Michael Pineda began his major league career with a bang on Tuesday night, striking out two and throwing just 10 pitches in a 1-2-3 first inning for the Seattle Mariners. It was about as good as one could ask for; Pineda got Ian Kinsler swinging, induced an Elvis Andrus groundout, then got Josh Hamilton swinging on an offspeed pitch in the dirt. Though the Mariners didn't get the win -- Texas ended up with a 3-2 victory -- Pineda showed plenty of promise, a good sign for the future.
Pineda's fastball was as advertised, hitting 95 on the gun with solid movement. His secondary pitches, the weakness in his repertoire right now, were better than expected -- the Hamilton strikeout came after the bottom dropped out of a pitch, leaving the Rangers' slugger flailing at air. For Pineda, it was an excellent building block to the future.
The Rangers picked up their first run in the second on a Mitch Moreland triple to center. What looked like a routine fly ball off the bat carried, and a misplay by Michael Saunders -- filling in for Franklin Gutierrez in center -- allowed Nelson Cruz to score from first. But Pineda got out of the inning, getting a groundout from Yorvit Torrealba to end the inning.
Texas tacked on two more in the sixth after a Hamilton double plated Kinsler, followed by a two-out Michael Young double to bring Hamilton around. After six, Pineda's day was done with a final line of five hits, three earned runs, four strikeouts and a walk.
The Mariners mounted a comeback in the bottom of the six, using four consecutive singles to bring two runs around. Miguel Olivo's one-out single got it started, and was followed by singles from Adam Kennedy, Jack Wilson and Michael Saunders. Wilson and Saunders' hits scored Olivo and Kennedy, respectively.
But after Ichiro reached on an error to load the bases, the Seattle offense stalled with one out. Chone Figgins popped out on an infield fly, followed by a Milton Bradley fly-out to center. Two runs was all the Mariners offense could muster as the Texas bullpen shut the door.
Texas moved to 5-0 on the season while the Mariners fell to 2-3. The Mariners and Rangers get back at it at 11:05 on Wednesday in the series finale, live from Arlington.