Rangers fall short in 11 innings vs. Mariners

April 27th, 2019

SEATTLE -- The Rangers asked rookie right-hander to pitch in relief Friday night against the Mariners, just two days after throwing 66 pitches in a start against the Athletics.

It did not go well, and the Rangers suffered their fifth straight loss when the Mariners scratched out a run in the 11th inning for a 5-4 walk-off victory at T-Mobile Park.

The Rangers trailed 4-2 into the eighth but an RBI double by in that inning and a pinch-hit home run by in the ninth tied the game. Mazara also had a two-run home run on his 24th birthday, but the Rangers were 1-for-8 on the night with runners in scoring position.

“It was tough,” Choo said. “We played our best but when you play 162 games over a season, you are going to have to a couple of games like that.”

Dowdy was called upon in the 11th after the combination of Jesse Chavez, Shawn Kelley, Adrian Sampson and Chris Martin pitched five scoreless innings in relief of starter Shelby Miller. Manager Chris Woodward had other options, including closer Jose Leclerc. But Leclerc was being held back for a save situation.

Ariel Jurado was another option. He was called up on Friday and hadn’t pitched since last Sunday for Triple-A Nashville. But Woodward wanted to get one inning out of Dowdy against the lower half of the Mariners order.

“I felt comfortable with Dowdy,” Woodward said. “With the guys he was going to face, it was a good matchup for him. I was going to go with Jurado next but I felt really comfortable with Dowdy especially the way he has been throwing the ball. Felt those guys were a little bit overmatched against him.”

Woodward was not deterred by Dowdy coming off a 66-pitch outing two days before.

“He said he felt fresh, said he was fine,” Woodward said. “I felt Dowdy could give us a zero. I was really comfortable with Dowdy.”

Dowdy started the inning by striking out Tim Beckham, but Omar Narvaez smacked a single up the middle for the Mariners' first hit since the sixth inning. Dowdy then walked Ryon Healy and Dee Gordon to load the bases.

“The two walks were the thing that killed him, because I don’t think those guys hit him at all,” Woodward said.

Mitch Haniger, at the top of the Mariners order, hit a sharp grounder at third baseman Logan Forsythe, who made the play to his left with his momentum going toward second base. Forsythe had a shot at an inning-ending double play but had trouble getting the ball out of his glove and was late with his throw to second. That left second baseman Rougned Odor with no chance to complete a double play.

Forsythe might have had a shot at home but Woodward said he made the right decision to go for the double play.

“As an infielder, rocket to your left, if he fields it cleanly, we are hitting [in the 12th],” Woodward said. “You have to trust the ability to do that. If he makes a different decision and goes home, next pitch, wild pitch base hit, game is over. You have to play the odds of fielding the ball cleanly and throwing the ball to second base. Haniger runs well, but it’s still a double play as hard as that ball was hit. If he fields it cleanly, it’s a double play.”

Miller allowed four runs in five innings and left with the Rangers trailing, 4-2. He walked five while allowing just three hits. But Edwin Encarnacion had a three-run home run in the third and added an RBI single in the fifth.

“We were one hit away the whole game,” Woodward said. “But I am proud of our guys, they fought all the way to the end. It’s a really tough loss, but we’ll come back tomorrow. This one stings and we’re going to have trouble getting to bed. But we got a game tomorrow.”