It’s safe to say that Josh Jung is out of his slump, as he had the first multi-home run game of his career in the Texas Rangers’ 5-0 victory at the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night.
Jung, who had two hits in Sunday’s game to snap 0-for-20 slump, had three hits against the Mariners and drove in all five runs for the Rangers (66-87).
Jung’s first long ball came in the top of the second, a 419-foot solo shot to left field that was his fourth of the season. That gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead.
The second homer came in the top of the eighth inning, with the Rangers already up 2-0. Before Jung went long to left-center field, Corey Seager got on base after being hit by a pitch by Matthew Boyd. Seager moved to second on a sacrifice fly by Nathaniel Lowe, and then the Mariners intentionally walked Adolis García so that reliever Diego Castillo could pitch to Jung.
That turned out to be a big mistake, as Jung his fifth home run of the season, a three-run shot.
In between the home runs, he drove in Marcus Semien on an RBI single in the top of the sixth.
Jung finished 3-for-4 with five RBI and two runs to drive up his average to .227.
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It's been 40 seasons since a Rangers rookie hit at least one home run and accounted for all of the runs in a shutout victory. The last to do that was George Wright in 1982.
The Mariners (83-70) are trying to reach the postseason for the first time since 2001 and had a magic number of six to claim a wild-card berth. The Mariners still got help as the Baltimore Orioles — the team in chase of the Mariners for the final wild-card berth — lost to Boston.
But Seattle hitters had trouble with Rangers pitching all night, even though the Rangers opted for a bullpen game, which became necessary after Dane Dunning’s season-ending hip surgery. The Rangers started reliever Jesus Tinoco, who threw two innings of scoreless, hitless baseball.
That seemed to set the tone for the Rangers all night, as the bullpen combined to shut the Mariners out. The Rangers threw Tyson Miller — who was called up from Triple-A Round Rock before the game — along with Dennis Santana, Matt Moore, Jonathan Hernandez and Jose Leclerc. The Rangers won just their second game in Seattle this season.
Seager left the game after his left arm was hit by the pitch in the eighth inning.
The Rangers have set their probable pitchers for the final two games of the series. On Wednesday Martín Pérez (12-6, 2.90) will face George Kirby (7-4, 3.30) and on Thursday Jon Gray (7-7, 3.64) goes opposite Marco Gonzales (10-15, 4.05).
You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard