The Texas Rangers and Seattle Mariners both are in need of a late-season push, and it was the former that delivered the opening salvo in the four-game set. The Rangers are two games behind Minnesota for the American League’s second wild-card spot entering Tuesday’s contest against the visiting Mariners after posting a 5-3 victory in the series opener.
Texas received a solo homer from Delino DeShields and two-run doubles from Shin-Soo Choo and Nomar Mazara in Monday’s key triumph. The painful defeat was Seattle’s fifth in seven contests as it fell 3 1/2 games behind the Twins. Mitch Haniger went 3-for-4 with a two-run homer for the Mariners and has recorded seven multi-hit efforts over his last 11 games. Mazara has collected three homers and eight RBIs this month and is seven shy of his first 100-RBI season.
TV: 8:05 p.m. ET, ROOT Northwest (Seattle), FSN Southwest (Texas)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Mariners LH Marco Gonzales (0-1, 7.07 ERA) vs. Rangers RHP Miguel Gonzalez (7-10, 4.48)
Gonzales will be making his first appearance since striking out five and giving up two hits in four scoreless innings of relief against Oakland on Sept. 2. The 25-year-old was torched by Baltimore for five runs and eight hits over 3 1/3 frames in his last start on Aug. 28. Gonzales owns a 5.79 ERA over 65 1/3 career innings with St. Louis and Seattle.
Gonzalez recently was acquired from the Chicago White Sox and had a rocky first start with the Rangers. The 33-year-old gave up four runs and four hits - two homers - in three innings of a no-decision against Atlanta. Gonzalez is 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA in four career starts against Seattle and has experienced success retiring Robinson Cano (5-for-30, one homer).
1. Rangers INF Joey Gallo is hitless in seven at-bats and buried in a nine-game homerless drought.
2. Seattle CF Jarrod Dyson (groin) didn’t travel with the team and will undergo season-ending injury.
3. Texas 2B Rougned Odor (ankle), who played Monday despite coming up ailing the day before, hasn’t missed a game this season.
PREDICTION: Rangers 6, Mariners 4