SEATTLE (AP) — Off to a slow start in the power department, Kyle Seager found a perfect time for his first homer of the season at Safeco Field.
Seager hit a tiebreaking shot in the eighth inning and the Seattle Mariners rallied late to beat the Texas Rangers 4-3 Sunday.
“I’ve hit some here before so I kind of remember it a little bit,” Seager said. “But it definitely feels good to get one in a big situation and get a win off of a really good team and a good pitcher.”
Seager hit 123 home runs in the past five years for the Mariners. This was just his second homer of the season.
Down 3-0, the Mariners scored three times in the seventh. Seager connected with one out in the eighth off Sam Dyson (0-4) for his second homer of the season.
Marc Rzepczynski (1-0) got one out for the win. He has yet to allow a run this season in 8 1/3 innings. Edwin Diaz struck out two and worked a perfect ninth for his sixth save.
Texas starter Andrew Cashner was pulled after issuing a leadoff walk to Seager in the seventh. Reliever Jose Leclerc got two outs but issued three walks, including a bases-loaded pass to Jean Segura.
Pinch hitter Danny Valencia followed by driving in two runs with a bloop single off Alex Claudio that made it 3-all.
“I’ll continue to stay and fight with these guys,” manager Jeff Banister said after the last-place Rangers dropped to 13-19.
“Is it frustrating? Yes. Is it problematic? Absolutely. We can look at a couple different things, too … once you get a lead, somebody’s got to come in and put a foot down and record some outs and stop giving away the free bags,” he said.
Valencia was originally in the lineup before being scratched with a sore hamstring that had been bothering him the past few days. After a rough start to the season offensively, he has hit .371 with three homers and nine RBIs over his past 10 games.
“I knew going in that I wasn’t really shut down for the game,” Valencia said. “I knew that if they need at an at-bat or needed me to play defense late in the game I made it very clear that I’m available.”
Cashner gave up four hits, three walks and struck out a season-high five. The right-hander has gone 17 consecutive road starts without a win. During that stretch, he is 0-8 with a 6.78 ERA in 77 innings.
“I felt good,” he said. “I thought I had a really good game plan, I thought I executed it well; it’s just that walk got away from me.”
Making his first start in place of James Paxton, who has a strained forearm, lefty Dillon Overton gave up one earned run over 3 1/3 innings.
Overton was lifted for Christian Bergman, recalled from Triple-A Tacoma earlier in the day. Bergman allowed a run and struck out two over 3 2/3 innings.
“Those two guys pitching for us early in the game really hung in there,” manager Scott Servais said. “And that’s really all we were asking out of them, and they did it and gave us a chance.”
With Paxton, Felix Hernandez and Drew Smyly on the disabled list, the Mariners are currently without most of their rotation. The Rangers appeared ready to capitalize when Carlos Gomez gave Texas the lead in the first inning with a sacrifice fly, then Shin-Soo Choo followed in the second with an RBI groundout to make it 2-0.
Delino DeShields added a sacrifice fly in the seventh. Nelson Cruz had his 15-game hitting streak end for Seattle.
With the victory, the Mariners finished 4-2 on the homestand and improved to 10-5 at Safeco Field season.
Rangers: LHP Dario Alvarez (1-0) was optioned to Triple-A Round Rock. To fill his spot, the Rangers recalled RHP Austin Bibens-Dirkx from Round Rock — at 32, it’s his first time in the majors after 12 seasons in the minors.
Mariners: RHP Rob Whalen was optioned to Tacoma and RHP Shae Simmons was moved to the 60-day DL.
Mariners: Hernandez (2-2) is expected to begin playing catch Monday as he works back from right shoulder bursitis that sidelined him in late April. … RHP Steve Cishek (hip) will report to Tacoma on Monday to begin a rehab assignment. Cishek has yet to pitch in the big leagues this season following offseason hip surgery.
Rangers: RHP Nick Martinez (0-1) will make his third start of the season when Texas opens a two-game series Monday at San Diego. In his last outing, he got dinged for seven runs (six earned) over 5 1/3 innings in a 10-1 loss to the Astros.
Mariners: RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (0-2), who took a comebacker off his left knee in his previous start, will have his start Tuesday in Philadelphia pushed back to Thursday in Toronto. As a result, LHP Ariel Miranda (3-2) will start in his place when the Mariners open a two-game interleague series against the Phillies.