BY:  Richard W. Humphrey

The Seattle Mariners started the Rangers’ week by winning two of three games at T-Mobile Park.  The teams split the first two games, with Texas winning the second to end an eight game losing streak, but the Mariners came back with a win Wednesday afternoon to send the Rangers to their third straight series loss.  Texas is now 3-9 since the All-Star break to fall to .500 for the year at 51-51

On Monday night, the Mariners extended the Rangers’ losing streak to eight games.  The Rangers pushed across a run in the first inning, giving them their first lead in more than a week (since Saturday, July 13).  They added a run in the second inning, but in the bottom half, Seattle’s Austin Nola hit a three run home run, and the Rangers never led again.

Adrian Sampson was the Ranger starter that allowed the three run home run.  He pitched into the sixth inning allowing three more runs on a total of eight hits on the night.  He took the loss to go to 6-7.  It was his first start after three relief appearances.  He hasn’t won since June 23, losing all three of his starts since.

On the offensive side, Rougned Odor went 3-5, which included his 15th home run.

The final score was 7-3.  Marco Gonzalez was Seattle’s starting and winning pitcher.  He’s 11-8.  Roenis Elias earned the save, his 12th.

The losing streak came to an end on Tuesday, as two surprising players stepped up to be the stars of the game and spearhead the win.

On the offensive side, Odor again had three hits, including a pair of home runs.  The first home run came in the the third inning, with Joey Gallo on base via a bunt single.  It stretched the Ranger lead at the time to 6-1.  The performance raised his batting average to .203, the first time Odor had been above the Mendoza line (.200) since APRIL 3!

On the pitching side, Pedro Payano turned in a sterling performance.  Brett Martin threw the first inning as Payano’s opener, and Payano took the mound in the second inning with the Rangers holding a 3-1 lead.  He completed the next five innings to earn his first Major League win.  He gave up just one run on a pair of fourth inning doubles, but allowed just one other hit, while throwing 78 pitches.  Ranger manager Chris Woodward did not commit to Payano getting the start this Sunday when the rotation spot comes up again, but he indicated Payano was definitely in the discussion.

Shin-Soo Choo and Nomar Mazara also hit home runs.  Choo’s came on the first pitch of the game, while Mazara’s was a tremendous blast into the top deck in right field.  It was only the fourth home run ever hit into that deck since the stadium opened in 2000.

Tommy Milone was the Mariners’ starting and losing pitcher.  He gave up six runs in six innings, allowing three round trippers.  He’s 1-5 with the loss.  Odor’s second home run in the eighth inning made the final score 7-2.

Mike Minor was Wednesday’s starting pitcher, trying to lead the Rangers to a series win.  He gave up two home runs to Ryan Vogelbach.  The Mariners plated four runs in the fifth inning, starting with Vogelbach’s first home run to take the lead.  Texas answered with three in the sixth inning, all scoring on Odor’s home run.  Vogelbach homered again in the Mariners’ half of the sixth to complete the scoring.  5-3 was the final score.

Minor is 8-6 with the loss.  Seattle’s Mike Leak started and was the winning pitcher.  He’s 9-8, and Elias pitched a one-two-three ninth inning to earn his 13th save.

Texas finds itself Thursday morning in fourth place in the American League West, 14.5 games out of first.  The Rangers are 6.5 games behind Oakland for the second Wild Card spot.

The three city road trip concludes this weekend in Oakland.  The announced starting pitchers for Texas are Ariel Jurado (5-6) on Thursday, Lance Lynn (12-6) on Friday, Adrian Sampson (6-7) on Saturday and TBD on Sunday.  Game times (all Central) are 9:07 PM on Thursday and Friday, 8:07 pm on Saturday, and 3:07 PM on Sunday.

INJURY UPDATE: Joey Gallo came out of Tuesday’s game early with a sore wrist.  X-Rays were taken Wednesday and sent to Arlington for analysis.  They were inconclusive, so Gallo was sent to Arlington for further diagnosis.  It is likely that he will be placed on the IL, and Willie Calhoun is the likely call-up if that happens.


*     Last Monday’s game was the 100th of the season and consequently, the 100th of Chris Woodward’s managerial career.  The Rangers had 50 wins after Monday’s game, more than any of the last four Ranger managers after 100 games.  Jeff Banister had 48, Ron Washington had 44, Buck Showalter had 41, and Jerry Narron had 45.  Johnny Oates managed the Rangers before Narron, and he had 52 wins after his first 100 games.  (These figures courtesy of the Dallas Morning News’ Evan Grant.)


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