Rangers Drop Close One to Mariners

Rangers Mariners
(Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Mariners 4, Rangers 3

ARLINGTON, Tex. (Apr 25) — The Texas Rangers fell in their series finale, 4–3, to the Seattle Mariners on Thursday afternoon. Home runs by Ty France and Luis Urias helped the Mariners nail down the series win and leapfrog the Rangers in the AL West. They now have a half-game lead over them. With this series in the rearview mirror, the Rangers welcome the Cincinnati Reds for a three-game series starting on Friday evening. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 pm Central at Globe Life Field.

Right-hander Graham Ashcraft (3–1, 5.24 ERA) will toe the rubber for the Reds, and righty Nathan Eovaldi (1–2, 3.30 ERA) will get the start for the Rangers. The Mariners, meanwhile, will host the Arizona Diamondbacks for three games at T-Mobile Park starting Friday. First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 pm Pacific Time. Righty Emerson Hancock (2–2, 6.10 ERA) will get the ball for the Mariners, and Zac Gallen (3–1, 3.00 ERA) will take the hill for the Diamondbacks.

A Couple of Firsts

The first inning has not been kind to the Rangers thus far this season. Thursday was no exception, as the Mariners took a 2–0 lead off Rangers lefty Andrew Heaney in the top of the first. Julio Rodriguez led off the frame with a single to center. Two batters later, France stepped in and belted his first homer of the year, a two-run shot to right.

The Rangers got one back in the bottom of the first on Nathaniel Lowe‘s first blast of the year. It was of the solo variety to right-center off Mariners starter Luis Castillo. The Rangers tied it in the bottom of the fourth on another solo dinger. This one went to right and came off the bat of Josh Smith.

The Mariners made it 4–2 in the top of the fifth. A leadoff double to left put Dylan Moore in scoring position, and two batters later, Urias drove him in with a two-run bomb to left-center.

The Rangers drew closer in the bottom of the seventh off Mariners reliever Ryne Stanek. After Smith took a called third strike, Wyatt Langford reached on a fielding error by shortstop Dylan Moore. On deck was Ezequiel Duran, who was called out on strikes. Moments later, Jonah Heim came off the bench as a pinch-hitter for catcher Andrew Knizner. Heim singled to left, advancing Langford to second. Marcus Semien brought in Langford with a single to center.

What Went Right for the Mariners

For the third consecutive game, the Mariners got on the board first. The long balls by France and Urias kept the pressure on the Rangers the entire afternoon. Their tendency to keep the Rangers from flooding the run column also made quite a difference.

What Went Wrong for the Mariners

No team is perfect, and the Mariners did allow the Rangers to creep back into the game at certain points. The homers by Lowe and Smith were prime examples of that. Heim’s RBI single hurt them a little as well.

Heaney Goes Six

Heaney suffered the loss for the Rangers after allowing four runs, all earned, over a season-high six innings. His final line was 6 IP, 5 H, 4 R-ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 2 HR, 79 pitches/59 strikes. He held Mariners batters to 3-for-23 (.130) outside of the two home runs. Heaney recorded a season high-tying seven strikeouts without issuing a walk, joining Tanner Houck of the Boston Red Sox, Pablo López of the Minnesota Twins, and Zack Littell of the Tampa Bay Rays as the only American League pitchers with multiple outings of seven-plus strikeouts and no walks in 2024. Heaney threw only 79 pitches on Thursday, needing fewer than 15 pitches to clear five of his six innings.

Castillo Gets the Win

For the Mariners, Castillo earned the victory with his third consecutive quality start, completing six innings and allowing two earned runs. Thursday marked his first career win over the Rangers after losing each of his three prior decisions. In 50 starts as a Mariner, Castillo is 20–15 with a 3.39 ERA and 338 strikeouts. It marks the most strikeouts within a player’s first 50 starts with the Mariners, while his 3.39 ERA in that span ranks third in M’s history (3.33–George Kirby, 3.38–Erik Hanson). 

Postgame Comments

After the game, Rangers manager Bruce Bochy discussed Heaney’s afternoon. “I thought he threw the ball well, really well,” Bochy said. “He could have come out better, a couple of balls they got up and hit a couple of two-run homers. But no walks.”

 

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