Rangers Win Pitchers’ Duel against Mariners

Rangers Mariners
(Photo by Tim Heitman/Getty Images)

Rangers 2, Mariners 0

ARLINGTON, Tex. (June 2) — The Texas Rangers won a tight one against the Seattle Mariners, 2–0 on Friday night. A sacrifice fly by Nathaniel Lowe helped secure the win for the Rangers in front of a crowd of 31,685. Corey Seager also chipped in with an RBI double late in the game. This game got the Rangers off to a nice start as they begin a six-game homestand. The second game of this series is on Saturday afternoon at 3:05 pm Central. Right-hander Bryan Woo will be making his major league debut for the Mariners, while lefty Andrew Heaney (4–3, 3.76 ERA) will get the starting nod for the Rangers.

Lowe Breaks the Seal

Both starting pitchers traded zeroes until the bottom of the sixth on Friday. Nathaniel Lowe broke the stalemate with a go-ahead sacrifice fly. This brought home Marcus Semien, putting the Rangers in front 1-0. It marked his team-leading tenth go-ahead RBI of the season. Lowe has driven in runs in each of his last three games (three total RBI) after none in his previous eight games. Semien got on base earlier in the inning with a single, extending his hitting streak to 21 games. It is the longest active hitting streak in the majors this season.

It is also the ninth-longest streak in Rangers history. The Rangers were able to add to their lead over the Mariners with a double to left by Corey Seager that brought home Jonah Heim. Heim came in as a defensive replacement for catcher Sandy Leon earlier in the game.

Pitchers’ Duel

Right-hander Jon Gray got the start for the Rangers on Friday. Gray spun seven scoreless innings to pick up his fifth win in as many starts (5–0). He becomes the first Rangers pitcher to record five straight winning starts since Lance Lynn from June 17 to July 11, 2019. It marked his second-longest scoreless appearance of 2023 (eight scoreless innings on May 13 against the Oakland Athletics). His outing on Friday was his fourth ultra-quality start (7+ IP, 2-or-fewer ER) of the season.  He is now tied with Nathan Eovaldi for the club lead. Gray has quality starts (6+ IP, 3-or-fewer ER) in four of his last five outings. He has gone 5–0, 0.79 ERA (3 ER/34 IP) over his last five starts to lower his season ERA by just under two full runs from 4.40 to a season-low 2.51.

Mariners starter Luis Castillo took his third loss of the season in his 12th start (7 IP, 5 H, 1 R-ER, 1 BB, 6 SO, 1 WP, 99 pitches/62 strikes). He now owns a 4–3 record in 2023. Castillo took a no-hitter into the bottom of the fifth inning, which was broken up by a one-out single by Robbie Grossman. It was Castillo’s sixth quality start of the campaign, as he has now lasted at least five innings in every start this season. It is his second loss of the year against the Rangers, as he also lost on May 10 in Seattle (5 IP, 8 H, 3 R-ER, 1 HR, 1 HB, 9 SO). Will Smith recorded the save for the Rangers with a scoreless ninth. It was his tenth of the season.

Postgame Comments

In his postgame media session, Rangers manager Bruce Bochy elaborated on what he saw from Jon Gray on Friday. He said, “He was on top of his game again. Jon had really good stuff. He had a good fastball, good command, and his slider and changeup were working for him as well. He threw strikes, and attacked the hitters. It was just a really nice job by him, and we really needed it because (Luis) Castillo was really good too.”


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