SEATTLE -- The Rangers had everything set up for a heartwarming homecoming story at Safeco Field starring Seattle-area natives Brandon Mann and Tony Barnette. They just needed Jose Leclerc to get through the eighth inning, and then let closer Keone Kela -- also from Seattle -- finish out the ninth."Right
SEATTLE -- The Rangers had everything set up for a heartwarming homecoming story at Safeco Field starring Seattle-area natives Brandon Mann and Tony Barnette. They just needed Jose Leclerc to get through the eighth inning, and then let closer Keone Kela -- also from Seattle -- finish out the ninth.
"Right ... all Seattle boys," Mann said. "That would have been cool."
However, it did not turn out the way. This one ended in extra innings, and the Mariners used a one-out game-winning single from Guillermo Heredia in the bottom of the 11th to notch a 9-8 victory on Tuesday night.
Leclerc had emerged of late as the Rangers' best eight-inning option with Chris Martin on the disabled list and Matt Bush in the Minors. But a throwing error by Leclerc proved costly, even though a dramatic ninth-inning baserunning play by Jurickson Profar got the game into extra innings.
"I'm proud of how our guys continued to battle," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "There were a good many positives inside this game. When these guys battle through these types of challenges, they are going to be better players. They fought back, showed heart, grit and resiliency. Were there some negatives? Yeah, but there were far more positives."
Mann and Barnette pitched well after Rangers starter Mike Minor turned in his shortest outing of the season, allowing six runs in 3 1/3 innings. He faced 21 batters, allowing 11 to reach base on eight hits, two walks and a hit by pitch. There were also 13 foul balls by the Mariners in two-strike counts.
"I felt good, it was just another game where I got guys to two strikes and couldn't put them away," Minor said. "They fouled some good pitches off, then waited around until I made a mistake and then made me pay for it, so ... just a bad game."
Minor left trailing, 6-3, but Mann, who is from the Seattle surburb of Des Moines, and Barnette, from nearby Federal Way, combined for 3 2/3 scoreless innings. That allowed the Rangers to stage a comeback, as Joey Gallo started a three-run rally in the sixth with his 13th homer of the season and Ronald Guzman gave them a 7-6 lead with an RBI single in the eighth.
But the Mariners answered in the bottom of the eighth against Leclerc. Heredia led off with a double, then James Beckham dropped down a bunt. Leclerc fielded it, but his throw to first base was wild. Heredia scored, and Beckham ended up at second base. Dee Gordon moved him Beckham over with a sacrifice bunt, and Jean Segura gave Seattle an 8-7 lead with a single.
"We talk about in these type of games, defense is precious," Banister said. "You've got to be able to slow your heart rate down and make the plays."
The Rangers tied it at 8 in the top of the ninth and turned it over to Alex Claudio. He pitched two scoreless innings, but couldn't get through the 11th.
Claudio started the 11th by getting Kyle Seager on a flyout to center, but Ryon Healy reached on a bloop single to right. David Freitas followed with a grounder into the left-side hole that shortstop Profar grabbed, but his offline throw to first was late. Heredia then hit a liner over Profar's head to bring home the winning run.
"What can you say about Claudio," Banister said. "He went out there and threw the ball extremely well. They got a couple of soft hits there late. He was up two strikes over Heredia, and it looked like he left the ball over the plate."
Robinson Chirinos had a stolen base in the sixth, only the second of his career. The other was July 2, 2017, against the White Sox. This was also only the third time in his career that he has had a three-RBI game without hitting a home run. He also had two hits with runners in scoring position after entering the game 2-for-20 in those situations.
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Profar led off the ninth against Mariners closer Edwin Diaz with a single to left and, with Nomar Mazara at the plate, moved to second on a wild pitch. Mazara popped out.
Gallo followed with a ground ball to first baseman Healy, who bobbled the ball momentarily and then flipped to Diaz for the out. Profar kept running and scored as Diaz couldn't make a throw to the plate.
Mariners manager Scott Servais argued that Gallo interfered with Diaz as he tried to make the throw. Servais pleaded his case with first-base umpire Jeff Nelson, then he was ejected.
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"He was the only guy out there that had any length. We made the decision to keep Claudio in, knowing that he was going to get the bulk of the innings if we stayed tied. Had we taken the lead, it would have been Kela, but I thought Claudio had been in this situation before, and he threw the ball extremely well. We were challenged because we had to go to the bullpen early." -- Banister, on using Claudio in the 11th.
Right-hander Bartolo Colon pitches for the Rangers against the Mariners at 2:40 p.m. CT on Wednesday in a game shown exclusively on Facebook. Fans can find the game at www.facebook.com/MLBLiveGames or by searching for MLB Live on their Facebook mobile app. It will not be broadcast on Fox Sports Southwest, or any other television outlet. Colon is 13-1 with a 2.12 ERA in 15 career starts at Safeco Field. Christian Bergman will be recalled from Triple-A Tacoma to start for Seattle.
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.