ARLINGTON, Texas — For the past 13 games, the Texas Rangers have boasted the best bullpen ERA in Major League Baseball. But on Friday night, the Seattle Mariners got the luck they needed to get to them.
The Rangers fell to the Mariners by a score of 5-4 on Friday night, where Seattle's game-winning run broke a scoreless streak of 12 2/3 innings for the Texas bullpen.
Rangers starter Mike Foltynewicz battled throughout 6 2/3 innings, but gave up a painful pair of two-run home runs that kept Seattle in the game.
"Just two mistake pitches," Foltynewicz said. "I texted my family, 'I'm just a battlin' fool out there.' I'm just trying to get outs as fast as I can and keep my team in it the best I can."
Both teams traded blows early in the game. Texas jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning with an RBI double by Nick Solak and RBI single by Adolis García. The Mariners answered back in the second inning with their first two-run blast when Foltynewicz challenged Dylan Moore with a fastball.
Willie Calhoun immediately fired back with an RBI single in the bottom half of the inning to put Texas back in front. Then in the third inning, Nate Lowe launched a 451-foot home run to straight-away center field to give the Rangers a 4-2 lead.
Once again, the Mariners came back with the second two-run homer, this time J.P. Crawford pounced on a changeup from Foltynewicz in the fourth inning.
"The one to Crawford was just a changeup that he left inside," said Rangers manager Chris Woodward. "It was the right pitch. He just didn't execute it. I feel like with Folty, in some of the starts where he's given up runs, it's been a little bit unlucky because they just happen to hit his mistake. Overall, it was a decent start and gave us a chance to win."
Both starting pitchers settled down for the next couple of innings, carrying the 4-4 tie into the seventh inning. However, Seattle broke the tie after Josh Sborz relieved Rangers starter Mike Foltynewicz with two outs in the frame. Taylor Trammell doubled off Sborz immediately with a check swing, then Mitch Haniger followed with an RBI single through the shift to give the Mariners a 5-4 lead.
However, Woodward was more unsettled by the his lineup's second and third time facing Mariners starter Chris Flexen.
"Typically, we need to be better than him at that point," Woodward explained. "That's why most people take their pitchers out the third time around. Our third time around, we didn't really do anything until we got to the 8-9 guys and put runners on the corners. We got a little bit loose."
The Rangers (16-18) will try to even the series on Saturday night as they send Kohei Arihara (2-3, 5.76 ERA) to the mound in the second game of the series with the Mariners (18-15).
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