Too Little Too Late For Texas Rangers As Seattle Mariners Increase AL West Lead

The Texas Rangers mounted a late rally, but it wasn't enough as the Seattle Mariners increased their AL West lead to 7.5 games.
Jun 15, 2024; Seattle, Washington, USA; Seattle Mariners first baseman Tyler Locklear (20) steals second base ahead of a tag by Texas Rangers second baseman Marcus Semien (2) during the sixth inning at T-Mobile Park.
Jun 15, 2024; Seattle, Washington, USA; Seattle Mariners first baseman Tyler Locklear (20) steals second base ahead of a tag by Texas Rangers second baseman Marcus Semien (2) during the sixth inning at T-Mobile Park. / Stephen Brashear-USA TODAY Sports

The distance between the Texas Rangers and the Seattle Mariners is growing with each loss in their series in Seattle.

The Mariners beat the Rangers 7-5 on Saturday to increase their American League West lead to 7.5 games

Once again, the Mariners (42-31) held down the Rangers’ offense. The Rangers (33-37) scored twice on eight hits against Seattle starter George Kirby (6-5).

Seattle dropped a pair of home runs on the Rangers, led by All-Star Julio Rodriguez and cashed in on seven hits. Third baseman Josh Rojas had a huge night with two hits and three RBI. Rangers starter Nathan Eovaldi (3-3) took the loss.

Catcher Jonah Heim was placed on the paternity list before the game. His new some is named Champ Heim. Sam Huff was recalled from Triple-A Round Rock to backup Andrew Knizner, who made the start on Saturday.

1. Eovaldi’s Short Outing

Jun 15, 2024; Seattle, Washington, USA; Texas Rangers starter Nathan Eovaldi (17) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Seattle Mariners at T-Mobile Park. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Brashear-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 15, 2024; Seattle, Washington, USA; Texas Rangers starter Nathan Eovaldi (17) delivers a pitch during the first inning against the Seattle Mariners at T-Mobile Park. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Brashear-USA TODAY Sports / Stephen Brashear-USA TODAY Sports

This was not Eovaldi’s best night. The right-hander lasted just three innings, allowing four runs on four hits and four walks. He struck out six.

It was Eovaldi’s second three-inning performance in his four starts since returning from the injured list. He gave up more than three earned runs for the first time since allowing five earned runs against Houston on April 14.

Left-handed reliever Brock Burke pitched in his first game since returning from the IL. He threw 2 2/3 innings of hitless baseball, striking out four and walking one.

The Mariners got to reliever Jonathan Hernández for a run and for two more against Jesus Tinoco.

2. Offense Inside Out

Jun 15, 2024; Seattle, Washington, USA; Texas Rangers left fielder Wyatt Langford (36) scores a run during the ninth inning against the Seattle Mariners at T-Mobile Park. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Brashear-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 15, 2024; Seattle, Washington, USA; Texas Rangers left fielder Wyatt Langford (36) scores a run during the ninth inning against the Seattle Mariners at T-Mobile Park. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Brashear-USA TODAY Sports / Stephen Brashear-USA TODAY Sports

Texas finally produced runs, albeit late, with a four-run outburst against a leaky Mariners bullpen. It ended, however, with a Corey Seager grounding out. Seager went 0-for-5.

In the ninth, Adolis Garcia and Nathaniel Lowe singled before Wyatt Langford drove in a run with a groundout. Later, Travis Jankowski and Robbie Grossman singled before Josh Smith walked in a run, and Marcus Semien singled in two more before Seager's groundout.

Semien's fifth-inning RBI was the only other offense the Rangers mustered.

3. Next Up

Jun 11, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; Texas Rangers starting pitcher Dane Dunning (33) throws in the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 11, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; Texas Rangers starting pitcher Dane Dunning (33) throws in the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Rangers right-hander Dane Dunning (4-5, 4.80) takes on Mariners right-hander Logan Gilbert (3-4, 3.19) in the series finale at 3:10 p.m. Sunday.

The Rangers return to Arlington for a six-game homestand, beginning with the New York Mets at 7:05 p.m. Monday. After a day off Thursday, the Rangers host the Kansas City Royals for a weekend series.

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Matthew Postins

MATTHEW POSTINS

Matthew Postins is an award-winning sports journalist who covers the Texas Rangers for Fan Nation/SI and also writes about the Houston Astros, Chicago Cubs and Philadelphia Phillies. He also covers the Big 12 for HeartlandCollegeSports.com.