Austin Nola’s sacrifice fly in the ninth inning brought home the go-ahead run as the Seattle Mariners defeated the host Texas Rangers 5-3 Thursday night in the opener of a four-game series in Arlington, Texas.
The Mariners snapped a three-game losing streak.
Dee Gordon led off the ninth by grounding a single into right field off right-hander Jose Leclerc (2-4). Gordon stole second, and Mallex Smith walked before J.P. Crawford put a sacrifice bunt down the third-base line, advancing both runners into scoring position. Gordon scored, and Smith took third as Nola flied out to the warning track in center field.
Omar Narvaez then hit a bloop single into shallow left field to score Smith with the final run.
Mariners right-hander Matt Magill (4-1) pitched the final two innings for the victory.
Seattle’s Felix Hernandez, making his second start since being activated from the 60-day injured list because of right shoulder issues, went five innings and allowed three runs on five hits, with one walk and three strikeouts.
The Rangers’ Lance Lynn pitched six innings and gave up three runs (one earned) on four hits, with two walks and five strikeouts.
Willie Calhoun homered with two outs in the first inning off Hernandez, hitting it over the right field wall for his 16th of the season.
The Mariners took the lead with a three-run second. Kyle Seager led off with a line-drive single to right, and Daniel Vogelbach walked an out later. Rookie Jake Fraley then lined a single to center to load the bases.
Dylan Moore was hit by a pitch to bring in the first run. Gordon reached on a fielder’s choice, with two runs scoring on the play when first baseman Logan Forsythe dropped the throw from shortstop Danny Santana.
The Rangers got a run back in the bottom of the inning as Scott Heineman and Isiah Kiner-Falefa hit back-to-back doubles with two outs, cutting the Mariners’ lead to 3-2.
Texas tied it in the fourth but missed a chance at a big inning. Singles by Nick Solak and Forsythe and a walk to Rougned Odor loaded the bases with no outs. Heineman then hit one-hopper to third baseman Seager near the bag. Seager stepped on third and threw to second for a forceout, with Heineman barely beating the throw to first to avoid the triple play.
—Field Level Media