Jean Segura ripped a one-out, two-run double in the top of the ninth inning to break open a tie game as the Seattle Mariners defeated the Texas Rangers 6-2 on Friday at Globe Life Park in the first game of a three-game set.
Segura battled Texas reliever Keone Kela in a seven-pitch at-bat before his ringing double to the gap in right-center field drove home Andrew Romine and Dee Gordon with the deciding runs.
Kyle Seager and Mitch Haniger then added insurance runs with RBI singles that plated Segura and Ben Gamel, respectively, to break open the game.
Juan Nicasio (1-0), the fourth of five Mariners’ pitchers, earned the win with an inning of scoreless, one-hit relief. Mariners’ ace right-hander Felix Hernandez started the game and went 5 1/3 innings, allowing two runs (both earned) on four hits with five strikeouts and two bases on balls.
Kela (2-1), the fifth of six Texas hurlers, took the loss for the Rangers after surrendering three runs on three hits in 1/3 of an inning.
Texas starter Mike Minor scattered six hits and allowed just one run while striking out six and walking one in his 5 1/3-inning, 102-pitch, no-decision outing for the Rangers. It was the most pitches in a game for Minor since Sept. 14, 2014, when he was pitching for Atlanta against Texas. He missed the 2015 and 2016 seasons with a shoulder injury.
The Mariners pounded out 14 hits, including three each by Segura and Haniger.
Seattle started the scoring in the top of the first inning as Robinson Cano’s groundout to shortstop with runners at the corners and one out plated Gordon from third base.
That lead held for the Mariners and Hernandez until the bottom of the sixth. Shin-Soo Choo scored on a Nomar Mazara single to tie the game at 1-1, and Hernandez hit Adrian Beltre with a pitch, prompting his removal from the game for reliever Marc Rzepczynski.
Joey Gallo promptly singled off Rzepczynski to load the bases and Ronald Guzman grounded slowly to second base as Mazara raced home with the run that gave the Rangers a 2-1 lead.
Haniger tied the game at 2-2 with a two-out home run in the top of the eighth off Rangers reliever Chris Martin.
Choo led the Rangers, who have lost three of four, with two of the team’s six hits.
The two teams will square off on Saturday evening in the second game of the series with left-hander James Paxton (1-1, 4.57 ERA) taking the mound for the Mariners against Texas’ ageless right-hander Bartolo Colon (0-0, 1.45).
—Field Level Media