A pair of American League West teams vying to stay close in the wild-card race meet Monday in Texas, where the host Rangers begin a big four-game series against the Seattle Mariners. Texas enters 2 1/2 games behind Minnesota for the second wild card in the AL, while the Mariners are three back after both teams suffered losses Sunday.
Seattle won eight of the first 12 meetings with the Rangers this year, including two of three in its previous visit to Arlington. Five Texas pitchers gave up four home runs, one triple and five doubles in a 16-7 loss to the New York Yankees on Sunday. The Mariners finished a 5-4 homestand with a 5-3 loss to the Los Angeles Angels and will be looking to snap a five-game losing streak on the road. Ariel Miranda tossed six hitless innings before being removed after 112 pitches his last time out for Seattle, and he will oppose fellow lefty Cole Hamels for the Rangers.
TV: 8:05 p.m. ET, ROOT Northwest (Seattle), FSN Southwest (Texas)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Mariners LH Ariel Miranda (8-6, 4.72 ERA) vs. Rangers LH Cole Hamels (9-3, 4.03)
Six walks helped to run Miranda’s pitch count up in his hitless effort Tuesday, which resulted in a no-decision in a 3-1 loss. It marked the second time in a span of five starts that the 28-year-old has walked exactly six batters, but he has limited opponents to 19 hits in 24 2/3 frames during that stretch. Miranda was roughed up for five runs (four earned) in 5 2/3 innings at Texas on Aug. 2.
Hamels has been stuck on nine wins for three straight turns while going 0-2 with an 8.22 ERA. The four-time All-Star is 6-0 with a 3.39 mark in nine home starts this year, including a quality start in a no-decision against the Mariners on July 31. Hamels is 5-3 in his career versus Seattle but he has a 5.06 ERA in their 12 matchups.
1. Texas C Robinson Chirinos is 5-for-8 with a home run, three doubles and three walks over his last three games.
2. Mariners DH Nelson Cruz continues to lead the AL in RBIs (107) and needs one more to match his career high.
3. The Rangers on Sunday activated RHP Matt Bush (knee) from the 10-day disabled list.
PREDICTION: Rangers 6, Mariners 4