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Iwakuma's gem, Seager's big day power M's past Rangers

CBSSports.com wire reports
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SEATTLE -- Hisashi Iwakuma's pregame neck stiffness was serious enough that he had to call for the training staff. Fortunately for the Seattle Mariners, he found a way to take the mound Sunday.

Iwakuma pitched eight effective innings to help the Mariners stop a five-game losing streak with a 5-1 victory against the Texas Rangers.

"I needed to pitch today. I felt responsible, especially after losing five in a row," Iwakuma said through an interpreter.

Kyle Seager had four hits and three RBI for Seattle, continuing his strong play against Texas. Dustin Ackley and Brad Miller also drove in a run.

Iwakuma allowed one run on Brad Snyder's first career home run in the second and six hits. Charlie Furbush then got three outs to complete the six-hitter.

It was quite a turnaround for Iwakuma after he felt stiffness in his neck as he prepared for his ninth start of the season.

"To be honest, yes, as I was playing catch before my bullpen I did feel that way," Iwakuma said of having doubts he would be able to pitch.

Iwakuma, who didn't make his first start of the season until May 3 due to a finger injury on his throwing hand, improved to 2-1 with a 1.61 ERA in three starts this month.

"My body's starting to get used to season mode and I'm feeling a lot better and stronger now, so I think I'm good to go from here on," said Iwakuma, who was hopeful his neck wouldn't be a problem moving forward.

The Mariners left a runner in scoring position in each of the first four innings before Seager drove in Endy Chavez and Robinson Cano with a two-out double in the fifth, lifting Seattle to a 2-1 lead.

"It's been a little bit of a grind as of late, but before that we were playing really good baseball," Seager said. "That's just kind of the way baseball goes. You go from scoring runs all the time to kind of hit a little rough patch, but that's just kind of one of the things you grind through it."

Seager added an RBI double in Seattle's three-run eighth as the Mariners avoided being passed in the standings by the Rangers.

Seager has played well against the Rangers in his career, hitting .338 with 34 extra-base hits and 38 RBI. Seager is hitting .396 (19 for 48) this season against Texas with three home runs and 12 RBI.

Rangers starter Nick Martinez (1-4) allowed nine hits and walked one, but held the Mariners to two runs in six innings. The right-hander is 0-3 with a 9.45 ERA in his last three starts.

"He found his secondary stuff today," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "Threw a lot of changeups, threw some breaking balls. And with Nick, you need all of his pitches to maneuver through the batting order and they did. He made the mistake to Seager but certainly a big improvement."

Notes

Mariners 1B Logan Morrison departed after five innings due to a cut above his left eye that needed five stitches. Morrison was hurt when he swung his bat in frustration at the dugout wall and had a piece fly back and hit him. Catcher John Buck replaced him in his first major league appearance at the position. ... Mariners 1B Justin Smoak (strained quad), OF Corey Hart (strained hamstring) and OF Michael Saunders (shoulder inflammation) are close to being sent out on rehab assignments as they work their way back from stints on the disabled list, manager Lloyd McClendon said. The Seattle skipper said all three could begin a rehab assignment by week's end. ... Texas OF Leonys Martin occupied the top spot in the lineup for the second time in as many days on Sunday as the Rangers try to find a consistent leadoff hitter. Washington said that doesn't necessarily mean he has secured that role, though.

 
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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Kyle Seager celebrates his fourth hit -- an RBI double that pushes Seattle's lead to 3-1 in the eighth inning.  (USATSI)
Kyle Seager celebrates his fourth hit -- an RBI double that pushes Seattle's lead to 3-1 in the eighth inning. (USATSI)

Players of the Game
Texas

B. Snyder
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
Seattle

K. Seager
AB 4
R 1
H 4
HR 0
RBI 3
 

Related Video

Texas Rangers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Leonys Martin, CF4010000 .267
Elvis Andrus, SS4010012 .262
Shin-Soo Choo, LF4000021 .258
Adrian Beltre, 3B4000000 .310
Alex Rios, RF4000000 .322
Brad Snyder, 1B3121000 .214
Chris Gimenez, C3010011 .378
Luis Sardinas, 2B3010011 .302
Donnie Murphy, DH3000021 .204
Nick Martinez, P0000000 .000
   Robbie Ross, P0000000 .000
   Ben Rowen, P0000000 .000
Totals3216107  
Batting
HR - Brad Snyder (1, Iwakuma)
RBI - Brad Snyder (2)
2-OUT RBI - Brad Snyder (1)
CS - Elvis Andrus (5, 2nd base by Iwakuma/Zunino)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Gimenez-Sardinas, Gimenez-Sardinas-Sardinas-Andrus-Snyder
Texas Rangers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Nick Martinez (L,1-4) 6922130 4.44
Robbie Ross 1433100 5.34
Ben Rowen 1000000 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Nick Martinez 96-62, Robbie Ross 17-12, Ben Rowen 11-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Nick Martinez 5-9, Robbie Ross 1-1, Ben Rowen 2-1
Batters Faced - Nick Martinez 27, Robbie Ross 7, Ben Rowen 3
Seattle Mariners
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Endy Chavez, RF5120001 .213
James Jones, CF3010102 .284
Robinson Cano, DH-2B3100102 .327
Logan Morrison, 1B3000004 .135
   John Buck, 1B1010000 .271
   Cole Gillespie, PR0100000 .271
   Charlie Furbush, P0000000 .000
Kyle Seager, 3B4143000 .259
Mike Zunino, C4110022 .225
Dustin Ackley, LF4021000 .235
Willie Bloomquist, 2B-1B3020010 .279
Brad Miller, SS3001004 .176
Hisashi Iwakuma, P0000000 .000
Totals33513523  
Batting
2B - Endy Chavez (4, Martinez), Kyle Seager 2 (15, Martinez), Dustin Ackley (11, Martinez)
SF - Brad Miller (1)
SH - Willie Bloomquist (1)
RBI - Kyle Seager 3 (42), Dustin Ackley (25), Brad Miller (16)
2-OUT RBI - Kyle Seager 2 (17)
CS - Kyle Seager (3, 2nd base by Martinez/Gimenez)
Team LOB - 8
Seattle Mariners
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Hisashi Iwakuma (W,5-3) 8611061 2.59
Charlie Furbush 1000010 3.86
Pitches-Strikes - Hisashi Iwakuma 106-68, Charlie Furbush 13-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Hisashi Iwakuma 13-4
Batters Faced - Hisashi Iwakuma 29, Charlie Furbush 3
Game Information
Attendance - 39196
Game Time - 2:46
Temperature - 60
Umpires - Home - Phil Cuzzi, First Base - Gerry Davis, Second Base - Quinn Wolcott, Third Base - Alfonso Marquez