ARLINGTON – Scott Feldman dug a quick six-run hole for the Texas Rangers, but they were able to get out of that and tie the Seattle Mariners by the seventh inning.
That was short-lived, though.
Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak led off the eighth with a solo home run, and drove in another run with a single in the ninth to provide the difference in Seattle’s 8-6 victory on Saturday at Rangers Ballpark.
With the loss, Texas could see its lead in the American League West drop to two games if Oakland beats Baltimore tonight.
Feldman turned in his worst start of the season, lasting only 2 2/3 innings. He gave up six runs on seven hits with two walks and two strikeouts.
His spot in the rotation could be in question now, too, after Martin Perez threw 4 1/3 scoreless innings in long relief. Perez didn’t allow a hit, and allowed the offense to chip away at the six-run deficit.
The Rangers scored a single run in the third, and then pulled within striking distance when Mike Napoli drilled a three-run home run to left. Napoli was activated off the disabled list earlier in the day.
Texas tied the game with a pair of runs in the seventh. Nelson Cruz had an RBI single, and David Murphy drove in a run on a groundout.
The momentum, it seemed, was in the Rangers favor. However, Smoak put it back with the Mariners with his 15th homer of the season, a solo shot to center off Tanner Scheppers to start the eighth.
The Rangers put the tying run on base in the bottom half when Elvis Andrus reached on a one-out single, but Josh Hamilton flew out and Adrian Beltre popped up to end the threat.
Smoak, the former Rangers first baseman, added an insurance run for Seattle in the ninth, ripping an RBI single off Alexi Ogando.
The Rangers put the tying run on base again in the ninth after Smoak committed a throwing error on a grounder by Michael Young and Murphy legged out an infield single. But Mariners closer Tom Wilhelmsen retired Napoli on a fly out, and struck out pinch-hitter Mitch Moreland to end the game.
-- Drew Davison