The surging Texas Rangers have amassed 10 runs in back-to-back games, an offensive eruption that coincided with the return of Mike Napoli and Carlos Gomez from the disabled list on Friday. Texas goes for its eighth victory in nine games and looks to complete a three-game sweep of the visiting Seattle Mariners on Sunday afternoon.
Napoli homered twice and drove in four runs in Saturday’s 10-4 rout, while Gomez went deep Friday and has six RBIs in the first two games of the series. “To be able to insert Gomez and Nap and have them come back and do what they did is crucial for us going forward,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. “We need that lineup to be lengthened out.” Seattle’s pitching staff has taken a pounding during its seven-game road trip and surrendered 50 runs during its current 1-4 slide. Mariners catcher Mike Zunino had a three-run blast in Saturday’s 10-4 loss and has three homers and nine RBIs during a six-game hitting streak.
TV: 3:05 p.m. ET, ROOT Northwest (Seattle), FSN Southwest (Texas)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Mariners RH Christian Bergman (3-4, 5.75 ERA) vs. Rangers RH Yu Darvish (6-4, 3.03)
Bergman is coming off a forgettable outing in Minnesota, when he was battered for nine runs and 10 hits over a season-low 2 2/3 innings. The 29-year-old continues to be victimized by the long ball, giving up two homers to the Twins and nine over 24 2/3 innings spanning his last five starts. Bergman made his season debut in relief against Texas on May 7, giving up one run in 3 2/3 innings.
Darvish was superb in his last outing at Houston, permitting just one run on one hit over seven innings to halt a three-start winless drought. The three-time All-Star also tossed seven innings of one-run ball in a no-decision at Seattle on May 5 and has dominated the Mariners at home with a 5-0 record in seven starts. Kyle Seager (10-for-29) and Robinson Cano (8-for-22) have hit well versus Darvish.
1. Rangers 3B Adrian Beltre moved into 33rd place on the all-time list Saturday with his 2,957th hit.
2. Zunino has 22 RBIs in June, setting a team record for catchers in one month.
3. Texas placed RHP Andrew Cashner (oblique) on the 10-day disabled list Saturday.
PREDICTION: Rangers 7, Mariners 3