Cruz, Cano power Mariners to 4-3 win over Hamels, Rangers
SEATTLE (AP) Robinson Cano thinks ''this is the right time'' for the Seattle Mariners' lineup to pull together.
Nelson Cruz and Cano hit consecutive home runs off Cole Hamels to start the sixth inning, rallying Seattle to a 4-3 victory over the Texas Rangers on Friday night.
Hisashi Iwakuma pitched seven effective innings and Mark Trumbo also went deep for the Mariners, who ended Texas' four-game winning streak. Seattle (51-59) has won four of five.
''We've improved in our lineup with runners in scoring position,'' Cruz said. ''We're doing much better. We are prepared against any pitcher that comes up. We know what to expect. That makes a difference.''
Before the game, the Rangers reacquired first baseman Mike Napoli from the Red Sox for a player to be named or cash. Boston also sent money to Texas as part of the trade.
Cruz opened the sixth with a shot to left field for his 32nd homer in his first season with Seattle. That extended his hitting streak to 17 games, two short of his career high. He's batting .421 during the streak with five doubles, 11 homers and 15 RBIs.
Cano followed with a drive to center, his 12th, on a 3-1 pitch. He also has picked it up over his last 16 games, hitting .361 with four doubles, a triple, four home runs and 16 RBIs.
''This is the right time. Everyone is swinging good. It's what we need. We're not waiting,'' Cano said.
Trumbo hit his fourth home run with the Mariners leading off the fifth. The three long balls were the most Hamels (0-1) had allowed since Boston tagged him for four on opening day.
''Not being able to get ahead of those key hitters, especially the home run hitters, and then getting into favorable counts where one bad pitch they can hit it out,'' Hamels said, ''I definitely have to be able to establish strikes early and get ahead of them.
''I didn't do that today. It's my fault.''
The left-hander has a 5.93 ERA in two starts with Texas since his July 31 trade from Philadelphia. Texas' only two losses in the last nine games came in starts by Hamels. He exited with a three-run lead in the eighth inning last Saturday, but the Rangers lost in 11.
Hamels, who was 6-7 with the Phillies, allowed eight hits and four runs over six innings. He struck out seven, walked two and balked home a run.
Seattle came back from a two-run deficit against him.
''That's good, especially against the best lefty in the game,'' Cano said. ''That's who you want to beat, the No. 1 guy.''
Iwakuma (3-2) threw a career-high 118 pitches. He gave up three runs and six hits with no walks and six strikeouts.
The right-hander needed 52 pitches to get through the first two innings.
''From the third inning on I felt they were more aggressive early in the count,'' Iwakuma said through a translator. ''So when I saw that I wanted to pitch to contact and get early outs.''
Carson Smith finished for his 11th save.
The Mariners have won six straight against Texas, their longest win streak versus the Rangers since late in the 2001 season.
Texas scored twice in the first on Bobby Wilson's two-out, two-run double.
Hamels' run-scoring balk made it 2-1 in the third, but Iwakuma's wild pitch in the fourth pushed it back to a two-run lead for the Rangers.
Adrian Beltre's sixth-inning strikeout for Texas ended a streak of 48 at-bats without one. It was the longest streak in the majors. He then struck out in his subsequent at-bat, too.
Jamie Moyer, the winningest pitcher in Mariners history with 145 victories, will become the ninth person inducted into the club's Hall of Fame on Saturday. He said the best advice he received was from fellow pitcher Doug Jones early in his career in Baltimore. ''He told me, `When it's louder, throw softer,''' Moyer said, adding that mindset allowed him ''to be relaxed and calm and have control over your thoughts. That's exactly what I learned. And only those of us who have the ability to throw softer can understand that.''
SEEING THE SEAHAWKS
Rangers manager Jeff Banister and six members of his staff visited the Seattle Seahawks' training camp and met coach Pete Carroll. ''He's an impressive man. We are like-minded in our coaching philosophy, ideology,'' Banister said. He added that one of the reasons for the visit was, ''when you want to be champions, you talk to people who have been champions. ... For me, it was a special day.''
Mariners: LHP Charlie Furbush, on the DL since July 8 with left biceps tendinitis, is progressing ''pretty good,'' according to manager Lloyd McClendon. Furbush is close to being sent out on a rehab assignment. ... LHP James Paxton, placed on the disabled list May 29 with a strained left middle finger, is throwing on flat ground without tape on his fingers.
Rangers: RHP Keone Kela is expected to return to the team Tuesday after a short stint with Double-A Frisco. Kela has had some minor injury issues but was sent down to give him a breather from the grind of his first big league season.
Mariners: LHP Mike Montgomery (4-4, 3.07 ERA) makes his 13th major league start and first against Texas.
Rangers: LHP Martin Perez (1-2, 6.64) starts for the sixth time since returning from Tommy John surgery. He beat the Giants 2-1 on Sunday, becoming the first pitcher in six years to get at least 25 outs on no more than 80 pitches. He is 2-1 with a 2.60 ERA in six career appearances against Seattle.