Rapid Reaction: Rangers 11, Mariners 3
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers finished off their first three-game sweep of the season with a 11-3 victory over the Seattle Mariners at Rangers Ballpark. The Rangers, who moved into first place in the American League West, have won five series and split two this season.
Grimm has career day: Rookie right-hander Justin Grimm could easily have had six shutout innings Sunday. He settled for one earned run allowed and a career-high nine strikeouts. Grimm used a curveball and 4-seam fastball to dice up the Mariners. He did his best work in the top of the fifth, after the offense had given him a 3-1 lead. The inning started poorly with a leadoff single by Mariners No. 9 hitter Brendan Ryan and a double by Endy Chavez that was misplayed in center field by Leonys Martin. But Grimm kept the tying run at second base with the Mariners' 2-3-4 hitters coming up, striking out the side.
Offense revs up: The Rangers scored a season-high 11 runs. They produced their season high in runs twice in the series, first matching their season-best total in their 7-0 victory on Friday and then with Friday's first double-digit total in 18 games this season.
Martin's first HR: Martin belted his first home run of the season, a 377-foot solo shot to right-center field to tie the game at 1-1 in the third inning. Martin also had a triple as he had his second two-hit game of the season. The Rangers now have three RBIs from their center fielders, all in this series against the Mariners.
Moreland breaks through: First baseman Mitch Moreland snapped out of a 1-for-20 stretch with a two-run home run to straight-away center field to give the Rangers a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the fourth. Moreland's third homer of the season came with two outs and after Nelson Cruz had reached on a single.
Cruz slams door: Cruz swatted the fifth grand slam of his career to give the Rangers an 8-2 lead in the fifth and basically put the game out of reach. Cruz has hit all of his grand slams at Rangers Ballpark. It was the Ranger's first slam since Aug. 22, 2011 by Moreland.
Making most of HRs: The Rangers had hit 15 of their 19 home runs with no one on base after Martin's solo shot in the third inning. Their next three long balls came with runners on. Moreland had a two-run shot, Cruz had a grand slam and Adrian Beltre had a two-run homer.
Andrus ends drought: Shortstop Elvis Andrus was hitless in his previous 13 at-bats before he lined a solid single into right field in the first inning. Andrus was 1-for-4 with a run scored.
Up next: The Rangers begin a seven-game road trip in Anaheim against the Los Angeles Angels. Sizzling left-hander Derek Holland (1-1, 1.64 ERA) will start the opener against Angels right-hander Joe Blanton (0-3, 8.59). Game time is 9:05 p.m. CT on FSSW and on ESPN-FM 103.3 and 1540-AM.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Rangers GM Jon Daniels joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to tackle the tough questions after his team failed to advance to the playoffs.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss having Nelson Cruz back in the lineup and how the Rangers are feeling heading into their wild-card play-in game against the Rays.
Play Podcast ESPN Insider and senior MLB analyst Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the wild-card race and the Rangers' chances of making the playoffs.
Play Podcast Chuck Cooperstein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why he feels Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish isn't an ace.
Play Podcast Elvis Andrus joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Rangers' stretch run and the morale level in their clubhouse.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss the latest Rangers news, including the team's struggles, Ron Washington's job security and a rumored trade with the Braves.
Play Podcast Ron Washington joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Rangers' dismal September, who's to blame for their September struggles and his status as the team's manager.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss how some people are calling for the Rangers to fire manager Ron Washington.