SEATTLE (AP) — Danny Farquhar balked in the go-ahead run in the 10th inning, and that wasn’t even his biggest error of the night.
In Farquhar’s mind, the greater gaffe was allowing Ian Kinsler to steal third with one out. Without the steal, the balk wouldn’t have sent him home to score the tiebreaking that handed the Texas Rangers a 4-3 win over the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night.
“Maybe getting repetitive with the signs, doing the same thing for a while, I think guys picked up on it,” Farquar said. “I should have held him on better. That was the biggest mistake of the inning.”
Kinsler stated the winning rally with one-out single against Farquhar (0-2) for his fourth hit, advanced on Adrian Beltre’s single, and then swiped third.
After A.J. Pierzynski fouled out to third, home plate umpire C.B. Bucknor called a balk on Farquar with Alex Rios at the plate, allowing Kinsler to come home.
“It was a balk. Very minor, but it was a balk,” Farquhar said. “I had to go back and look at the video to see it, because at the time I had no idea. It was the slightest flinch.”
Even at the time, Seattle manager Eric Wedge hardly protested the call.
“He kind of raised up, went back down. Very subtle, but enough to where it was a balk,” Wedge said. “First of all, you can’t allow the guy to get to third base. He’s got to do a better job paying attention to the guy at second base in that situation.”
The balk call and the steal weren’t the only issues for the Mariners in their fifth straight loss. Seattle’s offense had runners in scoring position in the bottom of the ninth and the 10th innings and wasn’t able to get a run across.
“It comes down to key situations,” Wedge said. “The guys in the lineup need to do better.”
In the ninth, Michael Saunders led off with a single, and Dustin Ackley followed with a bunt. The ball popped off his bat to the pitcher’s mound, but reliever Neal Cotts had rushed in and the ball went over his head, giving Ackley a single and putting runners on first and second.
Tanner Scheppers (6-2) then came in and escaped the threat. Humberto Quintero also popped up his bunt, which was caught this time by first baseman Moreland. Pinch-hitter Nick Franklin and second baseman Brad Miller struck out to send the game to extra innings.
“It’s always tough when you have first and second and nobody out and you can’t get a guy in, especially in that situation to win the game,” said Ackley, who went 3 for 3.
In the 10th, the Mariners put runners on first and second with two out before Joe Nathan finished his 38th save in 40 chances and the AL West-leading Rangers won for the sixth time in eight games.
One of the few bright spots for the Mariners came from Franklin Gutierrez, who homered a day after coming off the disabled list.
All the runs prior to the odd 10th inning came when both starters ran into trouble early before setting down, turning a tie game over to the bullpens after six innings.
Texas starter Derek Holland allowed three runs and six hits, walked four and struck out five. The left-hander is unbeaten in his last six starts, with five no-decisions in that stretch.
Holland walked two of his first three batters, setting up Kendrys Morales’ run-scoring double and Justin Smoak’s sacrifice fly.
Mariners starter Hishashi Iwakuma struck out the side in the first but ran into trouble of his own in the second, allowing three runs on four hits, including RBI singles by Mitch Moreland, David Murphy and Elvis Andrus.
Iwakuma needed 55 pitches to get through those first two innings but cruised through his last four, only allowing a pair of singles after the second. The Japanese right-hander allowed seven hits, struck out seven and walked one.
“They did a nice job, made him work. He controlled the damage, though,” Wedge said.
Gutierrez tied it at 3 with a leadoff drive to center in the third. Gutierrez, who missed much of the season with hamstring issues, has six home runs in 69 at bats.
NOTES: Seattle C Mike Zunino, who has been on the disabled list since July 26 with a broken bone in his left wrist, started a rehab assignment with Triple-A Tacoma. “He’ll be down there the rest of the week and we’ll see where we’re at,” Wedge said. … The Mariners closed the clubhouse before the game for a team meeting. “I just wanted to talk to them,” Wedge said. “What I’m seeing is not what we’re about. Not that they’re playing bad baseball, they haven’t, but we just haven’t scored any runs.” … Beltre’s 10th inning single extended his 12-game hitting streak against the Mariners.
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