Texas at Seattle

Scoreboard
Texas (75-87)100010000242
Seattle (88-74) «02010100x451

Mariners 4, Rangers 2

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

SEATTLE -- The Seattle Mariners missed the playoffs for a sixth consecutive season and sprayed beer all over their clubhouse anyway.

Felix Hernandez pitched into the ninth inning and J.J. Putz got one out to earn his career-high 40th save, leading the Mariners to a 4-2 victory over the Texas Rangers on Sunday.

Seattle won its final five games to finish 88-74, a 10-game improvement over last season and good for second place in the AL West after three straight years in last place. It's the only team in the major leagues to increase its win total in each year since 2004.

But the Mariners were 20 games over .500 and leading the wild-card race on Aug. 25 before losing 15 of 17 games while the New York Yankees surged past them and into the postseason.

"Absolutely I think everyone in here realizes we have a team that can compete and contend," Putz said. "We're really close. Maybe one or two players away."

Despite another fall without a postseason, team chief executive Howard Lincoln announced Thursday that general manager Bill Bavasi, who arrived before the 2004 season, and McLaren -- who went 43-41 after Mike Hargrove abruptly resigned during an eight-game winning streak July 1 -- will both return next season.

"We feel good going into the offseason," McLaren said.

The Mariners cracked open cans of beer and sprayed the suds in the clubhouse to celebrate career minor leaguer Jamie Burke's first homer in the bigs. His solo drive off of A.J. Murray (1-2) in the second tied it at 1.

Burke also had a perfectly executed suicide squeeze bunt in the fourth to make it 3-1.

Hernandez (14-7) allowed four hits and two runs before he was pulled with two outs and none on the ninth so Putz could become the second Mariners reliever with 40 saves. Kazuhiro Sasaki had 45 in Seattle's 116-win season of 2001.

"That was probably the toughest decision I made all year," McLaren said. "We wanted Felix to get the complete game, but I felt like J.J.'s been there all year. He deserved 40 saves."

Hernandez tipped his cap to a roaring crowd as he walked off the mound. He struck out eight, walked none and hit a batter with a pitch. Putz struck out Jarrod Saltalamacchia to end the game.

Murray allowed four runs and five hits in six innings. The rookie struck out five and walked two in his second major league start for the Rangers, who finished 75-87, a five-game decline in Ron Washington's first season as a major league manager after 11 years as a coach.

Washington called his managerial debut a success.

"Very rewarding," he said. "We didn't do much in the way of a record, but we got an opportunity to see some kids grow."

Rangers slugger Sammy Sosa didn't play in the finale. He finished his comeback season with 21 homers, 92 RBI and a .252 average in 114 games -- with 87 starts as a designated hitter. He batted .341 with five homers and 17 RBI in his final 10 starts.

Sosa said he hopes to be back with Texas next year.

Notes

Jose Lopez hit his career-high 11th homer in the sixth off Murray. ... The Rangers have finished with a losing record in seven of the eight seasons since they last won the division in 1999.

 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
Players of the Game
Seattle

J. Burke
AB 2
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
Seattle

F. Hernandez
IP 8.2
H 4
ER 1
BB 0
K 8
 

Related Video

December 16, 2014
La Canfora previews Seahawks at Cardinals (3:43)
November 18, 2014
La Canfora on Marshawn Lynch and the Seahawks
(2:32)
December 17, 2014
Eagles at Redskins Preview
(2:26)
December 17, 2014
Chargers at 49ers Preview
(2:48)
Texas Rangers
Freddy Guzman, CF4000011 .167
Ian Kinsler, 2B3100010 .263
David Murphy, LF4011010 .343
Jason Botts, DH4000021 .240
Nelson Cruz, RF4000021 .235
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, 1B4110020 .266
Guillermo Quiroz, C3010000 .400
Travis Metcalf, 3B2010000 .255
Ramon Vazquez, SS3001002 .230
Totals3124209  
Batting
2B - David Murphy (12, Hernandez)
SH - Travis Metcalf (5)
RBI - David Murphy (14), Ramon Vazquez (28)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
E - Guillermo Quiroz (2, Interference), Jarrod Saltalamacchia (14, Throwing)
Texas Rangers
A.J. Murray (L,1-2) 6543252 4.50
Luis Mendoza 2000020 2.25
Pitches-Strikes - A.J. Murray 79-52, Luis Mendoza 18-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - A.J. Murray 5-8, Luis Mendoza 3-1
Batters Faced - A.J. Murray 26, Luis Mendoza 6
Seattle Mariners
Ichiro Suzuki, CF3010110 .351
    Charlton Jimerson, CF00000001.000
Jose Vidro, DH4000022 .314
Jose Guillen, RF3010010 .290
    Jeremy Reed, RF0000000 .176
Adrian Beltre, 3B4000023 .276
Mike Morse, 1B4000012 .444
Jose Lopez, 2B3111000 .252
Adam Jones, LF3110000 .246
Jamie Burke, C2112000 .301
Willie Bloomquist, SS2100100 .277
Totals2845327  
Batting
2B - Jose Guillen (28, Murray)
3B - Adam Jones (1, Murray)
HR - Jose Lopez (11, Murray), Jamie Burke (1, Murray)
SH - Jamie Burke (5)
RBI - Jose Lopez (62), Jamie Burke 2 (12)
2-OUT RBI - Jamie Burke (7)
SB - Willie Bloomquist (7, 2nd base off Murray/Quiroz)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
E - Jose Lopez (9, Missed catch of throw)
Seattle Mariners
Felix Hernandez (W,14-7) 8.2421080 3.92
J.J. Putz (S,40) 0.1000010 1.38
HBP - Kinsler (by Felix Hernandez)
Pitches-Strikes - Felix Hernandez 106-72, J.J. Putz 5-3
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Felix Hernandez 18-1
Batters Faced - Felix Hernandez 32, J.J. Putz 1
Game Information
Attendance - 30442
Game Time - 1:57
Temperature - 54
Umpires - Home - Bill Miller, First Base - Marvin Hudson, Second Base - Ed Montague, Third Base - Jerry Layne