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09/03/08 12:20 AM ET
Feierabend takes loss vs. Rangers
Left-hander allows five runs on 11 hits in 5 2/3 innings
By Jim Street / MLB.com
ARLINGTON -- Every start that a young pitcher like Ryan Feierabend makes, the remainder of the Mariners' season becomes a snapshot that eventually will form a big picture. And looks can be a little deceiving. All things considered, the five runs he surrendered in the Mariners' 6-4 loss to the Rangers on Tuesday night in front of 14,521 at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington -- a loss that ended Seattle's season-high four-game winning streak -- was not all that bad. "I thought Ryan threw the ball pretty good," manager Jim Riggleman said. "He battled and did a good job against a very rough Texas lineup." One night after generating a season-high 20 hits, the Mariners were cooled off by Rangers right-hander Brandon McCarthy. He held Seattle (54-84) to four hits and two runs over six innings before the Mariners staged a little comeback in the eighth inning, scoring two runs to chop a four-run deficit in half. Second baseman Jose Lopez delivered a run-scoring double off the left-field wall to get Seattle within a run, bringing Jeff Clement to the plate as the potential tying run. He struck out for the third time in the game. "We were on the verge a couple of times," Riggleman said, "but didn't put together a rally like we had the last few nights. Lopez's hit was huge to drive in our last run, and we felt good with Clement coming up. In this ballpark, he certainly is a home run hitter. That was our shot right there." Rangers right-hander Joaquin Benoit ended the inning with a mid-90's fastball past Clement. It was the seventh time in the game the Mariners came to bat with a runner in scoring position. They were successful just twice -- Raul Ibanez delivered a single to left field to score Ichiro Suzuki from second with the first run of the eighth inning, and third baseman Adrian Beltre singled to left field in the first inning after Jeremy Reed doubled to right field with one out. Reed was held at third base, but sprinted home with the game's first run on Ibanez's sacrifice fly. The Rangers, on the other hand, excelled with runners in scoring position, going 5-for-9. "It seemed like I couldn't get that third out before giving up a run," Feierabend (0-2) said. "That's the way the game is sometimes, and unfortunately it happened to me more than one time tonight." The one-run lead he went to work with in the first inning lasted all of three batters. A single, double and Josh Hamilton's single to center scored two runs to put Texas ahead for good. "Hamilton hit a slider that was a ground-ball pitch," Feierabend said. "It was up a little, but not that 'up.' He's a hot hitter." Feieirabend surrendered single runs in the second and third innings but then retired six of the next seven batters he faced before yielding another run in the sixth on three more hits. He was replaced with two outs in the inning. "The results are worse than I felt," he said. "I thought I pitched really well. A lot of balls that got hit were good pitches, and it seemed like every chance they got with runners in scoring position they did something with it." Feierabend said he isn't putting too much pressure on himself from start to start in his bid to convince club officials that he belongs in the rotation next season. "It's a work in progress, and the more innings I get, the better I'm getting. The only way I am going to learn is to do that. You are going to have your lumps when you pitch up here." He surrendered 11 hits, but didn't walk anyone and threw just 80 pitches -- 56 of them for strikes. "Taking him out had nothing to do with amount of pitches," Riggleman said. "There were five runs on the board, and they had some right-handers coming up. I know he's effective against right-handers, but we weren't putting runs on the board ourselves, and I didn't feel like we could afford to go down any further. "We have all those guys down there [in the bullpen], and we need to get them into games. If the starter goes out and gives up five or six runs in five innings, I pretty much am going to get them out of there." That being said, Riggleman commended Feierabend's effort. "He kept us in the game. He probably doesn't feel it was his best game, but he gave his team a chance to win. [Jarrod] Washburn has done that a lot this season. Wash may not have dominated the other team's lineup, but he's given his team a chance to win, and that's what Ryan did tonight." Riggleman used four of his available relievers -- Jared Wells, Justin Thomas, Mark Lowe and R.A. Dickey -- and they held Texas to four hits and one run. The Mariners paid special attention to the Thomas-Hamilton matchup in the seventh inning. "I thought he made a real nice pitch, low and away, and [Hamilton] stuck the bat out there and made good contact to drive in a run," Riggleman said. "It was an RBI machine who continued to do what he has done all season. [Thomas] made a good pitch. He did what he was supposed to do, and the hitter did what he is supposed to do. They won that matchup. "We want to get Justin into as many of those [left-versus-left] situations as much as we can in September."
Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.