On nights like Tuesday, it’s possible to dig deep into your memory bank and have a flashback to March, when the Mariners were blasting the ball all over Arizona in spring training. They convinced themselves – and many outside observers – that it was the precursor to a more potent offense, one that was going to lift the M’s to respectability. It hasn’t happened, of course. Either part of it — the hitting, or the winning. But if the blueprint had been followed, it would have looked a lot like this dominating 9-2 Seattle victory over the Texas Rangers. Kendrys Morales led the way with two homers and six runs batted in, while rampaging Raul Ibanez got them started in the first inning with his 20th homer. Every Mariners starter had at least one hit, and Joe Saunders cruised to his first regular-season victory at Rangers Ballpark in eight career starts. “That’s what we did this spring,’’ Mariners manager Eric Wedge said of the Mariners’ 13-hit attack. “You get banged up, a couple of guys get off to bad starts, and you kind of lose your mojo there. This was really good to see.” Morales, hampered recently by a sore back, had been among the mojo-impaired, hitting just .211 over his last 15 games with 16 strikeouts in 57 at-bats. But he followed Ibanez with a solo homer in the first, added a three-run shot in the fifth, then went the other way for a two-run single in the sixth. “There is no more pain. I feel great,’’ Morales said through interpreter Jaime Navarro, the Mariners’ bullpen coach. “I’ll just keep playing and doing the things I need to do. I worked in the cage to make an adjustment and feel comfortable. Now I’m just going out there.” Ibanez, with his 18th homer in his last 43 games, continues to rack up power stats at a pace rarely, if ever, seen at his age. He is the first player 40 or over, going back to 1916, to record 20 homers before the All-Star break. The 20 homers also exceeded by one his total last year with the Yankees. “It is what it is,’’ shrugged Ibanez. “I try not to dwell on it a whole lot and just keep plugging away and doing my thing. The preparation, the work in the cage, continuing trying to have the right approach and hit the ball on the barrel, that’s pretty much all you can do.” Texas starter Justin Grimm, a rookie who had beaten the Mariners twice previously this season, got two quick outs in the first before Ibanez sent one over the wall in right, with Morales following suit. It paced the Mariners’ first win in Arlington this season after being swept three games in April.
Mariners offense delivers in win over Texas
Seattle Times | Jul 3