Starter Nick Martinez and knuckleballer Eddie Gamboa pitched well in four-inning stints but the Mariners held on for a 3-1 win Saturday at Peoria Sports Complex.
How Rangers pitchers fared: Nick Martinez picked up where he left off five days ago on the mound. He held the Mariners scoreless on two hits (two doubles) through the first three innings before a throwing error by third baseman Drew Robinson put the lead-off man on in the fourth. After a single, Martinez made a great grab on a bunt on the third-base side of the mound, whirled around and threw out the runner at first.
The next batter Ben Gamel, however, doubled past Ryan Rua to the left-field corner to score two and put the Mariners up 2-1.
Martinez was charged with one earned run in four innings.
“I felt great. I was pounding the zone,” said Martinez, who is still battling for a roster spot. That isn’t on his mind he said. “No, I’m just looking to make my adjustments from the last one, wherever there needs to be adjustments,” he said.
Eddie Gamboa struck out two and allowed a double in a scoreless fifth. Taylor Motter homered in the sixth against Gamboa, who held the Mariners to a run on two hits and three walks over four innings.
How Rangers hitters fared: Ryan Rua gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead with a solo, two-out homer in the first against ex Oklahoma Sooner left-hander Dillon Overton.
The next three hits were infield singles. Robinson was thrown out trying to steal in the third and Nomar Mazara and Robinson Chirinos both reached on infield singles in the fifth but James Loney hit into a 5-4-3 double play and Drew Robinson grounded out to strand Mazara at third. Overton held the Rangers to four hits over six innings. Three Mariners’ relievers combined for three perfect innings.
Notables: Shortstop Jurickson Profar made a diving catch to his left on a line drive for the first out in the fifth.
“They were both tough plays, but Nick’s play, for a pitcher to range that far and turn and throw a strike to first base is as quality of a play as you can make from the pitcher’s spot,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister said.