By: Joel Collins
It was a battle between Aces at Globe Life Park in Arlington, TX this afternoon. The Seattle Mariners sent King Felix Hernandez to the hill to battle Cole Hamels and the 2015 A.L. West Champion Texas Rangers.
After giving up two solo home runs to Robbie Cano in the 1st and Kyle Seager in the 2nd, Cole Hamels settled in to go 7 strong innings giving up 2 earned runs on 4 hits, walking 3, and striking out 8. Texas trailed the Mariners until the 5th inning when Hernandez seemed to lose his composure allowing Roughned Odor to walk and then steal 2nd base. Elvis Andrus reached 1st base on a grounder to Seager at third, but Seager took his eyes off the ball as Odor passed behind him and the ball glanced off his glove. Some miscommunication lead to Robinson Chirinos to lay down a sacrifice bunt to move Elvis to 2nd. Hernandez then gave up back to back walks to Deshields and then Choo, allowing Texas 1st run to cross the plate. Then Prince Fielder fought off a pitch and blooped it in to left to tie the game at 2. Ketel Marte misplayed a ground ball allowing Adrian Beltre to reach, and Shin Soo Choo to score and take the 3-2 lead. Hamels held strong through 7 innings as Jake Diekman would pitch a scoreless 8th inning. Shawn Tolleson came in and closed out the game with a scoreless 9th for the save.
The Rangers have carried over their 2015 #NeverEverQuit mantra and proved it today, getting the win with only 1 hit off the Mariners pitching. Texas will look to break out the bats Tuesday evening when these two teams square off at 7:05 cst. Hisashi Iwakuma is set to start for the Mariners against Martin Perez for the Rangers.