SEATTLE SPLIT

BY:  Richard W. Humphrey

ARLINGTON, Texas – The trade deadline passed Wednesday afternoon, and Mike Minor was still a Ranger.  He started Wednesday’s game, but completed a lousy July with a lousy performance giving up five runs, all earned, in five innings.  The Rangers however rallied from 1-0 and 5-3 deficits to win 9-7 and gain a split in this abbreviated two game series.

The Rangers plastered Seattle’s pitching for 16 hits, with Hunter Pence and Danny Santana leading the way with three hits each.  Willie Calhoun homered with two runners on base to drive in three Ranger runs.  He was one of five Ranger batsmen to record RBIs.

The Rangers re-took the lead from the 5-3 deficit in time to make Minor the winning pitcher.  He’s 9-6 with his first win since June 23.  Four Ranger relievers held the Mariners largely in check allowing two runs on four hits.  Jesse Chavez pitched the ninth inning to earn his first save of the year.  With Chris Martin in Atlanta and Shawn Kelley on the injured list, Chavez appears to be the closer at this point in the season.

Tuesday’s game was the last before the trade deadline for both teams.  The looming trade deadline made for a strange atmosphere for both teams.  Ranger reliever Chris Martin left the bullpen shortly after the game began, and by the fourth inning, the Twitter universe was reporting that Martin had been traded to the Atlanta Braves for AAA starting pitcher Kolby Allard.

For the Rangers, the game did not go well.  Ariel Jurado was hit hard, giving up solo home runs in the first and second innings.  Sloppy fielding led to three more runs as the Mariners led 5-1 after five innings.  Three Ranger errors contributed to two unearned runs in the game, and at least two more plays weren’t made that should have been made to contribute the Seattle’s run total.

Danny Santana led off the sixth inning with a home run, his 16th to cut the deficit to 5-2.  Rougned Odor doubled home two runs, and he later scored on Delino DeShields’ single to tie the game.

The joy was short lived.  A lead-off walk to Daniel Vogelbach ended Brett Martin’s night on the mound.  A throwing error put a second runner on base.  They both scored Kyle Seager’s triple.  Seager then scored on Tom Murphy’s single to make the score 8-5, which was the final.

Brett Martin (1-2) was the losing pitcher.  Mariner reliever Sam Tuivailala (1-0) got the win.  Roenis Elias pitched a scoreless ninth inning to earn his 14th save.  It was his third against the Rangers in eight days, but it will be his last this season, as he was traded Wednesday to the Washington Nationals.

The Rangers trade of Martin proved to be the most significant this year.  Trading Mike Minor was certainly a consideration, but at 3:00 PM Central on Wednesday, there was no acceptable offer.  Hunter Pence, who will be a free agent at season’s end, looked like a prime candidate to be moved, but the two teams most interested in a right-handed power bat went in another direction.

The Rangers have a second off day this week on Thursday and then host the Detroit Tigers over the weekend.  The announced starting pitchers for Texas are Lance Lynn (13-6) on Friday, Adrian Sampson (6-8) on Saturday, and Pedro Payano (1-0) on Sunday.  Friday’s and Saturday’s games are scheduled to begin at 7:05 PM, and Sunday’s at 2:05 PM.  (Central time zone)

NOTABLE:

*     Rougned Odor has been much maligned for his offense this season with a .208 batting average and .270 on base percentage.  However, he has hit 18 home runs, and in the two games against Seattle, he drove in four runs to bring his season total to 62, which leads the Rangers.

*     Mike Minor was 1-2, with a 6.59 ERA in five July starts.

*. The Rangers indicated after Wednesday’s game that Asdrubal Cabrera and Tim Federowicz would be designated for assignment prior to Friday’s game, and that Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Jose Trevino would be added to the roster.

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