For the second time in a week, Cole Hamels got battered by the Seattle Mariners.
Fortunately for Hamels, he's not likely to see Seattle again this season.
Hamels lasted just 1⅔ innings on Monday, giving up seven earned runs and homers to Robinson Cano and Franklin Gutierrez in Seattle's 14-6 win over the Texas Rangers.
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The Mariners scored five runs in the first, then pulled away with a six-run sixth inning as Hamels watched from the bench long after he had been lifted. It was just the second time in his career that Hamels failed to pitch at least two innings. He lasted just two outs in a 2010 start with Philadelphia, and gave up six runs and seven hits in 4⅓ innings last week against the Mariners in Texas.
"I understand what we're trying to accomplish here and when you're not able to do it, especially twice in a row with the type of situations that I've come out of the game with, there's probably more disappointment in the fact of not being able to give this team a chance to win," Hamels said.
Hamels (14-5) had a similar pair of games earlier this year when he faced Minnesota twice in a week. Both times, Hamels couldn't get through five innings, giving up 15 hits and 10 earned runs combined in consecutive starts against the Twins. Those poor performances could be partly explained by Hamels dealing with a blister on his pitching hand.
There is no physical issue with Hamels now, just two subpar performances in a row.
"He didn't get the quality of strike that he wanted to," Texas manager Jeff Banister said. "I don't think it was a rhythm issue today, just more didn't get it on the edges where he'd like to."
Despite being staked to a 7-0 lead, Seattle starter Felix Hernandez (10-5) nearly gave it all away. Texas scored five times off Hernandez in the third inning, including a three-run homer by Nomar Mazara and RBI singles from Rougned Odor and Jonathan Lucroy. Hernandez threw 49 pitches in the inning, but managed to keep the lead. Hernandez made it through 5⅔ innings and gave up six runs before being lifted.
"It was my fault. I got out of my game a little bit there," Hernandez said.
Odor added a solo home run in the sixth inning — his 30th of the season — and has homered in five of the past six games. Odor had two career hits off Hernandez entering the day.
"I talked to (Shin-Soo) Choo, I talked to (Adrian) Beltre and (Carlos) Beltran, and they gave me a couple tips," Odor said. "I tried to do that and I hit pretty good today against him."
Rattling the Bats
Cano's 32 homers this season are one off his career high set in 2012 while with the New York Yankees. The two-run shot also set the tone for Seattle's largest offensive output since scoring 14 in a win over Toronto in late July. Gutierrez drove in four runs and Jesus Sucre tied a career high with three hits, including a two-run single to cap Seattle's big first inning.
The key at-bat was Kyle Seager's two-out walk in the first inning. Seager stole second base to get into scoring position and scored on Dae-Ho Lee's base hit for an early 3-0 lead. Leonys Martin followed with a double, and Sucre's soft liner scored a pair for a 5-0 lead.
Rangers: Banister said "high stress" innings — multiple runners on, pitches in an inning — are factored into pitching decisions. That's one of the reasons Yu Darvish was pulled after a season-low four innings Sunday. Darvish allowed five runs on seven hits, throwing 80 pitches, but 33 were in a two-run first.
Mariners: RHP Tom Wilhelmsen, on the 15-day DL with lower back spasms, is expected to throw a simulated game on Thursday. "That's the plan with him, see how that goes," manager Scott Servais said. "Once he faces some hitters, we'll see where that's at."
Rangers: LHP Martin Perez (9-10) makes his career-high 29th start. He is 2-6 with a 5.73 ERA in his last 11 starts. Perez, who had Tommy John surgery in May 2014, already has pitched 169⅔ innings this season. His high was 167⅔ in 2013.
Mariners: LHP James Paxton (4-5) was pushed back one day after tearing a fingernail in his last start, when he came out after five innings against Texas.