SEATTLE (AP) - A rebuilding process is going to have it's inevitable growing pains.
Strikeouts seem to be the vice that is currently slowing the Seattle Mariners growth process.
Seattle hitters struck out seven times in the final three innings and couldn't come through with hits late as the Mariners lost 7-6 to the Texas Rangers on Saturday night.
The young Seattle team has been striking out at an incredibly torrid pace recently. Saturday was no different as 13 Mariners took strike three before returning to the bench.
``We've got a lot of young kids that are seeing things they haven't seen before and kids that are playing at a time of year they haven't played before,' manager Eric Wedge said.
``We are striking out a lot right now but I think once these kids settle in you will see less of that. You will see more discipline, more walks and we'll make those starters work more. It's all part of the process.'
The process is the continued rebuilding of a franchise that is headed for it's third 90 loss season in the last five years.
After jumping on Rangers starter Colby Lewis (13-10), rookie starter Anthony Vasquez allowed three solo home runs in the third inning to get Texas right back into the game.
Mike Carp hit a two-run home run off Lewis into the right field seats in the fifth inning to pull Seattle within one.
``We had opportunities,' Wedge said. ``A one run ball game. (Carp) got us back in it. We were right there but we couldn't get over the hump.'
Neftali Feliz pitched a scoreless ninth inning to pick up his 27th save in 33 chances.
Josh Hamilton had four hits, including a homer, and drove in three runs for the Rangers, who extended their division lead to 4 1/2 games over the Los Angeles Angels in the AL West. The Angels lost 6-2 to the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday night.
Ichiro Suzuki went 2 for 4 to pass Mickey Mantle and pull even with Pie Traynor for 110th on the all-time hits list with 2,416.
Mike Napoli led off the second inning with a double down the left field line and scored on a two-out single to left to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead.
The Mariners jumped on Lewis in the bottom half of the inning. Adam Kennedy and Brendan Ryan each singled and a walk to Trayvon Robinson loaded the bases. Suzuki came through with a bouncing single through the middle of the infield that scored Kennedy and Ryan to give Seattle the lead.
Kyle Seager followed with a double past a diving Michael Young to score two as Suzuki slid in ahead of the throw to the plate to give the Mariners a 4-1 cushion.
Elvis Andrus homered into the Mariners bullpen in left field, Hamilton hit a line drive just over the wall down the right field line and Adrian Beltre crushed a first pitch from Vasquez (1-4) off the facade of the upper deck in left field to knot the game at 4-4.
``You never think they will put balls out of the part that easy with one swing of the bat,' Vasquez said.
``You look back and wish you'd made a couple different pitchers but they just put runs on the board fast.'
A leadoff walk to Gentry chased Vasquez from the game in the top of the fourth inning. After a walk by Ian Kinsler, Andrus singled to load the bases and Hamilton drove in two with a single to right field. Young brought home Andrus with a sacrifice fly as Texas took a 7-4 lead.
``My mindset is to go out there and attack considering we just put up four runs on the board the inning before,' Vasquez said. ``I got a three run lead the last thing I want to do was get behind hitters. They ended up taking advantage of it.'
Notes: Mariners SS Brendan Ryan left the game in the third inning with neck spasms and is listed as day-to-day. Ryan has ben fighting the issue for much of the last week. ... RHP Dan Cortes has a non-displaced fracture in his right hand that occurred in an off-field incident Thursday. The injury will take approximately three weeks to heal and the team's plan for Cortes to play winter ball should be unaffected. ... 1B Justin Smoak is still day-to-day with a groin strain. ... RHP Felix Hernandez (14-12, 3.30 ERA) takes on LHP Matt Harrison (12-9, 3.56 ERA) in the series finale on Sunday. ... Andrus extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a solo home run in the third inning.
The Associated Press News Service
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