SEATTLE -- The Rangers won their seventh consecutive series with a 6-4 victory over the Mariners at Safeco Field on Sunday afternoon. The Rangers took two of three from the Mariners to open up a five-game lead in the American League West and go to a season-high 15 games over
SEATTLE -- The Rangers won their seventh consecutive series with a 6-4 victory over the Mariners at Safeco Field on Sunday afternoon. The Rangers took two of three from the Mariners to open up a five-game lead in the American League West and go to a season-high 15 games over .500.
Trailing by five runs in the eighth, Seattle loaded the bases with one out but only scored a pair of runs on a hit-by-pitch and a walk. In the ninth, Robinson Cano scored Ketel Marte with a two-out single, but Rangers right fielder Nomar Mazara unleashed a perfect throw to nail Cano trying to advance to second and end the game.
"The guy made a nice throw," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "The ball comes off the wall back to him and he puts the ball right there on the bag. Looking at it, it looked like Robbie's leg guard, or whatever, broke off. It was a weird play. You've got to give their guy credit, he made a good throw."
Cole Hamels earned the victory -- his first since May 22 -- by holding the Mariners to one run in seven innings. He allowed four hits, walked two and struck out five, including Leonys Martin in the third inning for the 2,000th strikeout of his career.
"Hamels was very, very good today. He had everything going and pitched us very tough," Servais said. "Backed up with the cutter going, good changeup. He's a good lefty, no doubt."
Mariners starter Wade Miley took the loss as the Rangers broke through against him with three runs in the fourth. The runs scored with two outs as Elvis Andrus had a run-scoring double and Mitch Moreland hit a two-run home run.
"We just continue to knock them down one day at a time and win series," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "I just like the way we're playing baseball in all facets up and down the lineup."
The Mariners finished 3-4 on their homestand and have lost seven of their last 10 games. That includes five of six to the Rangers.
"Disappointing series," Servais said. "We had some chances throughout the series to try to get over the hump, and it just didn't happen. That is going to happen at times, but I thought we were right there."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Diekman dodges trouble: Rangers reliever Jake Diekman entered the game in the eighth with one out and the bases loaded. Diekman struck out Dae-Ho Lee for the second out but then hit Kyle Seager with a pitch and walked Chris Iannetta. But, after a visit from pitching coach Doug Brocail, Diekman got out of the inning by getting Martin on a grounder to second. More >
Martin repays former team: Martin, who was out with an injury last weekend when the Rangers swept the Mariners in Texas, hit a solo home run off Hamels in the fifth. The homer was a career-best 10th for Martin, acquired in an offseason trade with the Rangers. His previous season high was eight homers with Texas in 2013 -- in 457 at-bats.
Desmond No. 2:Ian Desmond entered the game hitting .358 in the No. 2 spot in the order, second highest in the AL. He continued that strong run by going 2-for-5 on Sunday. His big hit was a two-out single in the sixth, giving the Rangers a 6-1 lead. Desmond is hitting .333 (21-for-63) with runners in scoring position.
"Desmond just continues to swing the bat well," Banister said.
"I just really didn't have a fastball. I think I did a pretty good job of getting the offspeed over for strikes and being able to pitch off of that stuff and use the fastball here and there," Miley said. "But, I just didn't have it. You want to avoid the big inning, I wasn't able to do it in the fourth. But for the most part, just try to keep them off balance. Just that one inning."
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Rangers cleanup hitter Rougned Odor struck out four times, one short of the club record held by Mark Teixeira, Justin Smoak, Shin-Soo Choo and Dean Palmer. He had a chance to tie the record in his last at-bat but popped out.
Rangers: The Rangers open a four-game series with the Athletics at 9:05 p.m. CT Monday at Oakland Coliseum. Left-hander Cesar Ramos (1-2, 3.58 ERA) is expected to start for Texas.
Mariners: Seattle has an off-day Monday, then begins a three-city, 10-game road trip on Tuesday with the opener of a three-game series against the Rays at 4:10 p.m. PT. Right-hander Taijuan Walker (3-6, 3.48 ERA), who allowed just three hits in eight scoreless innings in his last start, gets the call for the Mariners against Jake Odorizzi (3-3, 3.47 ERA).
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Jim Hoehn is a contributor to MLB.com based in Seattle and covered the Mariners on Sunday.
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.