ARLINGTON -- Derek Holland held the Mariners to three hits and two runs over seven innings as the Rangers completed a series sweep with a 3-2 win on Sunday at Globe Life Park to take a three-game lead in the American League West."We obviously had to go in and make
ARLINGTON -- Derek Holland held the Mariners to three hits and two runs over seven innings as the Rangers completed a series sweep with a 3-2 win on Sunday at Globe Life Park to take a three-game lead in the American League West.
"We obviously had to go in and make a statement against these guys.," Holland said. "At the same time we're going to see them in less than five days. What we did was good, we just got to continue that now."
Mariners right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma was out-dueling Holland until two fielding errors and a mental mistake helped Texas score three times in the fifth inning to overcome a 2-0 deficit. Iwakuma saw his three-game win streak snapped as he allowed four hits and three runs (one earned) over seven-plus frames. More >
The Rangers (34-22) have won 12 of their last 15 games and earned their first series sweep of the Mariners since 2013. The two teams opened the series tied for the division lead, but Seattle (31-25) has lost seven of 10. The Mariners had the best road record in the Majors at 18-7 before going 1-4 on their trip to San Diego and Texas.
"Disappointing series," said Mariners manager Scott Servais. "We didn't play well. We really didn't play well on the whole road trip. We had the great come-from-behind win, but other than that there wasn't much to speak of there. Hopefully it's a good sign for our starting pitching to get back on a roll. Today was our game to win and I thought we kind of gave it away."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Andrus dekes out Romero With Elvis Andrus at third base and one in the fifth inning, Bobby Wilson lifted a shallow fly ball to Mariners left fielder Stefen Romero. After Romero caught it, Andrus took a couple a steps toward home plate, then broke at full speed when he saw the loft on Romero's throw. Andrus scored as the ball trickled away from catcher Chris Iannetta to tie the game at 2-2. Jurickson Profar then followed with an RBI single to drive in Jared Hoying, who moved to second on the sacrifice fly, and give the Rangers a 3-2 lead. Andrus reached base on an error on Mariners shortstop Luis Sardinas, so two of the three runs were unearned.
"As soon as he caught the ball I just started jogging a little bit and as soon as I saw him get kind of lazy I took off to home plate, knowing it's [difficult] to throw the ball when you're not in a good, strong position," Andrus said. More >
Another Cruz missile: Holland sailed through the first three innings on just one hit, but Cruz shattered the scoreless game with a two-run blast in the fourth inning as he roped a 3-1 sinker over the bullpens in left center for his 13th homer of the year and second in two days. Statcast™ projected the blast at 447 feet with an exit velocity of 114 mph, a healthy shot indeed. Cruz has 10 homers and 20 RBIs in 25 games against Texas since the start of 2015.
"It's always fun here," said Cruz, who played for the Rangers from 2006-13. "The fans are there and I like to come here. I guess I didn't go good enough though. We didn't win games. And that's what we're here for, to win games."
Holland holds Mariners at bay Outside of the homer to Cruz, Holland moved with ease through the Mariners lineup. He set season-highs in strikeouts (six) -- all swinging -- and innings pitched (seven) to pick up his second-straight victory. Besides Cruz's home run, Holland allowed just two singles and two walks in the start. Matt Bush and Jake Diekman combined to throw a scoreless eighth, and Sam Dyson closed things out with his seventh save of the season.
"Just continuing going after these guys," Holland said. "Obviously, establishing the fastball is a big thing and kind of working off that, changing eye levels, mixing in and out, that was the big thing." More >
"After losing two games, you have to fight tooth and nail to come back and win this ballgame. I tried to give the team a chance, but at the end we came up short." -- Iwakuma.
"This is a heck of a ball club over there. This is a team that's going to be in the mix in this division all year," -- Rangers manager Jeff Banister on the Mariners.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Cruz ranks first among all active players for home runs per at-bat against the Rangers (minimum 130 plate appearances) with 12 in 124 at-bats, which is one for every 10.33 ABs. He's fifth all-time against the franchise, trailing Mickey Mantle (8.83 -- 35 HRs in 309 ABs), Troy Glaus (9.51 -- 35 HRs in 333 ABs) and Roger Maris (9.52 -- 25 HRs in 238 ABs).
Mariners: James Paxton gets his second start in place of the injured Felix Hernandez in Monday's 7:10 p.m. PT series opener against the Indians at Safeco Field. Paxton gave up 10 hits and eight runs (three earned) in 3 2/3 innings at San Diego on Wednesday, but is 12-9 with a 3.25 ERA in 31 starts over three years.
Rangers: Right-hander Colby Lewis will take the mound in the opener of a four-game series against the Astros at 7:05 p.m. CT Monday at Globe Life Park. Lewis (5-0, 3.09 ERA) got a win against the Astros back on May 20 and is 10-1 with a 2.39 ERA against them in his career.
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Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011.
Ryan Posner is a reporter for MLB.com based in Arlington.