SEATTLE (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Marco Gonzales showed what a steady, efficient and deliberate big league pitcher can do Thursday night, even without an overpowering fastball.
It’s something to aspire to for Rangers left-hander Taylor Hearn, who had plenty of time to watch and learn after an abbreviate big league debut.
Gonzales became the first pitcher to reach five wins this season and the Seattle Mariners chased Hearn in the first inning of his first game, beating Texas 14-2 with their highest run total of the season.
Gonzales matched his career high with nine strikeouts, allowed six hits and didn’t walk a batter in seven scoreless innings, another flawless start for the Mariners’ No. 1 pitcher. Seattle is 6-1 when Gonzales is on the mound this season, and the unassuming right-hander is the Mariners’ first pitcher to reach five wins before May.
He’s not a power pitcher and he doesn’t throw a lot of breaking balls, either, but he’s been rock steady during the Mariners’ surprisingly hot start.
“People my whole life have told me I don’t throw hard enough, so I’ll just continue to prove them wrong,” Gonzales said.
The biggest challenge for Gonzales (5-0) against the Rangers was staying warm while his teammates jumped to a 5-0 first-inning lead against Hearn (0-1), who was called up from Triple-A Nashville.
The left-hander walked the first batter he faced on four pitches, then issued two more walks to load the bases. Tim Beckham’s grounder to third brought in Seattle’s first run, and Ryon Healy drove a bases-clearing double into the left-field corner for a 4-0 lead.
Royce City’s Hearn issued his fourth walk, and then first baseman Logan Forsythe dropped a foul popup before Hearn allowed another single to load the bases again. Manager Chris Woodward pulled Hearn at that point after 39 pitches, his ERA at 108.00.
“It’s part of the game honestly,” Hearn said. “I think Nelson Mandela said it best. It’s one of his quotes that I love: ‘You either win, or you learn.’ So, that’s one thing that I’m taking away from this outing.”
Healy finished 3 for 5 with three RBIs and three runs. Beckham hit his sixth home run during a three-run seventh, and the Mariners ended a three-game skid with 14 hits a night after being held to two in a 1-0 shutout at San Diego.
The Rangers have lost four straight and find their pitching staff in disarray. Already down a starter due to injury and uncertain what the rotation will look like next week, Woodward was forced to use five relievers against the Mariners. Each gave up at least one hit.
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)