SEATTLE -- Left-hander Vidal Nuno baffled the Rangers for seven scoreless innings and helped pitch the Mariners to a 6-0 victory on Wednesday. The loss clipped the Rangers' lead for the second Wild Card spot to 1 1/2 games ahead of the Twins and 3 1/2 ahead of the Angels. Texas also fell two games behind the Astros in the American League West.
Nuno, acquired from the D-backs in June and filling in for multiple injured starters, wasn't even announced as the Mariners starter until the day before. His last Major League win came on June 27, 2014, against the Red Sox. Since then he had been 0-11 with a 3.86 ERA in 20 starts and 24 relief appearances.
The Rangers managed just one hit in seven innings against Nuno, a single by Prince Fielder in the first. Nuno retired 21 batters and was responsible for 14 of those himself. He struck out 10 and threw out four on bunts and comebackers.
"Those were the big ones right there, a couple of mistakes that were up," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "Not much went well for us tonight."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Two-man band: Seager and Trumbo took turns providing the offense from the second and third spots in the lineup as each went 4-for-4 and belted two-run homers, accounting for all but one of Seattle's hits. Trumbo's blast to left -- projected at 408 feet by Statcast™ -- made it 3-0 in the third and was his 21st of the season, including 12 with Seattle. Seager followed with his own shot to center -- projected at 403 feet -- in the fifth for his 23rd homer of the year. Seager now has a 12-game hitting streak during which he's batted .511 (24-for-47), while Trumbo has an 11-game streak.
"That was really cool," Trumbo said of the back-and-forth production between the two. "I don't think I've ever been part of something like that, and it obviously contributed to the win. [Seager] has been on a tear, especially against left-handed pitching which is something that is a strength of his."
Missed double play costs a run: The Mariners loaded the bases with one out in the first on three straight singles. After a visit from pitching coach Mike Maddux, Perez got Jesus Montero to hit a hard grounder right at second baseman Rougned Odor. It should have been an inning-ending double play, but Odor fumbled it and only got one out. He then grabbed a handful of dirt and threw it in disgust.
"We didn't turn the double play there, that was tough," Banister said.
Making it happen from the bottom: Mariners rookie utility man Shawn O'Malley continues making the most of his September callup opportunity as he walked, stole second and scored Seattle's sixth run on a base hit by Trumbo in the seventh. O'Malley was 0-for-2 with the walk from his No. 9 spot in the order, but he has reached base now in 14 of his 19 plate appearances since being called up last week, with five runs and two stolen bases.
Scheppers back:Tanner Scheppers made his first appearance for the Rangers since Aug. 1. Scheppers, once the Rangers top setup reliever, had been sidelined with a bone bruise in his left knee. Scheppers pitched 1 1/3 innings in relief of Perez and was charged with one run.
"I walked a batter, I wasn't happy about that," Scheppers said. "Other than that, it was good to be back out there."
"If I knew why we didn't get any more hits, we would have gotten more hits," -- Fielder
"There's a lot of factors that go into it. I think part of the credit probably goes to [Ketel] Marte and even O'Malley at the bottom of the order. That splits that concentration with the pitcher. It allows Seager to jump on some pitches that he otherwise wouldn't get." -- McClendon on Seager's recent surge
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
This was the 15th time in Mariners history that a left-hander struck out at least ten Rangers in one game. Randy Johnson did it nine times, Mark Langston four and Matt Young once.
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
McClendon unsuccessfully challenged a hit by pitch by Nuno when the lefty plunked Robinson Chirinos in the hand leading off the fifth. After a 3 minute, 6 second review, the replay official determined it wasn't definitive that the ball struck the bat, so the call stood.
WHAT'S NEXT Rangers: Left-hander Derek Holland pitches for the Rangers at 2:40 p.m. CT on Thursday against the Mariners at Safeco Field. He is 8-1 with a 2.76 ERA in his last 13 starts against them.
Mariners:Felix Hernandez (16-8, 3.65) starts the 12:40 p.m. PT series finale against Texas. Hernandez is 3-0, with a 2.18 ERA in three starts against the Rangers this year, though he's just 15-21, 3.88 in 45 career outings. He's one behind Houston's' Dallas Keuchel for most wins in the AL.