SEATTLE -- The Rangers struck for two runs in the top of the eighth inning to continue their Wild Card postseason push with a 3-1 victory over the Mariners on Tuesday night.
This was a game both teams needed to win and the Rangers pulled it out against Mariners reliever Nick Vincent. Pinch-hitter Carlos Gomez led off with a double. Will Middlebrooks ran for Gomez, and Delino DeShields beat out a sacrifice bunt for a hit. Shin-Soo Choo's sacrifice fly scored the go-ahead run and, after DeShields stole second, Elvis Andrus drove home the second run with a single to left.
• Gomez's 'huge at-bat' off bench sparks rally
"Big win, we still have a chance," Rangers starter Martin Perez said. "We have to stay strong and positive. We never ever quit so it's time to show ourselves we can do it."
The Rangers passed the Mariners in the American League Wild Card standings and they are now 3 1/2 games back of the Twins for the second spot. The Twins lost to the Yankees, so the Mariners remain four back.
"Disappointing night, obviously," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "We had a chance to make up some ground in this race, and you lose another day. You don't lose ground, but you lose another day, and that's a big thing right now."
Tony Barnette earned the victory in relief for the Rangers, but the biggest out was recorded by reliever Jake Diekman in the eighth. Kyle Seager batted with two on and two out and Diekman struck him out on three pitches.
"It's nice to have Diekman back in there," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "It's all hands on deck."
Both starters were strong. Perez allowed one run in 6 1/3 innings on four hits, a walk and four strikeouts. Mariners starter Mike Leake also gave up just one run in 6 2/3 innings on six hits. He did not walk a batter and struck out five.
"I thought Mike Leake, again, was outstanding," Servais said.
Leake now owns a 2.13 ERA in four starts with the Mariners since being acquired from the Cardinals on Aug. 30.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Beltre circles bases:Adrian Beltre, playing with a strained left hamstring, led off the second inning with a single and went to third on Nomar Mazara's double. Joey Gallo followed with a ground ball to the left side that was fielded by Jean Segura. The Mariners shortstop was shifted to that side for Gallo and he thought about trying for Beltre at home. But Beltre mustered enough speed to make Segura think twice and he decided to go to first for the out. Beltre scored to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead.
Pick Five: The Mariners put runners at the corners in the seventh when Yonder Alonso walked with one out off Barnette and went to third on a single by Mike Zunino. That brought up Guillermo Heredia, and on a 1-0 pitch, Alonso broke for the plate. Heredia showed bunt but did not offer at the low and outside pitch. Catcher Robinson Chirinos fired to third baseman Drew Robinson and Alonso was picked off. Heredia reached with a single, but Ben Gamel flied out to end the inning. More >
"We wouldn't been in this spot if it wasn't for him and the job he's done throughout the year and being our eighth-inning guy and locking it down, certainly against right-handed hitters. … [Vincent] has had a great year for us, just the last couple of times out it's been sort of a struggle for him." -- Servais on Vincent's recent struggles (14.40 ERA in last six appearances)
"It was a good bunt ... something I take pride in. I consider it to be a weapon, especially with my speed. If I put it where I want it, nobody can defend it." -- DeShields on his eighth-inning bunt single
Rangers: Right-hander Andrew Cashner pitches against the Mariners at 9:10 p.m. CT Wednesday at Safeco Field. Cashner is 6-3 with a 2.93 ERA in his last 12 starts and 1-2 with a 4.15 ERA in four starts against the Mariners this year.
Mariners:Felix Hernandez makes his second start since returning from the disabled list in the 7:10 p.m. PT start. He made his first start against the Rangers as well, hurling 56 pitches over 3 1/3 innings and allowing one run on three hits in a 10-4 win. He's expected to last 70 to 80 pitches in this start.
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