ARLINGTON (AP) – The Texas Rangers added to their considerable sick bay and to their deficit in the American League West on Tuesday.
The Rangers scratched Prince Fielder and Leonys Martin from their starting lineup because of injuries before losing to Hisashi Iwakuma and the Seattle Mariners 6-2.
Texas has lost five of its last six games and is 7-16 since sweeping a three-game series at Oakland in late April to move into first place. Texas trails the first-place A’s by eight games.
The Rangers hoped Fielder would return after sitting out two games because of neck stiffness that was recently attributed to a herniated disk. But after an early batting practice session, Fielder said he was still experiencing related weakness in his left arm. Martin was sidelined by a stiff neck.
They were replaced by rookies Michael Choice and Daniel Robertson, who combined to go 0 for 7 with two strikeouts.
“To take a Prince Fielder out and take Martin out and to put those kids up in there to face Iwakuma, that was a disadvantage to begin with,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said.
The Rangers lead the major leagues with 13 players on the disabled list. They have yet to see an inning this season from second baseman Jurickson Profar, catcher Geovany Soto or left-hander Derek Holland. Left-handers Martin Perez and Matt Harrison were lost in the past 10 days for the season.
Texas was limited to two runs on six hits with Iwakuma (3-0) working eight innings. The Rangers, typically among the majors’ highest scoring teams, went into the game ranked 11th in the AL in runs and 14th in home runs.
“We certainly feel like we’re not doing what we’re capable of doing on the offensive side yet,” Washington said.
The loss in the opener of a two-game set means the Rangers have either lost or split six consecutive series.
Texas’ Colby Lewis (3-3) started on seven days’ rest and allowed five runs on nine hits through six innings, the longest of his seven starts this season. Lewis debuted in the starting rotation in mid-April after missing the previous 21 months following elbow and hip surgeries.
Adrian Beltre gave Texas a 1-0 lead in the second inning with a leadoff home run, but Seattle answered with a four-run third inning on four singles and a walk. That included the leadoff hit to left field that dropped at the feet of Shin-Soo Choo and a drag bunt by James Jones.
“It was just a bunch of singles, bunch of jam jobs,” Lewis said. “I felt like I made the pitches where I needed to, and they just fell in.”
Kyle Seager paced the Mariners with three hits and two RBIs. Robinson Cano, Nick Franklin and Dustin Ackley added two each. Seattle, last in the A.L. in batting, touched up three Rangers pitchers for 12 hits.
“When he was in the third inning, I didn’t think he’d make it to the sixth,” Washington said of Lewis. “He kept attacking. We just couldn’t put anything on the board to support him.”
Fielder had played in 547 consecutive games before being sidelined Saturday. He said he isn’t experiencing any additional pain, isn’t concerned this is a long-term issue and hopes to play Wednesday afternoon.
“There’s nothing I can do but give it the extra day,” Fielder said.
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