Dee Gordon’s two-out triple in the seventh inning brought home the go-ahead run as the Seattle Mariners defeated the visiting Texas Rangers 4-1 Saturday night.
The Mariners (88-73) evened the season series with the last-place Rangers (67-94) at 9-9 with one game left. Seattle has a winning record against every other team in the American League West this season.
Nick Vincent (4-4) got the victory. Fellow right-hander Edwin Diaz struck out the side in the ninth for his major league-leading 57th save of the season, but not without some drama. After striking out the first two batters, the Rangers loaded the bases on an error, a hit batter and pinch-hitter Joey Gallo’s infield single. But Diaz fanned Jurickson Profar to end it.
Gordon’s triple cost Rangers right-hander Adrian Sampson (0-3), a Seattle-area native, a chance at his first major-league victory.
Sampson made his major-league debut for the Mariners in June 2016 at Boston’s Fenway Park. He was injured warming up for his second start in Detroit, suffering a torn flexor tendon muscle that sidelined him for the rest of that season and most of 2017.
Sampson allowed three runs (two earned) on seven hits in 6 2/3 innings. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out four.
With the score tied at 1-1, Kyle Seager led off the bottom of the seventh with a double to center field. Two outs later, Gordon lined a triple to right. That was it for Sampson, who was replaced by right-hander Connor Sadzeck. After a walk to Mitch Haniger, Jean Segura lined a run-scoring single to right. Interim manager Don Wakamatsu then brought in left-hander Alex Claudio to face Robinson Cano. But Cano grounded a run-scoring single to center to make it 4-1.
Mariners left-hander James Paxton pitched six innings and allowed one run on seven hits. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out nine.
The Rangers scored their only run in the first on a two-out double by Adrian Beltre.
The Mariners tied it with an unearned run in the fifth. Daniel Vogelbach led off with a line-drive single to left. An out later, Gordon hit the ball back to the mound, with Sampson throwing the ball into center field while trying for a forceout, allowing Vogelbach to reach third. Center fielder Delino DeShields Jr. also committed a throwing error on the play, allowing Gordon to reach second. Haniger’s sacrifice fly to left field scored Vogelbach.
—Field Level Media