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Mariners manage series win against slumping Rangers

The Texas Rangers rolled into town having lost seven in a row and losers of 12 of their last 16. The Mariners began the series having lost 15 of their last 19. It was to be a clash of ciphers, and so it was, with the M's ending up winners of two out of three on the strength of the pitching of Marco Gonzales and Mike Leake.

Monday night's contest saw Gonzales notch his eleventh win of the season, handling the Rangers well over seven innings despite being down early 2-0. Gonzales held Texas in check after allowing single runs in the first and second innings, while the Seattle bats took the lead in the bottom of the second on a three-run homer by Austin Nola and never looked back. Additional RBIs from Mallex Smith, J.P. Crawford, and Kyle Seager gave the M's a 7-2 lead. Cory Gearrin would be given the ball in the ninth and got into trouble, serving up a longball to the sub-.200 batting Rougned "Stinky" Odór and putting two subsequent runners on, creating a save situation for Roenis Elías, who converted the opportunity.

One negative from that game was an injury suffered by second baseman Dee Gordon, who strained his left  quadriceps muscle when rounding first base. Gordon is expected to be sidelined for a couple of weeks, not only hurting the Mariner lineup and defense, but making the likelihood of him getting traded this year a lot less likely as the July 31 trade deadline will have come and gone before he's back to health.

Tommy Milone got the start in Tuesday night's game and was not at his best, to say the least. His first pitch of the game was whacked into the Mariner bullpen by Shin-soo Choo for a leadoff home run and by the time three innings had passes Milone had coughed up six runs to the meek Texas lineup. The Rangers would go on to win that one 7-2 in a match that felt very much like what had become the norm for a listless Seattle team all this month.

Wednesday afternoon, though, saw Mike Leake take the mound for the first time since his near-perfecto, and though not near-perfect again, Leake turned in yet another quality start to best Texas ace Mike Minor, who not long ago led the league in ERA before slumping along with the rest of the Rangers. Daniel Vogelbach hit two more Vogelbombs to bring his season HR total up to 25 and Elías notched his 13th save, showing perhaps some recovery from his recent downturn.

Recent callup and veteran minor-leaguer Kristopher Negrón had a good series filling in for Domingo Santana, out with a sore elbow. Negrón was 3-for-6, building on a fine season that included a .310/.396/.503 line in 82 games at Triple-A Tacoma.

Next up, the Mariners host the Detroit Tigers for a three-game weekend set. Detroit has the worst record in the Majors at 30-67, so the clash of ciphers will continue.

Mariners vs. Rangers, by the numbers

  • Total runs scored: 27 (SEA 14, TEX 13)
  • Home runs hit: 9 (SEA 4, TEX 5)
  • Bases stolen/attempts: 1/2 (TEX 1)
  • Errors committed: 2 (SEA 1 - Milone, TEX 1)
  • Quality starts: 2 (SEA 2 - Gonzales, Leake)
  • Pitching changes: 15 (SEA 7, TEX 8)
  • Starters ERA (includes “openers”): 6.12 (SEA 4.95, TEX 7.43)
  • Bullpen ERA (includes “headliners”): 1.83 (SEA 2.57, TEX 1.42)
  • Runners left on base: 32 (SEA 16, TEX 16)

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