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Smoak, Mariners knock off Rangers

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers are seeing their lead in the American League West slip away.

Justin Smoak homered in the eighth inning and drove in a run in the ninth for Seattle to beat Texas 8-6 on Saturday night.

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Texas lead in the division slipped to two games over Oakland, which beat Baltimore 5-2. It's as close as anyone has been to the Rangers since April 13 when the Rangers also led the division by two games.

The Rangers will play their final 17 games against AL West teams, including six against the Angels and seven against the A's.

Texas trailed 6-0 early before tying the game in the sixth inning.

"We fell behind early, and we fought and got back in it," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "But we just couldn't stop them."

Smoak had three hits, two runs and three RBI, helping Seattle build a 6-0 lead in the first three innings while sending Texas starter Scott Feldman to the bench after just 2 2/3 innings. Feldman, who had lost his last five starts going into the game, threw 71 pitches.

Dustin Ackley homered to lead off the third and Michael Saunders had a two-run triple. Saunders also had a RBI single in the first. Smoak scored Saunders with a single and Eric Thames plated Smoak to make it 6-0.

"They did hit some good pitches," Feldman said. "There were some pitches I threw where I wanted to and they hit them and others that got a little too much plate.

Martin Perez kept the Rangers in the game in relief of Feldman. He retired 13 of the 15 batters he faced, only allowing a walk and hitting a batter. He struck out five and became the first Texas reliever with over 4 1/3 innings pitched to allow no hits and no runs since Mark Brandenburg did the same in 4 2/3 innings against Seattle on July 6, 1996.

"I thought he was great," Washington said. "The kid came in and kept the ball down in the zone and had a good change up and was aggressive. He threw the ball extremely well."

Texas got on the board in the third after Seattle starter Jason Vargas walked the bases loaded. Nelson Cruz's sacrifice fly scored a run for the Rangers to make it 6-1, but Vargas struck out Michael Young to end the inning.

In the sixth, catcher Mike Napoli, in his first start after a stint on the 15-day disabled list because of a left quadriceps strain, hit a three-run home run to bring the Rangers within two, 6-4.

Napoli made his last rehab start at DH on Friday night for Double A Frisco by going 0-for-4 with four strikeouts. Going into Saturday's game against the Mariners, Napoli joked that he told his Rangers teammates that he got those out of the way and `'left the strikeouts down there."

Cruz had an RBI single in the sixth and David Murphy a run-scoring ground out to tie it.

"This team never quits," Feldman said. "We kind of take it for granted sometimes what a competitive team we have and what a good team we have. They fought their way back and almost pulled it off in the end."

With the game tied 6-6 in the eighth, Tanner Scheppers relieved Perez and Smoak led off the inning with his 15th homer. He then had an RBI single in the ninth that scored John Jaso. Sheppers (1-1) took the loss, and after the game, Washington said he pulled Perez because he, "just felt like [Perez] was finished."

Lucas Luetge (2-1) got two outs for the Seattle victory while Tom Wilhelmsen got the final four outs for his 27th save in 30 chances.

Notes

  • After the game, Texas recalled RHP Justin Grimm and RHP Wilmer Font from Double-A Frisco to give the Rangers 34 active players for Sunday's game. Grimm had a prior stint with Texas from June 16-July 6, while Font is looking for his Major League debut.
  • Mariners RF Casper Wells was a late scratch and was replaced by Eric Thames in right field. "He took a swing in the cage an his neck locked up pretty good on him," Manager Eric Wedge said about Wells.
  • Wedge reiterated that the team is going to give RHP Kevin Millwood time to recover from shoulder stiffness, plugging in RHP Erasmo Ramirez and RHP Hector Noesi. "We'll see if [Millwood's] going to pitch again," Wedge said.
 
