Rangers edge Mariners in series opener

Seattle, WA (SportsNetwork.com) – Robinson Chirinos’ solo home run in the
fifth inning proved to be the difference as the Texas Rangers won 3-1 on
Friday to send the Seattle Mariners to a fourth straight loss.

Prince Fielder went 2-for-3 with an RBI, and Yovani Gallardo (2-1) tossed six-
plus scoreless innings for the Rangers, who were coming off a series loss to
the Angels.

J.A. Happ (0-1) pitched well enough to get the win but took the loss despite
giving up just two runs on five hits over seven frames.

Nelson Cruz continued his hot start with three hits, though the slugger’s
streak of homering in five straight games came to an end.

The Mariners got on the board in the eighth when Brad Miller doubled and came
around on Seth Smith’s sacrifice fly to center. Robinson Cano kept the inning
alive with a two-out base hit, but Tanner Scheppers induced a high flyout from
Cruz to keep the Rangers in front 2-1.

The run was quickly given back in the ninth, thanks in part to a wild pitch
and Mike Zunino throwing error that put Chirinos on third. Adam Rosales’
grounder down the third-base line hit the bag to bring in an insurance run,
and Neftali Feliz pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to post his second save.

The Rangers struck in their first at-bat as Leonys Martin led off with a walk
and raced around on Fielder’s double into the left-field corner.

Chirinos took Happ deep to center leading off the fifth, and Gallardo cruised
into the seventh thanks to three double-play balls in consecutive innings,
including one off the bat of Smith with the bases loaded in the third.

Cruz singled to open the seventh and Kyle Seager worked a walk to end
Gallardo’s outing. Shawn Tolleson came through with a clutch hold via a
groundout and a pair of strikeouts.

Game Notes

Fielder has already recorded seven multi-hit games … Gallardo scattered six
hits and two walks … Cruz played for the Rangers from 2007-13 … The
Mariners went 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position … Feliz has pitched
27 shutout innings over 22 games in his career vs. Seattle.