ARLINGTON, Texas – The Seattle Mariners typically look to the long ball. On Thursday night against Texas, it was small ball that delivered big results.
Austin Nola hit a sacrifice fly that scored Dee Gordon with the tiebreaking run in the top of the ninth inning and Omar Narvaez added an insurance run with an RBI single as the Mariners snapped a three-game losing streak with a 5-3 win over the Rangers.
Seattle entered the game tied for fourth place in the American League in home runs with 211.
Gordon led off the ninth with a single to right, stole second before Mallex Smith walked and then advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by J.P. Crawford. Nola’s fly out scored Gordon and Narvaez’s single to shallow center scored Smith.
“Really, really good inning for the team there,” Mariners manager Scott Servais, “and that’s what you’ve got to do late in games.”
Winner Matt Magill (4-1) allowed one base runner in the eighth and ninth innings.
Jose Leclerc (2-4) allowed both runs in the ninth on two singles and two walks. The Rangers lost for the fifth time in seven games.
Willie Calhoun homered in the first off the facing of the second deck in right field. Calhoun has hit five of Texas’ last nine home runs over 10 games. The Rangers’ offense is missing sluggers Joey Gallo, Hunter Pence and Nomar Mazara, all on the injured list.
“We’ve got to come up with ways to get runners across and create some more runs other than just home runs,” Texas manager Chris Woodward said.
Seattle’s Felix Hernandez came away with his second straight no decision after missing more than three months with a lat strain. Hernandez allowed all three runs on five hits and struck out three.
Hernandez made his final start at Globe Life Park, where he leads all opposing pitchers in starts (28), innings (164) and strikeouts (133). The Mariners’ all-time leader in wins and strikeouts, the 33-year-old Hernandez will be a free agent next season.
“My goal is to finish strong if I want to play baseball next year,” he said.
The Rangers’ Lance Lynn gave up three runs, one earned, in six innings. He struck out five, raising his season total to 202 and becoming the eighth pitcher in Texas club history to strike out 200 or more in a season.
Seattle scored three runs in the second, beginning with Lynn hitting Dylan Moore on the left elbow with the bases loaded. Two runs scored when Rangers first baseman Logan Forsythe dropped a throw on a double-play try on a ground ball hit by Gordon that would have ended the inning.
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