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Bergman's stellar spot start lacking support

Mariners' offense held to Seager's ninth-inning HR
MLB.com @gregjohnsmlb

SEATTLE -- Christian Bergman gave the Mariners everything they could have hoped for with seven scoreless innings in a spot start on Wednesday afternoon. Unfortunately for Bergman, Seattle's offense didn't give him much in return as the Rangers pulled out a 5-1 victory to split the two-game Safeco Field series.

Texas pushed across a run in the eighth with three singles off relievers James Pazos and Nick Vincent, and added four unearned runs in the ninth to make a winner of 44-year-old right-hander Bartolo Colon, who shut out a Mariners team minus Nelson Cruz and Robinson Cano for 7 2/3 innings en route to his second win of the year.

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SEATTLE -- Christian Bergman gave the Mariners everything they could have hoped for with seven scoreless innings in a spot start on Wednesday afternoon. Unfortunately for Bergman, Seattle's offense didn't give him much in return as the Rangers pulled out a 5-1 victory to split the two-game Safeco Field series.

Texas pushed across a run in the eighth with three singles off relievers James Pazos and Nick Vincent, and added four unearned runs in the ninth to make a winner of 44-year-old right-hander Bartolo Colon, who shut out a Mariners team minus Nelson Cruz and Robinson Cano for 7 2/3 innings en route to his second win of the year.

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Bergman was recalled from Triple-A Tacoma because a Friday rainout required a rotation pushback. He allowed just two singles with no walks and five strikeouts in a commanding 90-pitch outing.

"I watched the game last night and knew the bullpen has been used a lot, so I wanted to get in and out of at-bats quickly," Bergman said. "My rhythm was good, I was locating the ball well and the defense played great behind me. It was just one of those days where it comes down to the last couple innings and it just didn't go our way this time."

The 30-year-old right-hander went 4-5 with a 5.00 ERA in 13 outings, including eight starts, last year for the Mariners and has spent this season in Tacoma until Wednesday's callup.

"Awesome job by Christian Bergman," manager Scott Servais said. "He had a really good Spring Training and has been with us before. It's always hard when you're making that one start. But he did exactly what we needed today."

Video: TEX@SEA: Servais on Bergman's performance in 5-1 loss

Colon matched Bergman zero for zero, giving up just four hits in his own sterling start as he improved to 2-1 with a 2.82 ERA. Colon was making his first start at Safeco Field since 2014, but he's now 12-0 with a 1.82 ERA in his last 13 starts in Seattle.

Mariners left fielder Ben Gamel went 2-for-3 with a double, but the Mariners never advanced a runner past second until Kyle Seager's solo homer in the ninth off closer Keone Kela.

Video: TEX@SEA: Seager launches a solo homer to right field

"You shake your head and really marvel at what Bartolo Colon still is able to do," 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."

The Rangers didn't reach base against Bergman until Isiah Kiner-Falefa's two-out single in the fifth, and Carlos Perez singled with one out in the sixth, but both were stranded at first.

The Rangers (17-27) snapped a three-game losing streak, while the Mariners are 24-18 as they ready for a four-game series with the Tigers.

Video: TEX@SEA: Colon K's 3 over 7 2/3 shutout frames

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Texas busted things open with four unearned runs in the ninth after a fielding error on first baseman Ryon Healy loaded the bases. The Rangers scored two runs on a strikeout by Ronald Guzman when Marc Rzepczynski's slider got past catcher David Freitas and Kiner-Falefa scampered home from second when Freitas threw way too late to first. Dan Altavilla replaced Rzepczynski and two more walks and an infield single plated two more.

"Unfortunately that inning ended up being the game," said Rzepczynski, who had the unusual line of allowing three unearned runs with three strikeouts with no hits and one walk. "But for me, when you've been struggling, I have to look at the positives. I got three punchouts and a ground ball, so I'm going to look at it like that. You control what you can control, so I'm going to look at this as a positive for me." More >>

Video: TEX@SEA: Rangers plate two on strikeout, passed ball

SOUND SMART
Jean Segura has been Mr. Clutch for the Mariners this season, batting .388 with runners in scoring position for the year and .438 in 32 at-bats since April 19. But with two on and two outs in the eighth in Seattle's best scoring opportunity, he popped out to right field on the first pitch from reliever Jose Leclerc.

HE SAID IT
"I think everyone is exhausted. That road trip took a little toll, getting the rainout and then playing the doubleheader. Then having a day game after the traveling and everything. I think everyone will really enjoy getting some sleep tonight." -- Seager, after the Mariners played until almost midnight on Tuesday after getting back at 3 a.m. that morning, then turning around and playing a 12:40 p.m. start Wednesday

UP NEXT
Marco Gonzales (3-3, 5.31 ERA) faces the Tigers for the second time in a row as Seattle opens a four-game series with Detroit on Thursday at 7:10 p.m. PT. The 26-year-old gave up 10 hits and four runs over six innings in a 4-3 loss on Saturday when Seattle did not challenge a play at the plate that would have prevented three of those runs. The Tigers counter with lefty Matthew Boyd (2-3, 3.21 ERA).

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast.

Seattle Mariners, Christian Bergman, Kyle Seager