ARLINGTON, Texas — A day after snapping a 21-inning scoreless streak, the Seattle Mariners find themselves starting another one.
After doing all their scoring in the fifth and sixth inning of Tuesday’s win, the Mariners went back to their scoreless ways on Wednesday, getting shut out by lefty Robbie Ross Jr. and the Rangers in a 5-0 loss at Globe Life Park.
The new runless streak is at 12 innings. And the Mariners have now been shut out in three of their last five games.
Ross, in just his first year as a starter, was brilliant, pitching 7 2/3 scoreless innings, scattering five hits, striking out two and walking none. He wasn’t overpowering, just efficient, getting 16 ground ball outs.
Seattle got a less than stellar start from Blake Beavan, who was a teammate with Ross in the Rangers organization. Beavan was making his first big league start of 2014 in front of family and friends just a few miles from where he grew up in nearby Irving. It was a forgettable outing.
He was replaced after just four innings, giving up two runs on six hits with no walks and a strikeout. The two runs came in the second on back-to-back homers in the second inning to Prince Fielder and Kevin Kouzmanoff.
But Beavan was never sharp. Even the outs he registered came on hard-hit balls. After giving up a deep fly ball to Shin Soo-Choo on the first play of the game, manager Lloyd McClendon jogged to the mound and talked to Beavan immediately about pitch location.
The talk didn’t seem to help.
Beavan left a 1-1 fastball up to Fielder, who crushed over the wall in right-center for his first home run of the season.
Two pitches later, Beavan hung a change-up to Kouzmanoff that was deposited in the seats in left-center.
McClendon pulled Beavan after four innings and turned the game over to the bullpen. The Mariners relievers responded at first as Dominic Leone pitched two scoreless innings and Joe Beimel added a scoreless seventh inning.
But it fell apart in the eighth inning when Tom Wilhelmsen, who hadn’t pitched since April 8 because of back stiffness, gave up a two-out, two-run double to Kouzmanoff and an RBI single to Mitch Moreland to put the game out of reach.
Down five runs, it might as well have been 50 on this night.