SEATTLE (AP) — When Texas faces Kyle Seager, it often turns into a bad day for the Rangers.
Brad Snyder hit his first career homer in the second, but the Rangers were unable to contain Seager in a 5-1 loss to the Seattle Mariners on Sunday.
Seager went 4 for 4 with three RBIs, raising his career numbers against Texas to a .338 batting average with 34 extra-base hits and 38 RBIs. The third baseman is hitting .396 (19 for 48) this season against Texas with three home runs and 12 RBIs.
“He don’t miss our mistakes,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said. “First couple days we did a good job holding him down, but today every time we left some pitches out over the plate, he didn’t miss it.”
Seager’s biggest hit of the day was a two-out double in the fifth inning that drove in Endy Chavez and Robinson Cano for a 2-1 lead. The Mariners left a runner in scoring position in each of the first four innings.
Rangers starter Nick Martinez (1-4) allowed nine hits and walked one, but held the Mariners to two runs in six innings. The right-hander is 0-3 with a 9.45 ERA in his last three starts.
“I felt good out there and felt like I got back on track, commanding all my pitches today,” Martinez said. “Just unfortunate we didn’t get the win.”
Hisashi Iwakuma pitched eight innings of six-hit ball for Seattle. Charlie Furbush then got three outs to complete the six-hitter.
Iwakuma, who almost didn’t make the start after feeling discomfort in his neck during pregame warmups, improved to 2-1 with a 1.61 ERA in three starts this month. The right-hander struck out six and walked none in his fourth start this season of eight innings.
“My body’s starting to get used to season mode and I’m feeling a lot better and stronger now, so I think I’m good to go from here on,” said Iwakuma, who started the season on the disabled list after injuring a finger on his pitching hand.
“The guy pitched his butt off,” Washington said. “He gave up that one run to Snyder and didn’t give up anything else. If you look back, I think he does that against us all the time. He can pitch.”
Seager added an RBI double in Seattle’s three-run eighth. Dustin Ackley and Brad Miller also drove in a run in the eighth for the Mariners, who avoided being passed in the standings by the Rangers.
NOTES: Mariners 1B Logan Morrison departed after five innings due to a cut above his left eye that needed five stitches. Morrison was hurt when he swung his bat in frustration at the dugout wall and had a piece fly back and hit him. Catcher John Buck replaced him in his first major league appearance at the position. … Mariners 1B Justin Smoak (strained quad), OF Corey Hart (strained hamstring) and OF Michael Saunders (shoulder inflammation) are close to being sent out on rehab assignments as they work their way back from stints on the disabled list, manager Lloyd McClendon said. The Seattle skipper said all three could begin a rehab assignment by week’s end. … Texas OF Leonys Martin occupied the top spot in the lineup for the second time in as many days on Sunday as the Rangers try to find a consistent leadoff hitter. Washington said that doesn’t necessarily mean he has secured that role, though.