Batista doesn't have it vs. Rangers
Mariners right-hander can't get out of third inning in defeat
SEATTLE -- Josh Hamilton and David Murphy each hit a home run in the third inning, as the Texas Rangers used a seven-run frame to beat the Mariners, 10-1, on Tuesday night in front of the smallest crowd in Safeco Field history.
The crowd of 15,818 was the smallest at Safeco Field since the ballpark opened in 1999. The previous low was 15,989 on May 2, 2007, against the White Sox.
Miguel Batista started on the hill for Seattle and struggled with his command right from the beginning. The right-hander threw 44 pitches in the first inning, allowing two runs on only one hit while walking four Texas hitters.
"Miggy had a rough go. He just couldn't get any rhythm. He was just all over the place, which is uncharacteristic of him," manager John McLaren said. "He just didn't have a good game."
The Rangers added another run in the second inning off Batista. Ramon Vazquez doubled and scored on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Michael Young to give the Rangers a 3-0 lead.
An inning later, Rangers bats erupted for seven runs. Following a leadoff walk to Milton Bradley, Murphy connected on a two-run home run, his fourth of the season, to right field off Batista. Two batters later, Batista was relieved by Cha Seung Baek after allowing six runs on three hits in just 2 1/3 innings. Batista walked six batters on the night while striking out two, throwing 85 pitches.
"They let me beat myself," Batista said. "I gave up one home run, but beside that, nobody hit the ball hard at all. They just let me keep falling down."
Baek was able to retire the first batter he faced, but the next four Texas hitters each reached base safely. Hamilton capped the big inning with a three-run home run into the Hit It Here Cafe in the second deck in right field to give the Rangers a 10-0 lead. It was Hamilton's seventh home run of the season and second against the Mariners at Safeco Field.
Walks have been a problem for Batista this year. The veteran right-hander has issued 24 free passes in 35 innings pitched, the second-highest walk rate in the American League behind Fausto Carmona of the Indians.
"If you don't have your command, you can't execute your game plan, and if you can't execute your game plan, you're not pitching," Batista said. "One game I'm on, the next game I'm not. We need to fix it to a point where I can be consistently sharp. One week I'm good, the next week I'm not, and you can't pitch like that."
Seattle managed just one run off Rangers starter Sidney Ponson. Wladimir Balentien doubled and scored on a double by Ichiro Suzuki in the fifth inning. The rookie Balentien and Jose Lopez each finished with a pair of hits for the Mariners.
"I'm starting to make some adjustments and be a little bit more patient," Balentien said after his second consecutive multihit game. "We're seeing the results."
Chris Hester is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.