Austin Nola’s sacrifice fly in the ninth inning brought home the go-ahead run as the Seattle Mariners defeated the host Texas Rangers 5-3 Thursday night in the opener of a four-game series in Arlington, Texas.
The Mariners snapped a three-game losing streak.
Dee Gordon led off the ninth by grounding a single into right field off right-hander Jose LeClerc (2-4). Gordon stole second and Mallex Smith walked before J.P. Crawford put a sacrifice bunt down the third-base line, advancing both runners into scoring position. Gordon scored and Smith took third as Nola flied out to the warning track in center field. Omar Narvaez then hit a bloop single into shallow left field to score Smith with the final run.
Mariners right-handed Matt Magill (4-1) pitched the final two innings for the victory.
The Mariners’ Felix Hernandez, making his second start since being activated from the 60-day injured list because of right shoulder issues, went five innings and allowed three runs on five hits, with one walk and three strikeouts.
OFs Jarred Kelenic and Julio Rodriguez, two of the M’s top prospects, were among eight players from the organization named to play in the Arizona Fall League. Other players who will be joining the Peoria Javelinas will be IFs Joe Rizzo and Jose Caballero, RHPs Sam Delaplane and Penn Murfee and LHPs Aaron Fletcher and Raymond Kerr.
By the Numbers
28: Number of starts by King Felix at Globe Life Park, the most by an opposing pitcher. The 26-year-old stadium is in its final season.
Our take from Right Field
It was good to see the M’s play some old-fashioned ball during their winning rally in the ninth. A sacrifice bunt put runners in scoring position and a sacrifice fly scored what proved to be the winning run.
The M’s continue their four-game series with the Texas Rangers at 5:05 p.m. Friday at Globe Life Park. LHP Marco Gonzales (14-10, 4.17 ERA) will take on Rangers rookie LHP Kolby Allard (2-0, 4.64).
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