The Seattle Mariners certainly hope this trip to Texas goes better than the last one.
The Mariners lost two of three games on July 30-Aug. 1 in Arlington, Texas, with the Rangers’ Jonah Heim hitting walk-off home runs in each of the final two games.
That put a dent in the Mariners’ wild-card playoff hopes from which they’re still trying to recover. They entered Monday’s play 5 1/2 games out of a postseason berth and open a three-game series with Texas on Tuesday night.
The Rangers also snapped a 14-game road losing streak last Tuesday in Seattle before the Mariners won the final two games of the series by 2-1 and 3-1 scores.
“We were right there in the hunt of it,” Mariners veteran third baseman Kyle Seager said after that loss to Texas. “We were right there in the thick of it. We were definitely watching the standings there for a little while. And it hasn’t been very good, especially in the last two weeks, so we’ve got to turn that around and start winning some games.”
The Mariners won four in a row before an 8-3 loss to Toronto on Sunday.
“It takes contributions from all over the lineup, guys chipping in, having a good at-bat when you need it,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “Everybody’s got to contribute. That’s what it takes.”
The Rangers are coming off a 7-4 victory against Oakland in which rookie outfielder DJ Peters hit two home runs.
“To see your hard work and preparation pay off, it’s definitely a great thing,” Peters said. “I’ve had multi-homer games in the minor leagues, but to do it on the big stage is something special.”
The Rangers took two of three games against the A’s, just their second series win since the All-Star break. The first, of course, came against the Mariners.
Rangers manager Chris Woodward praised some adjustments Peters has been making at the plate.
“I don’t want to get too technical, but there is a clear difference in his swing path, and now he’s going to make better decisions,” Woodward said. “If he does that, he’s going to put wood on more balls, and you see what happens when he hits it.”
It was a big day for Rangers rookies, as Adolis Garcia hit his 26th homer of the season and Yonny Hernandez went 2 for 3 in his first game batting leadoff.
Rangers right-hander Spencer Howard (0-3, 5.61 ERA) is scheduled to start the series opener against Seattle left-hander Tyler Anderson (5-8, 4.24).
Howard, acquired at the trade deadline from Philadelphia as the key piece that sent starter Kyle Gibson and closer Ian Kennedy to the Phillies, pitched well in his last outing Wednesday in Seattle. He went three scoreless innings and allowed two hits with no walks and three strikeouts.
Howard matched up against Anderson in that game, with the lefty allowing one run on six hits in 5 1/ 3 innings, with no walks and four strikeouts in a no-decision. Anderson is 0-0 with a 2.75 ERA in four career appearances against Texas, including three starts.
The Mariners activated reliever Paul Sewald (7-3, 2.84) from the paternity list on Monday. The team had opened up a roster spot by optioning fellow right-hander Yohan Ramirez (0-1, 5.11) following Sunday’s contest.
–Field Level Media