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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Justin Smoak collects three hits, two runs and three RBI to lead the Mariners past the Rangers. (AP)
Justin Smoak collects three hits, two runs and three RBI to lead the Mariners past the Rangers. (AP)

Players of the Game
Texas

M. Napoli
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
Seattle

J. Smoak
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 1
RBI 3
 
Seattle Mariners
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Dustin Ackley, 2B4111110 .231
Franklin Gutierrez, CF5110022 .265
Kyle Seager, 3B5110010 .258
John Jaso, DH2110200 .274
    Munenori Kawasaki, PR-DH0100000 .190
Michael Saunders, LF4123111 .252
Justin Smoak, 1B4233102 .196
Miguel Olivo, C5000013 .211
Eric Thames, RF5011042 .236
Brendan Ryan, SS4010011 .194
Totals388118511  
Batting
3B - Michael Saunders (3, Feldman)
HR - Dustin Ackley (12, Feldman), Justin Smoak (15, Scheppers)
RBI - Dustin Ackley (50), Michael Saunders 3 (49), Justin Smoak 3 (44), Eric Thames (23)
2-OUT RBI - Michael Saunders (13), Eric Thames (10)
SB - Brendan Ryan (11, 2nd base off Scheppers/Napoli)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
E - Justin Smoak (3, Throwing)
Seattle Mariners
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jason Vargas 5.2644341 3.92
Shawn Kelley (H,6) 0.2222200 3.43
Lucas Luetge (BS,1; W,2-1) 0.2000100 3.29
Josh Kinney (H,8) 0.1100010 3.81
Charlie Furbush (H,6) 0.1000000 2.42
Tom Wilhelmsen (S,27) 1.1100010 2.45
IBB - Young by Shawn Kelley, Napoli by Lucas Luetge
HBP - Napoli (by Jason Vargas)
WP - Shawn Kelley (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Jason Vargas 104-58, Shawn Kelley 21-9, Lucas Luetge 9-4, Josh Kinney 10-6, Charlie Furbush 4-3, Tom Wilhelmsen 19-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jason Vargas 4-9, Shawn Kelley 1-1, Lucas Luetge 2-0, Tom Wilhelmsen 1-3
Batters Faced - Jason Vargas 27, Shawn Kelley 6, Lucas Luetge 3, Josh Kinney 2, Charlie Furbush 1, Tom Wilhelmsen 6
Texas Rangers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Ian Kinsler, 2B4100111 .265
Elvis Andrus, DH5010011 .296
Josh Hamilton, CF3110211 .286
Adrian Beltre, 3B4110102 .318
Nelson Cruz, RF4132000 .258
Michael Young, 1B4110113 .270
David Murphy, LF5011003 .313
Mike Napoli, C3123102 .227
Jurickson Profar, SS4000016 .231
   a- Mitch Moreland, PH1000012 .279
Totals37610666  
a-struck out for Profar in the 9th
Batting
2B - Josh Hamilton (26, Vargas), Nelson Cruz (37, Vargas), Michael Young (23, Vargas)
HR - Mike Napoli (18, Vargas)
SF - Nelson Cruz (2)
RBI - Nelson Cruz 2 (84), David Murphy (55), Mike Napoli 3 (43)
Team LOB - 12
Texas Rangers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Scott Feldman 2.2766221 5.32
Martin Perez 4.1000150 3.38
Tanner Scheppers (L,1-1) 1211121 4.20
Alexi Ogando 1211120 3.03
IBB - Ackley by Tanner Scheppers
HBP - Jaso (by Martin Perez)
WP - Scott Feldman (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Scott Feldman 71-46, Martin Perez 56-29, Tanner Scheppers 23-14, Alexi Ogando 28-20
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Feldman 5-1, Martin Perez 4-4
Batters Faced - Scott Feldman 17, Martin Perez 15, Tanner Scheppers 6, Alexi Ogando 6
Game Information
Attendance - 47267
Game Time - 3:27
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Paul Schrieber, First Base - Mike Everitt, Second Base - Laz Diaz, Third Base - Tim Welke