SEATTLE (AP) — Roenis Elias has been a pleasant surprise for the Seattle Mariners this season. Lately though, the rookie hasn’t been able to find his early season form. That is cause for worry.
Elias labored through five innings, struggling to find his command, and Seattle dropped the opener of a three-game set against the Texas Rangers on Monday night, 2-0.
“He was his own worst enemy tonight,” Seattle skipper Lloyd McClendon said. “He battled all night with his stuff, his command. I’m not sure what’s going on — can’t quite put my finger on it, but we’ve got to get it straightened out.”
Despite walking four, Elias (9-11) was able to limit the Rangers to one run. The rookie stranded runners in scoring position in three innings before giving way to the bullpen after tossing 101 pitches.
The Seattle bats were unable to find a groove, too. Texas starter Miles Mikolas allowed three hits in eight scoreless innings. He faced two batters over the minimum, erasing two of the three hits he allowed with double plays. The right-hander struck out five and walked one. It is the first time Mikolas (2-5) has not allowed a run in 10 career starts.
“It was great, especially knowing coming in that they’re a hot team, being able to go out there and kind of ignore that fact, pitch my game and get us a win,” Mikolas said. “Get the road trip off on the right foot.”
J.P. Arencibia gave Mikolas the only run he needed with an RBI single in the fourth and Rougned Odor padded the lead with an RBI groundout in the seventh, scoring Leonys Martin from third.
“They got pitching and we (were) able to take advantage of some things that we created, and we just got to continue to do that,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said.
The Rangers’ best opportunity to break the game open came in the fourth, but Adam Rosales flew out to end the threat with the bases loaded. Texas left five men in scoring position.
Neftali Feliz pitched the ninth for his seventh save in eight attempts.
Mariners: 2B Robinson Cano was in the lineup and batting third on Monday, a day after removing himself from the field due to the effects of an illness. Manager Lloyd McClendon said before the game that Cano was feeling better and it didn’t appear the bug hit anyone else on the team.
Rangers: Texas placed OF Shin-Soo Choo on the disabled list Monday, ending his season. Choo will have surgery to remove a bone spur in his left elbow in the next couple weeks and the expectation is for him to be healthy enough to have a normal offseason. … General manager Jon Daniels said the Rangers plan to activate LHP Derek Holland from the disabled list after his start Thursday for Triple-A Round Rock.
Mariners: LHP James Paxton looks to rebound from his first Major League loss in his 11th career start. Paxton has never faced the Rangers.
Rangers: RHP Nick Martinez looks to finish the season strong after getting out to a 3-9 start with a 5.13 ERA. Martinez allowed one run in six innings in his only start against the Mariners, but was outdueled by Hisashi Iwakuma.
MAJOR LEAGUE MOMENT
Telis recorded his first career hit in the seventh. The catcher was attempting to put down a sacrifice bunt, but placed it well enough to leg out a single.
Mariners first baseman Logan Morrison extended his hitting streak to nine game with a pair of singles. Morrison is hitting .394 (13 for 33) during that stretch.
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