ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) – Delino DeShields homered after taking a speedier trip around the bases for an earlier run as the Texas Rangers beat the Seattle Mariners 5-3 on Monday night in the opener of a four-game series matching teams still hoping to get one of the AL’s two wild cards.
Cole Hamels (10-3) struck out seven in six innings to win for the first time in his last four starts.
DeShields reached on a one-out bunt single in the second, when he was initially called out before a replay challenge overturned the call. DeShields then raced home from first on Shin-Soo Choo’s two-run double that made it 4-1, running through a stop sign from fill-in third-base coach Jason Wood and scoring on a nifty headfirst slide.
Two innings later, DeShields hit his fifth homer.
Alex Claudio worked a perfect ninth to get his eighth save in 12 chances for the Rangers (72-71), who got within two games of idle Minnesota for the American League’s second wild-card spot. Seattle (71-73) is 3 1/2 games back.
Mariners starter Ariel Miranda (8-7) allowed gave up six hits and walked three in only 1 2-3 innings.