Mitch Moreland, Shin-Soo Choo, Rougned Odor and Joey Gallo swatted home runs Tuesday, and Cole Hamels allowed four runs in seven innings as the Texas Rangers hung on to beat the Seattle Mariners 9-6 at Safeco Field.
The win was a big one on a night that Houston, Minnesota and Anaheim all lost. The Rangers are now only one game behind the Astros in the American League West and lead the Twins by 2 ½ games and the Angels by 4 ½ games for the second wild card.
Pitching: Hamels needed only 22 pitches in the first two innings, but struggled in the third. The Mariners opened single, walk and infield single to loaded the bases. The infield single was a Jesus Sucre liner back to the mound that hit Hamels’ glove before hitting off his chest. … Hamels did a back somersault after getting hit but stayed in the game and allowed just one run in the inning. … The Mariners got Hamels for three runs in the seventh, collecting four of their seven hits against him. … Jake Diekman entered for the eighth and was gone after two batters, a leadoff walk by Stefan Romero and a two-run homer by Robinson Cano that made it 8-6. … Keone Kela made his first appearance since an elbow scare last week and retired the three batters he faced. … Shawn Tolleson has 31 saves after a 1-2-3 ninth inning.
Hitting: After going four games without a home run, the Rangers hit three in the first four innings and four overall. … Moreland started the power display with a solo shot in the second, Choo hit a three-run shot in the third, Odor had a two-run homer in the fourth, and Gallo opened the eighth with a moon shot to right. … The Rangers snapped a four-game streak of scoring three or fewer runs and a five-game streak of scoring four or fewer. … Moreland’s homer was his 19th of the season, good for the team lead. … Will Venable, starting for Delino DeShields, reached in three straight plate appearances after grounding out in his first at-bat. Included was an RBI double in the sixth. … Gallo’s homer to start the eighth was his second hit of the game after going 0 for 7 in his first two games since being recalled from Triple A Round Rock. ... Elvis Andrus got an insurance run home in the ninth, legging out the back end of a double play as Hanser Alberto scored from third.
Notable: Seattle announced that left-hander Vidal Nuno will start Wednesday night against Martin Perez. That means that the right-handed hitting Mike Napoli will be in the Rangers’ lineup, and manager Jeff Banister said that catcher Robinson Chirinos will make his first start since July.