Homer happy Rangers cruise past M's in finale
ARLINGTON -- Derek Holland returned from four months on the disabled list to throw 6 1/3 innings of two-run ball and the Rangers ripped three straight home runs in the seventh en route to a 7-2 win over the Mariners to wrap up a series win on Wednesday afternoon at Globe Life Park.
Holland, sidelined with a strained left shoulder since throwing one inning in his season debut in April, allowed eight hits with no walks and six strikeouts in a 93-pitch performance. He's now 10-2 with a 2.94 ERA in 19 career outings against Seattle.
"Today I felt really good," Holland said. "I did a good job of battling, commanding the ball in and out, using my offspeed. It felt good to be back out there."
Mariners rookie Mike Montgomery gave up three runs on three hits in the first, then settled in and got through six innings on just three more hits. Veteran southpaw Joe Beimel entered with a 3-2 deficit and surrendered home runs to Mitch Moreland, MIke Napoli and Elvis Andrus, the eighth time in Rangers history they've hit back-to-back-to-back long balls.
"Two strikes and he hits a guy. Two strikes and he gives up a home run. That's tough," Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon said of Beimel's outing. "He ended up giving up three home runs that inning, so it was tough in a lot of ways. I'm concerned. I'm concerned about his health."
The Rangers closed out a 5-1 homestand and are now 61-58 overall. The Mariners (56-65) head home after going 2-4 on a road trip in which they were outscored 58-28.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Big double play for Holland: The Rangers led, 3-1, going into the sixth, but the Mariners loaded the bases with no outs on three straight singles by Kyle Seager, Nelson Cruz and Robinson Cano. That got Keone Kela warming up in the bullpen. But Holland got out of the jam allowing just one run. He induced Franklin Gutierrez to hit a first-pitch sinker right at shortstop Elvis Andrus for a double play. A run scored, but Holland also retired Austin Jackson on a grounder to end the inning.
"The defense behind me was huge today," Holland said. More >
He likes the lefty: The Mariners couldn't get anything going against Holland until Mark Trumbo laced a solo shot to left with one out in the fifth. It was Trumbo's fifth career homer off Holland, which is the most by any batter against the Rangers' southpaw. Trumbo continues to heat up for Seattle. After batting .139 in his first 22 games after being acquired from the D-backs, the big designated hitter has hit .308 with six doubles, five homers and 15 RBIs in his last 36 games.
"He's an aggressive pitcher and he comes at you," Trumbo said after he scorched a 2-1 breaking ball over the plate. "You're going to get a few pitches to hit. He's got quality stuff, so if you're lucky enough to get a mistake you've got capitalize." More >
DeShields shines defensively: Cruz led off the fourth for the Mariners with a drive to deep center and Delino DeShields made a terrific running catch, getting his glove on it and holding on despite a momentary bobble. DeShields also had another defensive gem in the seventh with Jesus Montero at second and two out. Ketel Marte lined a single to center and DeShields threw out Montero trying to score to keep the Rangers up by one.
"I was just trying to help my team win," DeShields said. "I haven't been feeling too good at the plate, so I was able to make a couple of good defensive plays."
Beimel gets bombed: The veteran southpaw had pitched extremely well for the Mariners much of the season, but has given up five home runs in his last five appearances -- while recording just five outs. Things went from bad to worse for the 38-year-old in this one as he hit leadoff batter Shin-Soo Choo after entering in the seventh, then got one out before Moreland lined a two-run shot just over a leaping Cruz at the right-field fence. Napoli followed with a homer to center that was projected to travel 447 feet by Statcast™ and Andrus ended Beimel's day with another homer to left. It was the second time in his 13-year career that he's allowed three homers in a game, and his ERA has jumped from 2.50 to 4.78 in his last five outings.
"I haven't had my stuff for about a week and a half, I think," said Beimel, who indicated he's having some arm fatigue. "Today was definitely no exception. Command hasn't been there. It's just been really frustrating." More >
"I was surprised he was as sharp as he was. He came right out of the gate throwing 92, 93 [mph], and hit his spots for the most part. He's a big-game pitcher. He had his good stuff. He had his 'A' game today."
-- McClendon, on Holland
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
With his single in the sixth, Cruz has reached base in 30 straight games, the longest active streak in the Majors. Cruz went 1-for-4 and is hitting .417 (20-for-47) with five homers and 10 RBIs in 12 games against his former team this season.
Mariners: Felix Hernandez (14-7, 3.65 ERA) takes on White Sox lefty Chris Sale in a battle of aces when Seattle opens a six-game homestand on Friday at 7:05 p.m. PT at Safeco Field. Hernandez is coming off a career-high 10 earned runs allowed in 2 1/3 innings in a 22-10 loss at Fenway Park.
Rangers: The Rangers meet the Tigers for the first time this season when Martin Perez (1-2, 5.29 ERA) pitches at 6:08 p.m. CT in Thursday's opener at Comerica Park. Perez is 1-0 with a 2.21 ERA in his last three starts, all of which the Rangers have won.
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