Cotts, Rangers can't stop Mariners rally

Lefty falls to 2-9 on season; Texas loses its eighth straight game

Cotts, Rangers can't stop Mariners rally

ARLINGTON -- Rangers pitcher Nick Martinez had a succinct observation when he walked off the mound after the sixth inning on Saturday.

"One bad pitch can sure ruin your night," he said to manager Tim Bogar.

Bogar responded by saying, "You pitched too well to think about one pitch."

Besides, Martinez is hardly the first Rangers pitcher to get beat by Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager. He struck again on Saturday night with a game-tying two-run home run off Martinez in the sixth and a single in a two-run eighth inning against reliever Neal Cotts that gave the Mariners a 4-2 victory.

Cotts took the loss and Martinez was left with a quality start and a no-decision for his work.

"I was pretty impressed with Nick," Bogar said. "Early in the game he made some pitches when he was in trouble. He was mixing his pitches and keeping them off-balance. You can see his confidence building."

The game was delayed three hours, 13 minutes by rain. The Rangers have now lost eight straight. They are 0-2 under Bogar.

The Rangers finished the night 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position, including 0-for-9 in the first three innings against Mariners starter Chris Young.

"If you go up there with a game plan and don't execute, I'm okay with that," Bogar said. "But we have to have better at-bats. Early in the game we had some opportunities and didn't get it done. We needed to execute better early in the game, get those runs and go from there."

Cotts came into a 2-2 game and started the inning by walking pinch-hitter Chris Denorfia. Robinson Cano flied out to left but Cotts gave up three straight singles to Seager, Kendrys Morales and Logan Morrison.

The loss left Cotts 2-9 on the season. That ties him for the second most losses by a reliever in club history. Jim Kern was 3-10 in 1980 and Steve Foucault was 8-9 in 1974.

"Free passes late in the game definitely come back to haunt you," Cotts said. "I need to attack the leadoff hitter and maybe things turn out a little better. It's definitely frustrating. You try to go out there and give it your best stuff and it hasn't worked out, especially lately."

Martinez went six innings and allowed two runs on six hits. He walked one and struck out four. Despite not being involved in the decision, Martinez has a 4.34 ERA in his last six starts.

"I have been pitching to my strengths and knowing where I can get my outs," Martinez said. "I'm just taking advantage of my abilities right now."

Young made it through five innings after being knocked out in the first inning of his previous start against the Athletics. He also gave up two runs on four hits while walking three and striking out six.

The Rangers scored two unearned runs off him in the fourth inning without the benefit of a hit with runners in scoring position. That was significant considering the trouble they were having in those situations all night.

Tomas Telis opened the inning by reaching on shortstop Brad Miller's error and scored on a double by Ryan Rua. Luis Sardinas moved Rua to third with a sacrifice bunt and Michael Choice brought him home with a sacrifice fly.

The Mariners tied it up in the sixth after Cano singled with one out. That brought up Seager, who hit a 1-0 changeup into the right-field seats for his 23rd home run of the season.

"Bad pitch selection," Martinez said. "I fell into a pattern: 1-0 to left-handers … changeup. He was waiting for the fastball. Bad pitch selection."

The home run was Seager's fifth this year and 13th in his career against the Rangers, both his most against any opponent. He has a .352 career batting average against the Rangers in Arlington and is 6-for-9 off Martinez.

"He threw the ball well," Seager said. "The ball was getting on us, he was mixing in offspeed pitches, he had some life on his fastball. He definitely was tough there. Robby got on there and fortunately he got a changeup up in the zone a little bit and I was able to get enough of it."

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.