Mariners pitch past struggling Rangers

Arlington, TX ( – J.A. Happ turned in another strong start
and Rickie Weeks belted a solo home run that helped the Seattle Mariners to a
2-1 victory over the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park.

Happ (2-1) struck out nine over 6 2/3 innings in a fourth straight quality
start to begin the season, with the veteran lefty holding Texas’ sputtering
offense to a run on six hits.

He got help from Weeks’ fourth-inning blast and a 3-for-4 effort at the plate
from Nelson Cruz, who finished a homer shy of the cycle in Seattle’s fourth
consecutive win over the Rangers this season.

Texas has now lost five of six overall and mustered only a single run in the
last three of those defeats, including Monday’s 3-1 loss to the Mariners in
the series opener.

Ross Detwiler (0-3) had his best outing of the season for the Rangers,
yielding just two runs and fanning five over 5 1/3 innings, but Texas managed
only six hits other than Delino DeShields Jr.’s RBI double in the seventh.

Happ set down 11 of the first 13 Texas hitters to begin his latest solid
performance, and the Mariners staked him to a lead behind a pair of big hits
off Detwiler in the fourth.

Cruz began the inning with a triple and crossed the plate on a grounder by
Kyle Seager, which preceded Weeks’ screaming liner that cleared the wall in
left center to extend the margin to 2-0.

Detwiler, who escaped out of a bases-loaded jam in the second inning, kept
Seattle off the board until having his evening end on a one-out walk to Seager
in the sixth. Anthony Bass took over and promptly induced a double-play ball
from Weeks that kept it a two-run game.

Happ continued to stifle the Rangers’ lineup, though. He struck out the side
around a single and a walk in the fourth, then fanned all three he faced an
inning later and tossed another zero in the sixth.

Happ then got two more outs following Jake Smolinski’s leadoff single in the
seventh, but DeShields drilled a fastball off the wall in left center to put
Texas on the board and end the lefty’s night.

The Rangers came up with just one more hit against five Seattle relievers,
however, with Fernando Rodney striking out two over a 1-2-3 ninth that earned
him his sixth save.

Game Notes

Texas has lost four straight to the Mariners in a season for the first time
since 2007 … The Rangers were 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position and
are 4-for-38 in those situations over their last six games … Detwiler had
served up three homers and permitted seven runs over 2 1/3 innings when facing
the Mariners in Seattle on April 19 … Texas dropped to 2-10 in games in
which it failed to homer … The Mariners will aim for a series sweep when
they send out ace Felix Hernandez in Wednesday’s finale, with Wandy Rodriguez
getting the call for the Rangers.