The last time the Seattle Mariners saw last-place Texas, a little more than a week ago in a road series, the Rangers’ Jonah Heim was hitting walk-off home runs on consecutive days.
The defeats were a gut punch for a Mariners club with hopes of ending a 20-year postseason drought.
Seattle went 4-6 on its 10-game trip to Texas, Tampa Bay and New York, dropping from two games back in the race for the American League’s second and final wild-card berth to 5 1/2 games behind Boston. The Mariners also were passed by the New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays in the wild-card standings.
The Mariners, who snapped a four-game losing streak with a 2-0 victory against the Yankees on Sunday, will look to sustain that success when they open a three-game series against visiting Texas on Tuesday.
“That was a very long road trip,” Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager said. “You know going into it that it was going to be long, for sure, just in the amount of days you’re going to be gone away from family and then the travel was real, crossing quite a few time zones there.
“It was definitely a long one, but it was a tough one, too. We certainly didn’t win as many games as we’d hope to, but I think everybody’s excited to go home.”
The Mariners suffered three one-run losses during their skid, with the other loss by two runs.
“A heck of a gut-check win for our ballclub (Sunday),” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “It’s nice to finish the road trip with a win. … Quite frankly, we could have won every game on this trip is the way I look at it. Did we get a lot of breaks? Did we execute the way we needed to execute at the end of the game to make it happen? No, we didn’t. That’s part of baseball.”
The Rangers, who are in rebuilding mode after trading Joey Gallo, Kyle Gibson and Ian Kennedy at the July 30 deadline, have lost 14 consecutive road games.
“Surrendering the outcome is critical, especially for these younger guys. It’s big for any player, but especially younger players,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward said.
“They can get caught up in what’s going to happen if they don’t have a good game, if they don’t have a good rest of the year. It starts snowballing in their minds, instead of just focusing on what the task is right now.”
Left-hander Kolby Allard (2-10, 5.07 ERA) is scheduled to start Tuesday for the Rangers against Mariners rookie right-hander Logan Gilbert (5-3, 4.14).
The two matched up July 30 at Texas as the Mariners won 9-5. Gilbert got the victory, allowing four runs in 5 2/3 innings, while Allard gave up seven runs — six earned, in three innings to take the loss.
Allard is 1-4 with a 10.35 ERA in six career appearances against Seattle, including five starts; Gilbert is 1-0 with a 4.76 ERA in two starts against the Rangers this season.
–Field Level Media