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Rangers 'keep battling,' rally back to down M's

MLB.com @Sullivan_Ranger

SEATTLE -- Rangers starter Matt Moore came off the disabled list on Wednesday night to match up with one of the toughest pitchers in the American League, and his team won the game.

That's all that mattered to Moore after the Rangers held on for a 7-6 victory over the Mariners at Safeco Field. The Rangers were trailing, 4-2, when Mariners starter James Paxton left after five innings, but they rallied for the win.

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SEATTLE -- Rangers starter Matt Moore came off the disabled list on Wednesday night to match up with one of the toughest pitchers in the American League, and his team won the game.

That's all that mattered to Moore after the Rangers held on for a 7-6 victory over the Mariners at Safeco Field. The Rangers were trailing, 4-2, when Mariners starter James Paxton left after five innings, but they rallied for the win.

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"No matter what, we won the game, so I am leaving here happy," Moore said after allowing five runs (four earned) in 5 1/3 innings. "My day to pitch, and we won. In the end, most pitchers hang their hat on that. It was fun to watch."

Video: TEX@SEA: Moore fans Seager to notch his 6th strikeout

The Rangers have won six of their last nine games, and the last five have all been come-from-behind wins. They had only four of those in their first 19 wins of the season.

But the Rangers are gradually understanding what it takes to grind out at-bats, take walks and keep the lineup moving from one hitter to the next.

During their last nine games, the Rangers are hitting .261, but with a .372 on-base percentage. They have walked 48 times, including seven on Wednesday. They have 11 home runs in that span, but none on Wednesday. Instead, they went 5-for-14 with runners in scoring position.

"We are playing better and having better at-bats," outfielder Nomar Mazara said. "We are battling the whole game. It doesn't matter what happens, we don't put our heads down. I tell the guys, just keep battling."

Video: TEX@SEA: Mazara delivers game-tying 2-run hit in 7th

The Rangers did that, even after they missed a huge chance in the fifth. They had the bases loaded and no outs against Paxton and failed to score. But they had also driven up his pitch count to 89, and Paxton exited after five innings. It was his shortest outing since a four-inning start against the Rangers on April 21. Paxton was 3-0 with a 1.64 ERA in six starts since then, before facing the Rangers again.

"I was proud of these guys, and how they continued to grind the bats out," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "They were able to work Paxton and get him out of the game, get his pitch count up there. We had [seven walks and a hit batter], four scored. We talked about the confidence that these guys are gaining inside the at-bats, believing they can put together competitive at-bats, even if they are down in the count. They have the ability to chip away, get themselves either in a level hitters' count or draw a walk."

Video: TEX@SEA: Banister on offensive grind, bullpen in win

Trailing 5-3 entering the seventh, the Rangers had a four-run rally start with a walk by Delino DeShields and a single by Shin-Soo Choo. Mazara hit a two-run single to tie the game, and the Rangers went ahead on a two-run double by Robinson Chirinos.

"We have the talent to win with this offense," Chirinos said. "Guys are working hard at the plate, taking their walks and good situational hitting. It has been good to watch."

Video: TEX@SEA: Kela retires Healy to record his 12th save

The Rangers led, 7-5, entering the bottom of the ninth, but Nelson Cruz made it a one-run game with a two-out RBI single off Keone Kela. But Kela retired Ryon Healy on a grounder to third baseman Isiah Kiner-Falefa to earn his 12th save of the season.

MOMENT THAT MATTERED
Rangers surge ahead: In a 5-5 game in the seventh, the Mariners intentionally walked Jurickson Profar so that left-hander Marc Rzepczynski could face Joey Gallo with one out and Mazara on second. After the count went 2-2, Gallo worked a walk by not chasing two sliders. Right-hander Juan Nicasio was then brought in to face Chirinos. But Chirinos slapped a grounder down the first-base line that deflected off the diving attempt of first baseman Healy for a go-ahead two-run double.

Video: TEX@SEA: Chirinos hits a go-ahead 2-run double in 7th

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
With a runner on second and two outs in the eighth, Mariners No. 9 hitter Gordon Beckham crushed a high drive to deep center off Alex Claudio. DeShields was playing shallow and had to race straight back, but he made the catch as he tumbled to the ground. According to Statcast™, DeShields had to race 104 feet in 5.6 seconds at a rate of 28.9 feet per second. 30 feet per second is elite speed, but DeShields was also going straight back.

Video: TEX@SEA: DeShields races to wall for a tumbling grab

HE SAID IT
"I feel pretty good at the plate, and I'm seeing the ball well. I'm just working hard every day. That's why when I get the chance to get in the game, I feel comfortable. I think I did my job today." -- second baseman Hanser Alberto, who had a 13-pitch walk against Paxton in the fifth that was critical to getting the left-hander out of the game

UP NEXT
Left-hander Mike Minor makes his third start against the Mariners this season on Thursday at 9:10 p.m. CT at Safeco Field. He allowed one run in 5 1/3 innings against them on April 20 in Arlington. His second start was in Seattle on May 15, and he allowed six runs in 3 1/3 innings. Left-hander Wade LeBlanc will pitch for the Mariners.

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.

Texas Rangers, Robinson Chirinos, Nomar Mazara, Matt Moore