Kyle Seager ripped a two-run homer off reliever Robbie Ross in the 10th inning Wednesday night, lifting the Mariners to a 4-2 victory over the Texas Rangers in Arlington. The Mariners entered the series winless in Texas this season, but have taken the first two games of the three-game set and can sweep with a victory in the finale Thursday.
The Mariners have not won three in a row since May 1-4. But they put themselves in position to do it when, after a Michael Saunders walk to open the 10th, Seager smacked his 12th home run, a 371-foot shot to right on a 1-and-1 count. Tom Wilhelmsen came on with a perfect 10th to nail down his first save since June 10.
The Mariners, who had all kinds of opportunities to win before the 10th, improved to 37-47 overall and to 6-7 in extra-inning games.
Seattle had runners at first and third in the second and couldn’t score, had runners at first and second in the fourth and came up empty, had runners at second and third in the sixth and whiffed, and had runners at second and third in the eighth and did nothing.
All of that feebleness — the Mariners stranded nine and went 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position — resulted in another no-decision for Seattle starter Felix Hernandez, who allowed two earned runs on seven hits in 7.0 innings, fanned seven and walked two, but came away with his third consecutive no-decision and fourth in his past five outings.
After Jason Bay hit his 11th home run, to left field, from the leadoff spot in the first inning (every one of Bay’s home runs have been solo shots), the Rangers answered with two homers in the fifth, both off Hernandez, by David Murphy and Ian Kinsler.
The Mariners tied it 2-2 in the sixth when Raul Ibanez opened with a single. He came around to score on Mike Zunino’s infield single to third that was too hot for normally surehanded Andre Beltre to handle.
The Mariners placed runners on the corners with one out in the eighth, but that threat ended when Dustin Ackley banged into a double play, reducing Ackley’s season batting average to .198.
Seager and Justin Smoak had three-hit games. Smoak lifted his batting average to a season-high .255. The Mariners produced 10 hits and Seager’s homer made a winner out of reliever Charlie Furbush (2-4, 3.69).
The series finale is at 5:05 p.m. Thursday. Hisashi Iwakuma (7-3, 2.42), who has given up five home runs over his last two starts, will pitch for Seattle against LHP Martin Perez (2-1, 2.37), recalled from AAA Round Rock June 22.
Following the Texas series, the Mariners play three at Cincinnati (Friday-Sunday) and then return to Safeco Field for seven games against the Boston Red Sox (4) and Los Angeles Angels (3)..
NOTES: Michael Morse, on the disabled list with a strained right quadriceps muscle, is eligible to come off Friday. It has yet to be determined if he’ll go out on a minor league rehab assignment . . . Tacoma (AAA) outfielder Carlos Peguero and reliever Brian Moran have been selected to the Pacific Coast League All-Star team and will represent the league when it plays the International League July 17 at Aces Ballpark in Reno. . . . No Mariners are among the leaders at any position in the latest round of American League All-Star voting. Rosters will be announced Saturday and the 84th All-Star Game will be played July 16 at Citi Field in New York. The Mariners haven’t had a position player in the All-Star Game since 2010 (Ichiro). Seattle had three pitchers — Felix Hernandez, Michael Pineda and Brandon League — selected in 2011 and Hernandez was the team’s lone representative last year.
Sweeping the Rangers at their home would be really sweet. It’s been nice seeing the Ms win a couple of games late for a change. Smoak is slightly encouraging, Ackley not so much.