Odor, Rangers slam Mariners 8-6
SEATTLE -- The Texas Rangers and Seattle Mariners are going in opposite directions as they chase the American League’s second wild card.
Rougned Odor’s grand slam capped a seven-run fourth inning and the Rangers hung on to defeat Seattle 8-6 at Safeco Field on Wednesday night.
The Rangers (75-76) won their third straight, moving 2 1/2 games behind Minnesota for the American League’s second wild card spot.
Texas survived a Mariners lineup that chipped away at the lead all night but never mustered the go-ahead hit.
The Mariners (74-78) lost their fifth straight -- tying their longest losing streak of the season -- and remained four games behind the Twins.
“We hung in there,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “It’s just that the hole was so deep. We didn’t overcome it.”
Texas manager Jeff Banister wasn’t getting ahead of himself. Yes, winning the last two was nice, but ...
“Well, look, we’ve got 11 to play,” Banister said. “We’ve still got some yardwork to do.”
Andrew Cashner (10-10) was workmanlike, pitching six innings and allowing three runs -- the fourth quality start in his last five outings. He gave up six hits with three walks and two strikeouts.
Mitch Haniger and Nelson Cruz each hit solo homers -- Haniger’s 14th in the third inning and Cruz’s 34th in the fourth. Seattle also added a run-scoring double-play grounder from Yonder Alonso in the sixth and a two-run single by Robinson Cano in the seventh.
Back-to-back doubles by Mike Zunino and Ben Gamel to lead off the eighth cut the Rangers’ lead to 8-6.
But the Mariners couldn’t convert their best chance with the bases loaded and two outs in the seventh as Alonso bounced out harmlessly to first against Texas reliever Jeff Diekman.
“I’ve got to believe that was the biggest pitch,” Banister said. “For him, getting that out on Alonso was huge.”
The Mariners also made a costly baserunning gaffe in the eighth when Gamel got run down on the base paths off second base after Jean Segura’s grounder right in front of him.
“That’s something that’s happened to Ben a couple times this year,” Servais said. “We talked about it. ... It’s a mistake that should not be made at the big-league level, and it’s happening.”
Felix Hernandez (5-5), making his second start since coming off the disabled list after recovering from bursitis in his pitching shoulder, opened the contest with three perfect innings before getting knocked out in a seven-run fourth.
Two Seattle errors led to Elvis Andrus’ RBI fielder’s choice and Nomar Mazara’s go-ahead two-run single. Odor’s grand slam off reliever Andrew Albers -- his 30th home run of the season -- made it 7-1.
Hernandez went 3 1/3 innings, allowing six runs (five earned), two hits and three walks. He struck out four.
Texas’ Alex Claudio pitched the last two innings to earn his 10th save.
NOTES: Rangers DH Adrian Beltre went 1-for-4 as he still nurses a strained hamstring keeping him out of the infield. ... Texas 3B Drew Robinson made his fourth straight start, subbing in the field for Beltre. He is 0-for-8 with seven strikeouts in that span. ... Prior to 2B Rougned Odor’s grand slam off Mariners RHP Andrew Albers, Odor’s last homer had been a two-run shot against Seattle on Sept. 11 -- also against Albers. ... Mariners manager Scott Servais said injured RHP Tony Zych (elbow) threw a bullpen session Thursday but wasn’t optimistic about his return this season. ... Seattle RHP Dan Altavilla missed Wednesday’s game, still recovering from taking a line drive off his ankle Saturday. ... The Rangers challenged Odor’s tag on C Mike Zunino’s double, but the two-bagger stood. The delay was 2 minutes, 2 seconds.