Fielding Flubs In 5th Prove Costly For M’s, Iwakuma

Fielding flubs in 5th prove costly for M’s, IwakumaSloppy fielding behind him cost Seattle starter Hisashi Iwakuma a likely win, and helped the Texas Rangers complete a three-game sweep of the AL West rival Mariners on Sunday.

Iwakuma (4-5) gave up four hits over seven-plus innings, but two of the three runs he allowed were unearned as the Rangers rallied for a 3-2 win.

Iwakuma, who struck out seven and walked one, had held the Rangers to one hit through four innings. With the Mariners leading 2-0 in the fifth, the Rangers pushed across three runs.

Rougned Odor left off with a bunt single, then was forced out at second. An error by shortstop Luis Sardinas put runners on first and second. From that point, things got even worse.

Jared Hoying singled to left to score a run. Bobby Wilson then lofted a short fly to left field, but Stefen Romero was unaware that the runner at third had tagged up, and he beat Romero’s late throw to the plate.

Jurickson Profar then singled to left to put the Rangers up 3-2.

“There’s nothing you can do about that,” Iwakuma said of the fielding blunders. “Those are things that I can’t control.”

With the loss, the Mariners dropped three games behind the Rangers in the AL West.

Meanwhile, Seattle center fielder Norichika Aoki went hitless in four at-bats, but made a sliding catch of a shallow fly to right center off the bat of Odor in the second inning.