemed life everybody was jogging off the field and the guy threw the ball away. I was trying to catch them sleeping, but unfortunately [Beckham] caught the ball."
Right-hander Austin Bibens-Dirkx will make his second start at 9:10 p.m. CT Tuesday, facing the Mariners at Safeco Field. Bibens-Dirkx allowed six runs (four earned) in 6 1/3 innings against the Royals on Thursday. Texas will face Felix Hernandez, who will be making his 56th career start against the Rangers, the most ever by any opponent. His 24 losses are also the most by any Rangers opponent.
T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.