The Rangers (50-63) snapped their nine-game losing streak to the Mariners (62-53), a streak that dated back to June 4. With the win, the Rangers prevented the Mariners from an opportunity to sweep them for the third straight series. Still, the Rangers are 3-12 against Seattle after a 2-3 start to the season.
Texas did avoid tying the team record for its longest losing streak against one team — 10 straight to Milwaukee from July 8, 1976 to May 28, 1977.
"They're doing a lot of things well to win games and put themselves in position," Rangers manager Chris Woodward said of Seattle. "We have to match that. Tonight it was cool to see us get those little things done. It was the fight we needed."
The win provided Texas a respite from the slow-motion tailspin it’s been in since reaching .500 at the end of May. The Rangers are 26-39 in their last 65 games. That includes an 9-14 record since the All-Star Break.
The Rangers took the lead with a four-run bottom of the fourth. Jonah Heim had an RBI double. Charlie Culberson, with runners at the corners, hit a grounder to Mariners third baseman Eugenio Suárez that turned into an RBI single that scored Heim. A throwing error by Suarez moved Nathaniel Lowe to third. Ezequiel Duran’s RBI single to center scored Lowe and tied the game, and Bubba Thompson’s sacrifice bunt scored Culberson to give the Rangers the lead.
Texas added to the lead in the fifth with Corey Seager’s solo shot down the right-field line. Seager has 26 homers this season, tying the career high he set in 2016 with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Josh Smith pushed the Rangers’ lead back to two runs with an RBI single in the bottom of the sixth. Smith would score in the bottom of the eighth on a fielder’s choice grounder by Adolis García.
Heim went 3-for-5 for Texas, while Lowe and Duran each chipped in two hits.
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All of this benefited Rangers starter Dane Dunning, who didn't get the win but got off the hook for a sluggish start.
Unlike his gem last week, where he gave up one hit in seven innings, he struggled to find control, as he threw 4 1/3 innings and threw 90 pitches. He gave up five hits, three runs, three walks and struck out five.
The Rangers’ bullpen — Brett Martin (1-7), Brock Burke, Matt Moore and Jonathan Hernández — and the offense picked him up, aside from Burke giving up a solo home run to Suárez in the top of the sixth, a homer that momentarily cut the Rangers’ lead to one.
Seattle took a 3-0 lead after two innings. Julio Rodríguez scored on a Dunning wild pitch, while a Suárez sacrifice fly scored Ty France to give Seattle a 2-0 lead after the top of the first. In the top of the second, Sam Haggerty’s sacrifice fly scored catcher Cal Raleigh to make it 3-0.
For a while, that looked like enough run support for starter Marco Gonzales (7-12). But after the Rangers took him for the lead in the fourth, he left after five innings, giving up nine hits, five runs (all earned) and striking out two.
The Rangers celebrated two new Hall of Famers on Saturday, as the team inducted former second baseman Ian Kinsler and long-time team public relations executive John Blake into the Rangers Hall of Fame. Rangers Hall of Famer Tom Grieve presented Blake, while Rangers Hall of Famer and teammate Michael Young presented Kinsler.
The Rangers will start their ace, Martín Pérez, against Seattle’s Logan Gilbert on Sunday at 1:35 p.m. The Rangers then host the Oakland Athletics for four games, starting on Monday.
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard