ARLINGTON -- The Rangers replaced Adrian Beltre and Nelson Cruz for Robinson Chirinos and Engel Beltre, with long reliever Josh Lindblom on the mound, in the eighth. It signaled the white flag before the final out was recorded on Tuesday.
Texas played from behind the entire night as Justin Grimm allowed a career-high three home runs in a 9-2 loss to the Mariners at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
Grimm dropped to 7-6, allowing six runs (five earned) on seven hits in four-plus innings. He walked two and struck out one on 75 pitches, as he failed to record a quality start for a sixth straight outing. He's allowed at least one home run in each of those six starts (nine total).
Two of Grimm's three home runs allowed came with two outs in the first inning, as Raul Ibanez and Kendrys Morales hit back-to-back shots to give the Mariners a 2-0 lead.
"He just couldn't get that third [out]," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He'd get two, but couldn't get the third one. The other guys set the table, and Morales and Ibanez did the rest."
Grimm allowed a double and a walk to start the fourth, and he gave up an RBI double to Dustin Ackley on the next at-bat. The rookie right-hander left before recording an out in the fifth, and after Morales hit his second home run of the game, a three-run shot that gave Seattle a 6-1 lead. Nick Franklin singled and Ibanez reached on Ian Kinsler's fielding error before Morales' blast.
Morales finished 3-for-5 and matched his career-high six RBIs. He entered Tuesday's game 13-for-71 (.183) at the plate over the last 19 games.
"This isn't one of my best parks, but I feel comfortable hitting the ball here," Morales said through an interpreter. "It was a good day for me. I was going to hit everything thrown and do whatever it takes."
Grimm is 2-3 with a 9.31 ERA in his last six starts, and the rookie hasn't had a quality start since May 30 against the Diamondbacks. He's now 2-1 with a 4.87 ERA in four starts against the Mariners this season.
"I feel like every time me and this team go up, it's a battle," Grimm said. "Unfortunately, we came up on the other side tonight."
The Rangers had 11 hits, but none for extras bases, off Joe Saunders, and struggled to produce runs. Texas went 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position, and had two on with one out in the second and failed to convert, as Jurickson Profar struck out and David Murphy grounded out to first.
"We had some good at-bats against him, but we couldn't capitalize on the few opportunities early and their offense took off," Murphy said. "By the time it was the middle of the game, we were just playing catch up."
Leonys Martin scored the Rangers' only earned run off Saunders. He bunted for a single, stretching his hitting streak to 15 games -- the longest for a Ranger this season. Martin stole second and scored two batters later on Elvis Andrus' single with nobody out. The heart of the Rangers' lineup, Cruz, Adrian Beltre and A.J. Pierzynski, failed to bring in any more runs in the inning.
"When you've got a big deficit, you get to a point where you're playing station-to-station baseball," Murphy said. "You're trying to scratch out one or two runs here and there. If you don't get it done, the deficit gets bigger."
Saunders allowed two runs on 10 hits in 6 2/3 innings. He struck out five and walked one on 107 pitches. He improved to 6-8, receiving his first regular-season win at Rangers Ballpark.
"We did hit him, but it was at someone," Washington said of Saunders. "He threw well tonight. When they put the amount of runs they put on the board, being a veteran, just throw strikes and let whatever happen, happen."
The Rangers used both of their long relief pitchers to save their bullpen from Grimm's short outing. Ross Wolf allowed three runs on five hits in three innings after replacing Grimm. Morales brought in two of those runs on a sixth-inning single. Mike Zunino hit an RBI single in the seventh to give the Mariners a 9-1 lead.
Lindblom, who was recalled from Triple-A Tuesday, relieved Wolf in the eighth, and threw two scoreless innings with three strikeouts.
"[Grimm] made some mistakes with some balls he left up," Washington said. "The guys in the middle of the order didn't miss. You just got to keep grinding. That's all you can do."
Master Tesfatsionis an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.