SURPRISE, Ariz. – Despite a strong start from right-hander Erasmo Ramirez and a long home run from Justin Smoak that snapped a scoreless tie in the sixth inning, Seattle dropped a 5-3 decision at the Texas Rangers in front of 7,621 fans at Surprise Stadium Wednesday in Cactus League play.
Ramirez scattered three hits in five-plus innings of work, striking out six and not walking a man. The only run he allowed came when a runner he left on base scored off of the bullpen. Ramirez finished the Cactus League season with a 1.14 earned run average.
Following the game, manager Lloyd McClendon said that Ramirez “is my number two starter.”
After Rangers starter Colby Lewis tossed 5.0 shutout innings of his own, Seattle broke through for three runs in the top of the sixth inning, keyed by a long home run to right field by first baseman Justin Smoak. It was Smoak’s third homer of the spring and he finished the game 1-for-3 to raise his average to a solid .311.
Seattle added a third run in the 6th inning, as Michael Saunders bunted his way aboard, Nick Franklin followed with a base hit to right field, and Dustin Ackley collected an RBI single.
The Rangers answered with four runs in the bottom of the sixth off reliever Charlie Furbush (0-2). Furbush allowed 3 runs on 3 hits, including a home run by Kevin Kouzmanoff, in one inning of work. Texas added one more run in the seventh off of Joe Beimel.
Danny Farquhar pitched a scoreless eighth inning to keep the game close, but Seattle was unable to score in the ninth.
The Mariners (17-11-3) are off tomorrow, before hosting the Colorado Rockies on Friday night. Left-hander Roenis Elias will start for Seattle, while the Rockies will counter with Tyler Chatwood.
LINESCORE 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
MARINERS 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 - 3 11 1
RANGERS 0 0 0 0 0 4 1 0 x - 5 8 0
WP: McCutchen (1-0) LP: Furbush (0-2) SV: Soria (1)
SEA – Ramirez, Furbush (6), Beimel (7), Farquhar (8) and Buck, Hicks (7)
TEX – Lewis, McCutchen (6),Cotts (7),Ogando (8), Soria (9) and Arencibia, Chirinos (6)
Home Runs – SEA: Smoak (3); KC: Kouzmanoff (2)
Attendance – 7,621 Time – 2:33