"This was a grind," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "It felt like it would be the last man standing, whoever was able to get the most outs without giving up damage would come out the winner."
The loss dropped the Mariners to 12 1/2 games behind the Rangers in the American League West and six games behind the Orioles in the American League Wild Card race. The Mariners also still have the Astros, Tigers, Yankees and Royals between them and the Orioles.
The Rangers remain 8 1/2 games ahead of the Astros in the West with a three-game series between the two teams starting on Monday in Houston. The win also left the Rangers with a magic number of 16 with just 23 games left to play.
Rangers starter Martin Perez earned the victory while allowing four runs in six innings. It was his first victory on the road since June 14 and second of the season. Elvis Andrus committed two errors on defense that led to two unearned runs, but made up for it with three doubles and a home run on offense. He scored three runs and drove in two.
Mariners starter James Paxton took the loss, allowing six runs in 4 1/3 innings. The big blow was a two-run home run by Lucroy that gave the Rangers a 6-4 lead in the fifth and they never trailed again.
"We could never just quite get out in front of it," said Seattle skipper Scott Servais, whose club is now 5-12 vs. Texas this season. "I thought our offense did a great job and we kept getting after it and creating opportunities. We were one hit away a couple different times, but we just couldn't do it. Their offense is obviously very good. It's rolling right now and we're having a hard time slowing it down."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED A 4-K first: Paxton struck out four Rangers in the first inning alone, thanks to a wild pitch on one whiff that got away from catcher Mike Zunino and allowed Ian Desmond to reach base. The 27-year-old Canadian also set down Delino DeShields, Lucroy and Andrus -- the latter two with the bases loaded after Texas had scored on an RBI single by Adrian Beltre. Paxton is the fourth Mariners pitcher to record four strikeouts in one frame and the first since Felix Hernandez in a 2010 game against the Twins. More >
"That's a first," Paxton said. "That ball was just a wild pitch past Z there that he swung at, and unfortunately he wound up scoring. But yeah, that was pretty crazy."
Lucroy puts Beltre in record books: Lucroy's two-run home run in the fifth scored Beltre. It marked the 12th straight game Beltre has scored a run, the longest such streak in Rangers history. It was Lucroy's ninth home run in 28 games with the Rangers. More >
"Our offense lately has been getting the job done," Banister said. "They've put together some professional at-bats and have been getting the job done up and down the lineup. It was a night where we needed our hitters to continue to battle and put some runs on the board."
Kela bails out Diekman: Rangers reliever Jake Diekman took over in the seventh inning and couldn't get anybody out. He allowed a single to Robinson Cano, a double to Nelson Cruz and a walk to Kyle Seager, loading the bases. Keone Kela came in and walked Dae-Ho Lee to force in a run. A sacrifice fly by Leonys Martin made it 8-6. But Kela struck out Zunino and retired Shawn O'Malley on a weak popout to end the threat.
"Bases loaded, no outs, the message was limit the damage," Banister said. "Trade outs for runs. After the walk he settled in and made some huge pitches."
Seager scorching: The Mariners third baseman tied his career high with his 26th home run in the third, ripping a 95 mph fastball from Perez into the right-field seats. Seager also doubled in the fifth. The 28-year-old has been red hot over the past month, batting .354 (35-for-99) with six homers and 21 RBIs in 27 games since Aug. 6. Seager's two RBIs pushed him back into the team lead with 88, two more than Cano.
QUOTABLE "Just another night. I stopped celebrating when I was 10." -- Ranger first baseman Mitch Moreland in reference to his 31st birthday on Tuesday
"I'm not too happy about it. I'm not exactly sure what's going on there. That one I got another 'tweener and wasn't able to react to it well enough. I certainly don't enjoy them." -- Seager on his MLB-leading 21st error, which led to a pair of unearned runs in the second
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS Perez is 3-0 with a 3.38 ERA in four starts against Seattle this year and 7-10 with a 4.51 ERA against all other teams.
Mariners pitchers threw a total of 213 pitches, their most this season in a nine-inning game and sixth most in club history. The 3-hour, 44-minute game was Seattle's longest nine-inning home game of the season.
WHAT'S NEXT Rangers: Right-hander A.J. Griffin pitches for the Rangers against the Mariners at 9:10 p.m. CT Wednesday at Safeco Field. Griffin is 2-1 with a 3.12 ERA in his last three starts. He is 3-2 with a 3.44 ERA in six career starts against the Mariners.
Mariners:Ariel Miranda (2-1, 5.76 ERA) makes his sixth start since being acquired from the Orioles for Wade Miley in Wednesday night's 7:10 p.m. PT game. The 27-year-old lefty won his last outing against the Angels while allowing four runs on five hits over six innings. This will be his first time facing Texas.