MLB: Mariners look to beat Rangers for 10th straight time
The Seattle Mariners will aim to maintain their mastery of the Texas Rangers on Saturday when the American League West rivals continue their three-game series in Arlington, Texas.
The Mariners posted their ninth straight win vs. the Rangers and the 12th in 14 encounters this season with a 6-2 victory in the series opener on Friday.
Rookie Julio Rodriguez had a two-run single among his two hits on Friday, one day after he was activated off the 10-day injured list. He had been out due to a right-wrist contusion.
“I’m just happy I’m able to be in the lineup,” Rodriguez said, per The Seattle Times. “I’m good. I feel like I’m ready to go and just keep driving with the team and helping them win, helping in any way I can.
“I don’t want to miss games. I want to be on the field. If it was my choice, I’d never miss a game.”
Mitch Haniger collected three singles to improve to 10-for-22 since returning from an ankle sprain that had sidelined him since late April.
Surging Seattle, which occupies the AL’s top wild-card spot, has won 33 of its last 46 games. A victory on either Saturday or Sunday would improve the Mariners to 12-2-1 in their past 15 series.
Texas, in turn, has lost eight of its past 11 contests to drop a season-low 14 games under .500.
“It’s a lot of little things. We’ve been focusing on those things a lot lately, but we gotta play clean, and that’s something that needs to be a part of our identity,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward said.
Seattle left-hander Marco Gonzales (7-11, 3.98 ERA) will look to record his second straight victory when he takes the mound on Saturday.
Gonzales, 30, struck out a season-high seven over six innings on Sunday in a 6-3 win over the Los Angeles Angels.
“I thought (I) threw some good curveballs,” Gonzales said after that game. “I thought that gave us a good depth, just something different than the fastball-cutter-changeup that I’m so used to throwing. And the cutter I thought was good today, too. It had some good depth to it. I thought it gave us some good avenues to make pitches.”
Gonzales is 1-1 with a 4.38 ERA in four starts this season vs. Texas. He is 9-7 with a 3.87 ERA in 20 career starts against the Rangers.
Gonzales would be wise to tread carefully around Nathaniel Lowe and rookie Ezequiel Duran. Lowe has reached base in 18 consecutive games, while Duran is riding a six-game hitting streak.
Texas will look to bounce back behind right-hander Dane Dunning (2-6, 4.04), who recorded his first win since April 30 in his most recent outing. He allowed one hit and struck out six over seven scoreless innings in an 8-0 romp over the Chicago White Sox last Saturday.
Dunning, 27, has yielded four runs on 12 hits in 18 innings since returning from the injured list with a right-ankle impingement in July.
He is 1-1 with a 3.86 ERA in four career starts against Seattle, including 0-1 with a 3.94 ERA in three encounters this season.
–Field Level Media