SEATTLE -- Rangers pitcher Bartolo Colon didn't let anything bother him on Wednesday afternoon, not even a 102 mph line drive to the midsection. Colon just calmly picked up the ball and threw Jean Segura out at first base."It hit me more on the side than in the middle," Colon
SEATTLE -- Rangers pitcher Bartolo Colon didn't let anything bother him on Wednesday afternoon, not even a 102 mph line drive to the midsection. Colon just calmly picked up the ball and threw Jean Segura out at first base.
"It hit me more on the side than in the middle," Colon said. "I have a lot of big belly, so I can take it."
Colon wasn't even bothered that opposing starter Christian Bergman was matching him pitch-for-pitch through seven scoreless innings. Colon just kept rolling through the Mariners' lineup inning by inning and emerged with a 5-1 victory at Safeco Field.
Colon ended up with 7 2/3 scoreless innings and his 242nd career victory when the Rangers scored five runs in the last two innings off the Mariners' bullpen. Delino DeShields drove in the go-ahead run with a double in the eighth, and the Rangers added four more runs in the ninth -- two on a two-out strikeout/passed ball.
"I thought [Bergman] did a great job," Colon said. "We were both doing a great job, so I thought the first team that scores would win."
Colon continued his mastery at Safeco Field. This was his 16th career start at Safeco, and he is 14-1 with a 1.97 ERA against the Mariners in their home park. He allowed four hits, did not walk a batter and struck out three.
"You shake your head and really marvel at what Bartolo Colon still is able to do," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "You see him moving the ball [in and out]. Then you look up and once in a while he'll still pop a 91-92 mph fastball. That is the 'art of pitching,' is what he's doing. It's not just the command, it's the late movement and adding and subtracting to different pitches."
Colon is one win behind Juan Marichal for most by a pitcher from the Dominican Republic. Colon is three behind Dennis Martinez of Nicaragua for most wins ever by a pitcher from Latin America. Colon will get plenty more chances pitching like this. The 7 2/3-inning outing was the longest by a Rangers pitcher this season.
The Rangers mulled the possibility of letting Colon go for the complete game or at least get through eight innings. But with the Rangers leading, 1-0, Mike Zunino led off the eighth with a single. Colon retired the next two hitters, but with the top of the lineup coming up, Rangers manager Jeff Banister went to the bullpen.
"We felt he did his job," Banister said. "He got us to where we wanted him to go. He was at 90-plus pitches, he had done his job."
Jake Diekman gave up a single to Dee Gordon, but Jose Leclerc, needing just one pitch, induced a popup from Segura to end the inning.
"I wanted to finish the eighth inning, but that decision was not mine," Colon said. "Manager makes that decision, and everything came out the right way."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
The Rangers got a huge break in the ninth when Ronald Guzman came to bat with two outs and the bases loaded. Left-hander Marc Rzepczynski struck out Guzman swinging but the ball got away from catcher David Freitas. Jurickson Profar scored from third as Freitas went to the backstop and then made a futile attempt to get Guzman at first. In doing so, Kiner-Falefa kept on running and scored from second on the play as well.
"In our Minor League system, they instill aggressive baserunning," Kiner-Falefa said. "Sometimes they want you to be too aggressive so you know your limits. We've got some guys out of the lineup, but with better baserunning, you can make up for some of that."
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Rangers left fielder Joey Gallo made a terrific sliding catch in the first inning, racing to the foul line to snag Gordon's slicing fly ball. Statcast™ gave it a four-star rating as Gallo had to cover 75 feet in 4.4 seconds for a 45 percent probability catch.
HE SAID IT
"Obviously the baserunning is paramount for us. It was on display last night and today. Here lately, we talk about the only thing you can do for your team after you don't have a bat in your hand offensively is to run hard and run hard with intent, run with intent to score, and put pressure on the defense." -- Banister
MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
The Rangers last run scored on an infield single by Shin-Soo Choo as he beat out a slow ground ball to second baseman Andrew Romine. The call at first was challenged by the Mariners but confirmed after review. After viewing all relevant angles, the Replay Official definitively determined that the batter-runner's foot touched first base prior to the ball contacting the interior of the fielder's glove.
Cole Hamels pitches for the Rangers when they open a four-game series with the White Sox at 7:10 p.m. CT Thursday at Guaranteed Rate Field. Hamels is 2-1 with a 2.54 ERA in five road starts this season. That is the seventh-lowest road ERA in the American League. The Rangers are 22-38 at Guaranteed Rate since the beginning of 2001, their lowest winning percentage at any AL park in that time. Right-hander James Shields pitches for the White Sox.
T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.