The Mariners game was mercifully called after a 1-hour, 9-minute rain delay in the seventh inning with the Rangers prevailing 8-3.
ARLINGTON, Texas — Well, the rain couldn’t wash away the outcome for the Mariners. Though the biblical-level downpour that started at 9:26 p.m. local time and ultimately ended the game was strong enough to wash away just about anything else.
Since they had played past five innings at Globe Life Park — making it an official game — the game was mercifully called after a 1-hour, 9-minute rain delay in the seventh inning with the Rangers prevailing 8-3. The field was soaked and there was also a flash flood warning in the area.
Two teams going nowhere playing in the rain and slop of late September, it would have benefited no one involved to continue playing.
But will they play again Saturday? The forecast is for continued rain — maybe not quite as strong as Friday night — to continue all day Saturday and into Sunday.
In the search for sarcastic positives, not only did it prevent the Mariners from piecing together a highly unlikely rally in the final innings against the Texas bullpen, but it also stopped the Rangers from adding to an already sizable lead in a game that seemed decided.
The shortened game of seven innings didn’t somehow make Erasmo Ramirez’s start of 2 2/3 innings seem any better.
For the second straight outing, the diminutive right-hander had minimal command with his pitches and couldn’t stay away from base runners and hard contact.
“He’s just not very crisp,” M’s manager Scott Servais said. “He was really struggling to get a feel for a secondary pitch. It was just a lot of fastballs and cutters and he was missing in the middle of the plate.”
And with a small army of relievers in the bullpen, there was no reason for Servais to endure another noncompetitive outing from Ramirez, who gave up six runs — five off the bat of Adrian Beltre — on four hits with two walks and two strikeouts.
“What can I say, back-to-back (starts) with no stuff,” Ramirez said. “I’m fighting it a little bit with my pitches. Beltre had some good contact. He’s a good hitter. There’s nothing I can say. I’m happy to be healthy and if I get another outing, I’ll just work to get better.”
Will he get another outing? Servais wasn’t certain if he’d start Ramirez again this season. With James Paxton and Felix Hernandez possibly returning to the rotation next week, there may not be a need.
With two outs in the first inning and a pair of runners on base, Ramirez left an 0-1 fastball up in the zone. Beltre added to his Hall of Fame worthy numbers by sending a line drive over the wall in right for a three-run homer. It was Beltre’s 476th career homer and broke a tie with him, Stan Musial and Willie Stargell, moving him into 30th place on the all-time list.
Ramirez never made it out of the third inning. He started off by hitting Shin-Soo Choo with a pitch to put the leadoff runner on base. A double from Jurickson Profar put both runners in scoring position for Beltre, who delivered again, dumping a single into right field to score both runners. The five runs batted in were a season high for Beltre and put him at 1,703 for his career, which is 22nd on the all-time list. He passed Jim Thome and Reggie Jackson in the process.
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“He just isn’t locating his stuff,” Servais said of Ramirez. “There’s not a lot of back and forth. It’s the 87 mph cutter and the 91 mph fastball. He really needs to get the changeup going for some separation. He doesn’t have a feel for it. It just isn’t there. He’s going to have make a few adjustments. It’s been a struggle for him the last couple of times.”
It was the last batter Ramirez faced, but his replacement, Roenis Elias, was only marginally better.
Elias entered the game and gave up back-to-back singles and then issued a bases-loaded walk to hulking slugger Joey Gallo that made it 6-0.
The lead was pushed to 7-0 on a play that typified the night for Seattle. Profar hit a soft fly ball into shallow right field. Ben Gamel came charging in and called off second baseman Dee Gordon. But Gamel took a quick glance to see if he might collide with Gordon and that hesitation didn’t allow him to make a diving grab.
“I think the wind played a lot into that,” Servais said. “I think he thought he could catch it, but the wind pushed it back in. He wasn’t even close to it.”
Gamel then hopped to his feet and made a wild throw that seemed like it was intended to go to second base, but instead went through the middle of the infield, past two stunned Mariners players. The ball rolled into the dugout. Profar was awarded home because of the throwing error to make it 7-0.
“For whatever reason, the last few times we’ve been in here, we haven’t played well at all defensively,” Servais said.
Unlike the Mariners, the Rangers were making a bullpen start on purpose. But Seattle did scrape together a few runs in the later innings.
Mitch Haniger notched his 91st RBI of the season after a Gordon leadoff triple in the fifth. Mike Zunino scored Gamel with a double in the seventh, to cut the deficit to 7-2.
In the seventh, Haniger led off the inning with a his 35th double of the season and scored moments later on Jean Segura’s single.
With two outs and Segura on third base, third-base umpire and crew chief Larry Vanover stopped the game after Alex Claudio’s third pitch to Kyle Seager.
James Paxton (illness) threw a lengthy bullpen in the rain before the game. He’s expected to return to the starting rotation and start on Monday or Tuesday at Safeco Field.