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01-23-2018, 12:01 AM
SEATTLE -- Hisashi Iwakumas pregame neck stiffness was serious enough that he had to call for the training staff. Fortunately for the Seattle Mariners, he found a way to take the mound Sunday. Iwakuma pitched eight effective innings to help the Mariners stop a five-game losing streak with a 5-1 win over the Texas Rangers. "I needed to pitch today. I felt responsible, especially after losing five in a row," Iwakuma said through an interpreter. Kyle Seager had four hits and three RBIs for Seattle, continuing his strong play against Texas. Dustin Ackley and Brad Miller also drove in a run. Iwakuma allowed one run on Brad Snyders first career homer in the second and six hits. Charlie Furbush then got three outs to complete the six-hitter. It was quite a turnaround for Iwakuma after he felt stiffness in his neck as he prepared for his ninth start of the season. "To be honest, yes, as I was playing catch before my bullpen I did feel that way," Iwakuma said of having doubts he would be able to pitch. Iwakuma, who didnt make his first start of the season until May 3 due to a finger injury on his throwing hand, improved to 2-1 with a 1.61 ERA in three starts this month. "My bodys starting to get used to season mode and Im feeling a lot better and stronger now, so I think Im good to go from here on," said Iwakuma, who was hopeful his neck wouldnt be a problem moving forward. The Mariners left a runner in scoring position in each of the first four innings before Seager drove in Endy Chavez and Robinson Cano with a two-out double in the fifth, lifting Seattle to a 2-1 lead. "Its been a little bit of a grind as of late, but before that we were playing really good baseball," Seager said. "Thats just kind of the way baseball goes. You go from scoring runs all the time to kind of hit a little rough patch, but thats just kind of one of the things you grind through it." Seager added an RBI double in Seattles three-run eighth as the Mariners avoided being passed in the standings by the Rangers. Seager has played well against the Rangers in his career, hitting .338 with 34 extra-base hits and 38 RBIs. Seager is hitting .396 (19 for 48) this season against Texas with three home runs and 12 RBIs. Rangers starter Nick Martinez (1-4) allowed nine hits and walked one, but held the Mariners to two runs in six innings. The right-hander is 0-3 with a 9.45 ERA in his last three starts. "He found his secondary stuff today," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "Threw a lot of changeups, threw some breaking balls. And with Nick, you need all of his pitches to manoeuvr through the batting order and they did. He made the mistake to Seager but certainly a big improvement." NOTES: Mariners 1B Logan Morrison departed after five innings due to a cut above his left eye that needed five stitches. Morrison was hurt when he swung his bat in frustration at the dugout wall and had a piece fly back and hit him. Catcher John Buck replaced him in his first major league appearance at the position. ... Mariners 1B Justin Smoak (strained quad), OF Corey Hart (strained hamstring) and OF Michael Saunders (shoulder inflammation) are close to being sent out on rehab assignments as they work their way back from stints on the disabled list, manager Lloyd McClendon said. The Seattle skipper said all three could begin a rehab assignment by weeks end. ... Texas OF Leonys Martin occupied the top spot in the lineup for the second time in as many days on Sunday as the Rangers try to find a consistent leadoff hitter. Washington said that doesnt necessarily mean he has secured that role, though. 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Bruce Arthur, Toronto Star: My thumb is down to the Washington Redskins name debate, and not just because theres any debate at all over the most clearly racist name in sports. No, its because the debates getting dumber by the second, as it ratchets up. A sitting U.S. Congressman - low bar, I know - compared Barack Obama to Kim Jong-Il, or -Un, after a federal trademark case declared the name derogatory. A Fox News host - low bar, I know - compared the name to the New York Giants offending tall people. This happens often, and its always, always stupid, people. Its like the Yankees, or the Lakers, or the Dallas Cowboys of stupid. Calling Dallas the Cowboys, of course, should only be offensive to competent and/or humble cowboys, one and all. Steve Simmons, Sun Media: My thumb is up to Clayton Kershaw, superstar pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers, who brought the no-hitter back into vogue with a performance for the ages Wednesday night at Coors Field. And I know what youre thinking: another no-hitter, big deal. Theres been so many of them in recent seasons that weve all grown a little bored of pitchers we didnt know or care about throwing another no-no. But it was different against the Colorado Rockies. This is a big name - Kershaw - striking out 15 batters, walking no one, in total command, only reaching the count of three balls on one batter and had it not been for an error by Hanley Ramirez, were talking perfect game here. Add Vin Scully broadcasting to the ooccasion and baseball doesnt get any better than that.dddddddddddd Michael Farber, Sports Illustrated: My thumb is down not to 11-year-old Lucy Li, who qualified for the U.S. Open, but to womens professional golf, whose thimble-deep talent pool made it possible for an 11-year old to qualify. The sixth-grader, who looked like she should be entered in a hopscotch tournament and not slugging it out on Pinehurst no. 2, shot a pair of credible 78s, a score that matched marquee names Natalie Gulbis and Laura Davies but left her far off the cut. Nice two-day story. But rather than celebrate the presence of a sprite in the event, shouldnt the USGA, and by extension the LPGA, be mortified a novice qualified? The kid is precocious, but she isnt exactly Mozart. Dave Naylor, TSN: And my thumb is up to Masahiro Tanaka of the New York Yankees for proving that sometimes a player really is worth all the hype. You may remember how Tanakas transfer from Japan was the major story of the MLB off-season. You may also remember that when the first Major Leage hitter he faced in Melky Cabrera took him deep … some were wondering if the Yankees had just uncovered the next “Dice-K” Matsuzaka. Well right now Tanaka leads the American League in wins and ERA and is among the leaders in innings-pitched, as well as strikeouts and walks per nine innings. And hes looking like a good bet to win both the Cy Young and Rookie of the Year honours. Coming off a perfect 24-0 record in Japan last season, experts cautioned not to expect the same thing from Tanaka in the major leagues. And they were right. After all, on May 20th against the Cubs he did something he never did all of last season in japan. He took the loss. Cheap NFL Jerseys (http://www.authenticjerseyschinanflwholesale.com/) Wholesale Jerseys (http://www.jerseysauthenticforsale.com/) Wholesale NFL Jerseys (http://www.wholesalejerseysfootballchina.com/) Jerseys From China (http://www.wholesalechinajerseyscheapnfl.com/) Wholesale NFL Jerseys (http://www.cheapjerseysforfree.com/) Cheap NFL Jerseys (http://www.nflwholesalecheapchinajerseys.com/) Cheap Jerseys (http://www.cheapjerseysforauthentic.com/) ' ' '