It might still be too early for the Mariners to hit the panic button, but they might want to pump the brakes a few times.
That was the general point of a players post-game meeting Tuesday after the Mariners moved within one game of a winless first homestand in an 8-0 loss to the Texas Rangers.
“You remind yourself,” right fielder Nelson Cruz said. “We are a good team, and I trust what we have as a team.”
The Mariners, at this point, are a club that needs reminding after falling to 2-6. Never before in their 40-year history have they lost their first five home games.
“I don’t think you’ll see a lot of panic,” manager Scott Servais said, “but they also realize we’ve got to get things turned around. Quick. We don’t want to dig ourselves too big of a hole.”
Lefty Wade Miley, in his first career appearance at Safeco Field, gave up five runs in the third inning. Adrian Beltre’s three-run laser over the left-field wall capped the barrage.
That was pretty much it, although Beltre added a two-run double in the seventh inning against reliever Tony Zych.
The Mariners’ attack remains in snooze mode; they have scored just seven runs in their five losses. Four of Tuesday’s starters are now hitting below .200: Robinson Cano, Kyle Seager, Franklin Gutierrez and Dae-Ho Lee.
Combine that with Miley (0-1) giving up six runs in six innings. That makes 11 earned runs in 12 innings over his two starts for an 8.25 ERA.
That makes five straight losses, all at home, for the Mariners, who look to salvage the final game Wednesday afternoon before departing for a nine-game trip to New York, Cleveland and Anaheim.
Texas lefty Derek Holland (1-0) gave up just four hits in 6 2/3 innings before Andrew Faulkner and Phil Klein finished up.
The Rangers’ decisive third inning began with singles by Elvis Andrus and Ryan Rua, which put runners at first and third with no outs. Bryan Holaday’s grounder squirted through the left side for an RBI single.
A bunt single by Delino DeShields loaded the bases. Miley and catcher Chris Iannetta collided on the play, and Iannetta’s cleats caught Miley on the back of the left leg.
Miley remained in the game and took another beating of a different sort. Prince Fielder delivered a sacrifice fly before Beltre crushed a 2-2 slider for a three-run homer to left field.
“Beltre hit a pretty good pitch,” Miley said. “It was down and in. You tip your hat sometimes. It’s a bad situation. It’s not that pitch that gets me. It’s the hits before that.”
PLAY(S) OF THE GAME: Texas rookie right fielder Nomar Mazara took extra bases away from Chris Iannetta with a diving catch in the corner after a long run. The play almost certainly saved a run.
An inning later, Mazara raced to the wall in the right-center gap and took extra bases away from Leonys Martin.
PLUS: Martin showed extended range in center field and doubled Elvis Andrus off second base in the sixth inning after running down Ryan Rua’s fly ball…reliever Nick Vincent worked a one-two-three eighth inning.
MINUS: Cano batted with two on and two outs in the third and fifth innings. He hit a soft liner to first and struck out. His average is down to .182. ... Reliever Zych created his own problems in the seventh by hitting a batter (on an 0-2 pitch) and walking another before yielding Beltre’s two-run double with two outs.
STAT PACK: The five-game home skid is the Mariners’ worst stretch at Safeco Field since losing seven in a row last season from May 30 to June 5.
QUOTABLE: “We have a different team than we had here in the past,” Servais said. “I know it’s easy for fans and everybody alike to say, `Oh, here we go again.’
“It’s the same team that was in Texas a few days ago (when the Mariners opened the season by winning two of three games).”
SHORT HOPS: Elvis Andrus had three of the Rangers’ 12 hits. … Wade Miley still has two parks in which he hasn’t pitched: Progressive Field in Cleveland, and Target Field in Minneapolis. He is tentatively set to check Progressive Field off his list on the upcoming road trip. ... The attendance was 13,376. It has declined for each game of the homestand.
Bob Dutton: @TNT_Mariners