08/26/07 12:50 AM ET
Errors cost Mariners in Texas
Beltre's errant throws lead to four unearned runs vs. Rangers
By Jim Street / MLB.com
After watching replays of the play later, White said he was even more amazed that Laird was able to pull it off."He did a great job of getting that bunt down right there. He hit the ball near his knuckle, right in front of his face," White said. To have the game-deciding rally fueled by two bad throws from Beltre might be even more surprising than Laird bunting a ball that was about to slam into his face. The only other time Beltre committed more than one error in a game this season was on July 29 against the Athletics. "He is so good at third, you very rarely see that," Sexson said. "Everyone is entitled to a bad throw, and unfortunately, they made us pay for it." Beltre sent word after the game that he did not want to talk to the media. He no doubt felt responsible for the team's second loss on the six-day-old road trip, and it didn't help that he had a chance to redeem himself in the ninth inning with his bat. He walked to the plate with runners on first and third and one out, but he grounded into an around-the-horn double play, started by Metcalf at third. It was an appropriate conclusion for the Mariners, who were 2-for-15 with runners in scoring position. "We got our  hits," manager John McLaren said, "but we didn't hit with men in scoring position." The Mariners, who reached double digits in hits for the ninth consecutive game, stranded two runners in the third, fourth, fifth and seventh innings, wasting such scoring chances as two on and none out in the fourth and a leadoff double in the sixth. Runs that were there for the taking never scored, and it came back to haunt them. Ramirez, who changed his mechanics and his success in his previous winning start against the Twins in Minneapolis, pitched even better against the Rangers. He had a three-run lead and a shutout in the works with two outs in the fifth when Beltre fielded a hot shot hit by Metcalf. The tough part of the play was gloving the tricky hop, something Beltre did superbly. But Beltre's throw to first base was high and pulled Sexson off the bag. After catching the ball, Sexson reached back and tagged the runner as he approached the base. "I hit him on the chest, but [first-base umpire Jim Wolf] said his foot beat the tag," Sexson said. "I haven't seen the replays, so I don't know for sure. But I thought I got him." Beltre was charged with his 14th error of the season, and Ramirez had to keep pitching. And one more pitch was too many as the first one to Kinsler became a souvenir for a fan sitting in the left-field bleachers. Kinsler hit his 16th home run of the season and the game was tied at 3. "I cut a changeup that was supposed to be away and it moved to the middle of the plate," he said. "It [stinks], because Beltre has been playing unbelievable defense, and I wished I had been able to pick him up. I should have made a better pitch in that situation." This definitely was a case of a pitcher throwing one bad pitch in a game. Ramirez ended up going 5 2/3 innings and getting a big pat on the back from McLaren. "I thought Ramirez threw the ball well," McLaren said. "He gave us a chance to win the game." McLaren also lauded White, who joined the team from Triple-A Tacoma on Friday, three weeks after being signed to a Minor League contract. He pitched earlier this season for the Astros. "I thought he did a great job, and I think he is going to help us a lot," McLaren said. "He has a nice presence on the mound, has good velocity. I liked what I saw out of him."
Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.