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Texas at Seattle

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Texas (14-20) «2170000001080
Seattle (14-20)000010000170

Rangers 10, Mariners 1

CBSSports.com wire reports
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SEATTLE -- Telling Sidney Ponson this is his last chance in baseball might be the best move the Rangers will make this year.

"That's just the way he thinks," the forgotten veteran right-hander said, bristling when reminded what manager Ron Washington told him when Texas signed him to a minor-league contract in March. "Everyone's entitled to their opinion. Can't do nothing about it."

Except what he's doing now.

Ponson allowed only one run for the third consecutive start since being recalled from Triple-A while major league RBI leader Josh Hamilton, Michael Young and David Murphy drove in three runs each in the Rangers' 10-1 victory against the sinking Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night.

Seattle lost for the sixth time in seven games before the smallest crowd in Safeco Field history to move back into a last-place tie in the AL West.

The bad vibe in Seattle is spreading beyond the clubhouse. ONly 15,818 showed up on a 53-degree night. That was one night after the third-smallest home crowd inside 9-year-old Safeco Field, which welcomed an average of more than 36,000 per game as recently as 2004.

Seven of the 10 smallest crowds in stadium history have come this year.

"It's only been one month and a week. We can't panic right now," Miguel Batista (2-4) said after he walked six and allowed six runs on only three hits in 2 1/3 miserable innings.

"We have enough talent to win."

The few saw Texas do that for the fifth time in seven games since talk of firing Washington got hot.

Mariners hitters continued their mostly punchless season by managing only seven harmless hits in seven innings off Ponson (2-0), who worked quickly and at times effortlessly. The 31-year-old former Baltimore ace struck out two and walked one while continuing his startling revival after getting released last May after seven failed starts with Minnesota. He said he went home to the Dominican Republic to "clear my mind and have fun and forget baseball."

The Twins were the third team to release Ponson in 10 months. After the fun, he had a free-agent tryout March 6 in Jupiter, Fla. The Rangers signed him three days later, with no promises other than an invitation to spring training.

He has a 1.33 ERA since his recall from Triple-A Oklahoma last month.

"I told him this could be his last opportunity, to take advantage of it. He's doing that," Washington said, smiling.

Ponson huffed at that.

"Last year, I thought that was my last chance. That's what it said in the Minnesota papers," he said. "I could be through. I could not be. We'll see."

The Rangers are seeing. And believing.

"Maybe we got lucky," Washington said. "Maybe we got lightning in a bottle."

Seattle could use some. Immediately.

One night after victory sparked Mariners talk of merely getting back to .500, Seattle played like its listless, humiliated predecessors of the 1980s instead of the team expected to possibly win the division.

The Rangers scored 10 runs in three innings on only six hits and seven walks. Batista and Cha Seung Baek walked 10 in all.

Hamilton, who took a game off Monday for the first time this season, hit a three-run homer off Baek that was still rising when it smashed into the second deck to make it 10-0. His new team remained wowed.

"I don't think the day off had anything to do with it. The guy can flat-out play," Young said, marveling over the formerly troubled first-overall draft choice. "I had no idea he'd be like this.

"He can do things others can't do."

The home run gave Hamilton 36 RBI and was the final blow of a seven-run third, the Rangers' most productive inning of the season.

Seattle finally scored in the fifth, on back-to-back doubles by Wladimir Balentien and Ichiro Suzuki.

Batista walked four, allowed a double to Ian Kinsler, an RBI groundout by Milton Bradley and a sacrifice fly by Murphy in a 44-pitch first inning and trailed 2-0.

In the second, Ramon Vasquez doubled, moved to third on Kinsler's sacrifice and scored on Young's sacrifice fly.

Batista went to full counts on seven of his first 13 batters then walked Bradley in the third. Murphy then hit a laserlike home run to make it 5-0. When Batista issued his sixth walk, to Frank Catalanotto, he was gone. The tiny crowd booed as loud as it could.

Notes

  • Batista, who struck out two, is 1-2 with a 14.04 ERA in three home starts.
  • Washington said RHP Scott Feldman will start Friday against Oakland, a day after LHP Kason Gabbard comes off the DL to start the series finale in Seattle.
  • Seattle LHP Jarrod Washburn, who left his start Monday with a tight right calf, said he was much improved. He expects to start on turn Saturday.
 
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.
 
 
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Players of the Game
Texas

M. Young
AB 3
R 2
H 1
HR 0
RBI 3
Texas

S. Ponson
IP 7.0
H 7
ER 1
BB 1
K 2
 
Texas Rangers
Ian Kinsler, 2B3210102 .280
Michael Young, SS3213101 .303
    German Duran, 3B0000000 .259
Josh Hamilton, CF4113110 .299
Milton Bradley, DH4101120 .305
David Murphy, RF3113110 .270
Brandon Boggs, LF4000131 .286
Frank Catalanotto, 1B2110300 .261
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C4010105 .250
Ramon Vazquez, 3B-SS5220024 .271
Totals3210810109  
Batting
2B - Ian Kinsler (7, Batista), Ramon Vazquez (2, Batista)
HR - Josh Hamilton (7, Baek), David Murphy (4, Batista)
SF - Michael Young (3), David Murphy (3)
SH - Ian Kinsler (3)
RBI - Michael Young 3 (16), Josh Hamilton 3 (36), Milton Bradley (15), David Murphy 3 (21)
2-OUT RBI - Michael Young 2 (5), Josh Hamilton 3 (15)
Team LOB - 8
Texas Rangers
Sidney Ponson (W,2-0) 7711120 1.33
Franklyn German 2000020 0.63
HBP - Clement (by Sidney Ponson)
Pitches-Strikes - Sidney Ponson 103-67, Franklyn German 13-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Sidney Ponson 12-7, Franklyn German 2-2
Batters Faced - Sidney Ponson 30, Franklyn German 6
Seattle Mariners
Ichiro Suzuki, CF2011100 .282
    Willie Bloomquist, CF1010000 .192
Jose Lopez, 2B4020001 .301
Raul Ibanez, LF4010006 .306
Adrian Beltre, 3B3000012 .267
    Miguel Cairo, 3B1000000 .000
Richie Sexson, 1B4000023 .209
Jeff Clement, DH3000010 .150
Yuniesky Betancourt, SS4000002 .270
Kenji Johjima, C4000000 .189
Wladimir Balentien, RF4120000 .280
Totals3417114  
Batting
2B - Ichiro Suzuki (5, Ponson), Raul Ibanez (9, Ponson), Wladimir Balentien (1, Ponson)
RBI - Ichiro Suzuki (10)
SB - Ichiro Suzuki (13, 3rd base off Ponson/Saltalamacchia)
Team LOB - 8
Seattle Mariners
Miguel Batista (L,2-4) 2.1366621 5.66
Cha Seung Baek 4.2344441 6.00
Ryan Rowland-Smith 1000010 4.63
Mark Lowe 1200020 4.09
Pitches-Strikes - Miguel Batista 85-45, Cha Seung Baek 93-55, Ryan Rowland-Smith 11-6, Mark Lowe 20-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Miguel Batista 3-2, Cha Seung Baek 7-3
Batters Faced - Miguel Batista 16, Cha Seung Baek 21, Ryan Rowland-Smith 3, Mark Lowe 5
Game Information
Attendance - 15818
Game Time - 2:48
Temperature - 53
Umpires - Home - Jeff Kellogg, First Base - Mark Wegner, Second Base - Chad Fairchild, Third Base - Rick Reed