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After 'pen falters, Healy lifts Mariners in extras

MLB.com @gregjohnsmlb

ARLINGTON -- It took seven relievers, 12 innings, a lot of sweat on a 98-degree night and a go-ahead RBI single by Ryon Healy, but the Mariners pulled out a 4-3 victory over the Rangers on Monday at Globe Life Park to open a critical 10-game road trip on the right foot.

Mitch Haniger doubled and scored on Healy's base hit through the left side of the infield, and Edwin Diaz closed things out in the bottom of the 12th for his Major League-leading 42nd save as the Mariners improved to 9-1 in extra-inning games.

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ARLINGTON -- It took seven relievers, 12 innings, a lot of sweat on a 98-degree night and a go-ahead RBI single by Ryon Healy, but the Mariners pulled out a 4-3 victory over the Rangers on Monday at Globe Life Park to open a critical 10-game road trip on the right foot.

Mitch Haniger doubled and scored on Healy's base hit through the left side of the infield, and Edwin Diaz closed things out in the bottom of the 12th for his Major League-leading 42nd save as the Mariners improved to 9-1 in extra-inning games.

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Video: SEA@TEX: Diaz K's Choo to earn the save in the 12th

"We compete," Healy said. "We compete, no matter whether it's extra innings or regular innings, but I think we turn it up a little in those situations just because we know how valuable those games can be in the long run. It's very important for us to keep battling."

The late comeback salvaged a game during which the Mariners had seen a three-run lead dissolve in the late innings.

Wade LeBlanc worked his offspeed magic for 6 1/3 innings, holding the Rangers to two hits and turning a 3-0 lead over to the bullpen in the seventh.

Video: SEA@TEX: LeBlanc tosses 6 1/3 innings of 1-run ball

Pitching on a muggy Texas evening, LeBlanc's own heat was limited to his usual mid-80s fastballs. But combined with his pinpoint control and a quality curve and changeup, the 33-year-old lefty allowed just two singles and one walk with four strikeouts in an 82-pitch beauty.

But Mariners manager Scott Servais opted to pull LeBlanc after a one-out single by Elvis Andrus in the seventh and Seattle's re-made bullpen couldn't hold the lead. Adam Warren, acquired last week from the Yankees, allowed a walk, double and hit a batter as one run scored.

Zach Duke, another non-waiver Trade Deadline acquisition, walked Joey Gallo to force in another run. Alex Colome then allowed an RBI single to Isiah Kiner-Falefa before getting the final two outs to leave the game tied at 3.

Servais said the thought coming into the game was to get six good innings out of LeBlanc on the hot night and trust the bullpen to finish things off, a formula that has worked well for most of the season.

"I was trying to manage the game and get the ball with a little wiggle room for our bullpen, looking for two more outs before we went to Colome," Servais said. "It didn't happen, obviously. Take nothing away from Wade, He was outstanding."

Video: SEA@TEX: Servais on LeBlanc's outing, win in extras

After Seattle escaped that frame, however, Colome and four subsequent relievers -- Nick Vincent, James Pazos, Sam Tuivailala and Diaz -- proceeded to shut out the Rangers over the final five innings on just two hits.

LeBlanc acknowledged the difficulty of watching Warren and Duke struggle after he came out, but wasn't debating the decision.

"I want those guys to do well, not just because it's my game, but any time," LeBlanc said. "You want those guys to be perfect every time. The truth is, they're not going to be, but more often than not they're very, very good. They're one of the best bullpens in baseball. I'll take my chances with those guys any day."

The win was just the ninth in the past 25 games for Seattle, but its second in a row as the Mariners pulled back within two games of idle Oakland in the chase for the American League's second Wild Card berth at 65-48.

Catcher Mike Zunino went 3-for-5 with a home run, his 14th of the year, to pace Seattle's 14-hit attack. It took 12 innings, but the Mariners managed to score more than three runs for just the seventh time in their past 25 games.

Video: SEA@TEX: Zunino rips a solo homer to left in the 4th

"No matter how many innings it takes," Zunino said, following the 3-hour, 54-minute affair. "Coming off that last win at home, this was a must-win. We put up [14] hits and guys hit balls across the yard hard today. These are the ones that hopefully give us a boost, and we can keep scoring runs."

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MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Rangers first baseman Jurickson Profar nearly ended the game with two outs in the bottom of the 11th, lofting a deep shot to center field off Tuivailala that kept carrying and carrying. But new Mariners outfielder Cameron Maybin retreated under the ball and -- with his back to the fence -- used all of his 6-foot-3 frame to make the catch on a fly ball projected at 390 feet by Statcast™.

Video: SEA@TEX: Maybin snags a deep fly ball to end the 11th

"It looked like a popup off the bat," Maybin said. "This is a good place to hit, and that was a prime example right there. I'm glad it stayed in the park for us, so we could get that win. That was huge. Any win right now for us is a big one, going down the stretch run of the season. Every game is the biggest game of the year, so you have to treat it that way."

SOUND SMART
Zunino's home run was the 89th of his six-year career, the most of any catcher in Mariners history. Dan Wilson hit 88 in his 12 seasons with Seattle.

HE SAID IT
"I never feel comfortable when I hit the ball that way, and Elvis Andrus is no slouch either. That man is an unbelievable defender. It took me a while to finally see the ball get to the outfield, but once I did, there was a sigh of relief." -- Healy, on squeezing his go-ahead shot between a diving Adrian Beltre and Andrus

UP NEXT
Two veteran former Cy Young Award winners will face off on Tuesday at 5:05 p.m. PT at Globe Life Park when Bartolo Colon pitches for the Rangers against Felix Hernandez for the Mariners. Colon is going for his 246th win, which would be the most by a pitcher from the Dominican Republic. Hernandez has 168 career wins, the most by a pitcher from Venezuela, but is 0-3 with a 7.64 ERA in his past four starts.

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.

Seattle Mariners, Ryon Healy, Wade LeBlanc