ARLINGTON, Texas -- The last time the Mariners faced Robbie Ross in a start at Globe Life Park it didn't go so well. It's probably something Lloyd McClendon would prefer not to relive.
Way back on April 15, Ross, an average left-handed pitcher with less-than-average stuff and middling velocity, shut down Seattle hitters, tossing 7 2/3 shutout innings, allowing just five hits with no walks and no strikeouts in a 5-0 win.
It left McClendon seething postgame, furious with his players' approach at the plate. Even worse, it was the first of eight straight losses--the team's longest losing streak of the season.
But on Thursday, a different and better Mariners' team took the field in Arlington to face Ross, and the results were predictably improved.
The Mariners rocked Ross and the rest of the Rangers' relievers, scoring nine runs in the first three innings and coasting to a 10-2 rout. Seattle improved to 76-63.
Ross couldn't revive the magic of that one solid start because this current Mariners lineup wouldn't allow it to happen. With two outs in the second inning, Chris Denorfia and Chris Taylor worked back-to-back walks to put Ross in a jam. Light-hitting backup catcher Jesus Sucre singled to left field to score Denorfia for the first run of the game.
From there, it would snowball.
Austin Jackson singled home Taylor to make it 2-0. Dustin Ackley worked another walk to load the bases to bring up Robinson Cano, which probably isn't the best of strategies for a pitcher.
Cano worked a 3-2 count and then hammered a laser of a single up the middle to score two runs and make it 4-0.
But the Mariners still weren't done. Kendrys Morales bounced a single up the middle to score two more runs to make it 6-0.
Manager Ron Washington finally ended Ross' miserable outing, pulling him for right-hander John Edwards.
Kyle Seager greeted Edwards with a sharp single up the middle to score one more run to make it 7-0. On the night when the NFL opened its regular season, the Mariners hung a touchdown and an extra point in one inning.
The Mariners picked up where they left off in the top of the fourth. Again, Denorfia and Taylor drew back-to-back walks -- this time to start the inning. Sucre singled home a run on a ball past Adrian Beltre at third to make it 8-0. Cano later slammed a double into the right-center gap to score two more runs to make it 9-0. The four RBI were a season high for Cano.
Given a 9-0 lead, Mariners starter Roenis Elias didn't exactly cruise to victory. But not even his control issues could derail a victory.
Elias' inconsistent command elevated his pitch count quickly. He worked just five innings, giving up a run in the third and allowing seven hits with a walk and a strikeout. But it was good enough to get him the win to improve to 10-12.
The Mariners reached double-digit runs in the seventh inning. Denorfia hit his first home run as a Mariner, launching a solo shot into the left-field stands to make it 10-1.
The Mariners' bullpen kept the Rangers at just one run until the ninth. Dominic Leone, Brandon Maurer and Tom Wilhelmsen each worked scoreless innings. Danny Farquhar couldn't quite follow, giving up a solo homer to Rougned Odor in the ninth.
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