Nelson Cruz hit a home run and had three RBIs, and Wade LeBlanc pitched five solid innings for his first victory of the season as the Seattle Mariners defeated the visiting Texas Rangers 6-1 Thursday night at Safeco Field.
Cruz’s two-run shot to left-center field off left-hander Mike Minor with two outs in the third inning gave the Mariners a 3-0 lead. It was Cruz’s 10th homer of the season.
LeBlanc (1-0) allowed one run on four hits, walked two and struck out four. He had shared a franchise record by not receiving a decision in his first five starts of the season.
James Pazos, Juan Nicasio and Chasen Bradford combined for four scoreless innings of relief as the Mariners snapped a two-game losing streak and split the four-game series.
Minor (4-4) gave up five runs (four earned) on six hits in five innings. He walked two and struck out two.
The Mariners took the lead in the first as Dee Gordon, activated from the 10-day disabled list before the game, led off with a triple into the left field corner and scored on Jean Segura’s sacrifice fly to right field. Gordon had been sidelined due to a fractured right big toe.
Segura doubled with one out in the third and scored on Cruz’s homer.
The Rangers’ Nomar Mazara led off the fourth inning with a home run, his 13th, to center field off LeBlanc to make it 3-1.
The Mariners added two runs in the fifth. Mike Zunino led off with a walk and advanced to third on Segura’s one-out single to center.
Mitch Haniger hit a hard grounder on which Rangers third baseman Isiah Kiner-Falefa made a diving stop, but the throw to second was behind second baseman Rougned Odor and rolled into shallow right field, allowing Zunino to score and Segura to take third. Segura scored on Cruz’s sacrifice fly to right.
Seattle scored again the seventh. Segura walked and Cruz hit a one-out single to center. Ryon Healy lined a run-scoring single to right with two outs to extend the lead to 6-1.
Rangers cleanup hitter Adrian Beltre returned from a disabled-list stint caused by a strained left hamstring. He served as the designated hitter and went 2-for-4.
—Field Level Media