Odor's redemption is Rangers' walk-off win over M's
By T.R. Sullivan and Greg Johns
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers, with still another dramatic come-from-behind-victory, have dealt a further blow to the Mariners' fading postseason hopes.
Rougned Odor smashed a two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning off rookie closer Edwin Diaz to lift the Rangers to a walk-off, 8-7 victory over the Mariners on Tuesday night at Globe Life Park. The Rangers are a Major League-best 30-8 in one-run games. That .789 winning percentage in one-run contests would top the modern era single-season record (since 1900), which was set by the 2012 Orioles, who went 29-9 in such games (.763).
It was the Rangers' 39th come-from-behind victory and their sixth walk-off win. Adrian Beltre started the rally with a leadoff single for his third hit of the game before Odor -- who earlier in the game ran himself into a potentially costly out in the seventh -- crushed a 2-2 pitch over the center-field wall for his 25th home run of the season.
"I went to the the plate knowing I had a chance to redeem myself for a couple of things earlier," Odor said. "I saw Beltre at first and I knew I had a chance to do something. I was excited because it was a walk-off home run. That shows the spirit and the fight of this club."
The Rangers still lead the Astros by 8 1/2 games in the American League West, but the Mariners, with their fourth straight loss, are now 10 1/2 games behind in the division and four back in the Wild Card race.
The Mariners trailed, 4-0, through three innings and were going up against Cole Hamels, who began the night leading the American League with the lowest ERA. But the Mariners rallied with six runs off Hamels in the fourth and fifth innings to take a 6-4 lead.
The Rangers, despite Odor's baserunning mistake, tied it up in the seventh before the Mariners regained the lead on Robinson Cano's sacrifice fly in the eighth.
Diaz struck out Carlos Beltran with two on and two out in the eighth, but couldn't close it out in the ninth as he suffered his first blown save in 12 chances.
"He's our best guy," Seattle manager Scott Servais said of going for the two-inning save from the 22-year-old. "He has been since he's arrived here. We left it all out there tonight."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Gomez ends drought: Carlos Gomez snapped an 0-for-18 skid with a two-out, run-scoring single up the middle to drive in Jonathan Lucroy in the second. It was Gomez's first hit since he hit a three-run homer in his first at-bat with the Rangers last Thursday. Entering the at-bat, Gomez was 1-for-his-last-29, as he also was in an 0-for-10 stretch with the Astros before being released.
Walk, don't run: The Mariners have had trouble driving in runs of late, but they scored two the easy way in the fourth inning when Hamels walked both Kyle Seager and Mike Zunino with the bases loaded in a 35-pitch frame to cut the Rangers' lead in half. And with the four-run fifth, the scoring outburst was a welcome turnabout for a team that totaled just 17 runs in its previous six games.
"We were able to string some good at-bats together and get some runs on the board," Seager said. "That's a good team over there and they've got a lot of fight. It kind of went back and forth and, unfortunately, they got the last blow."
Lucroy picks up Odor: The Rangers trailed, 6-4, in the seventh when Beltre had an RBI single off reliever Steve Cishek with one out to score Ian Desmond. Odor then lined a single to right off left-handed reliever Vidal Nuno. Beltre went to third on the play. But Odor tried to take second and was thrown out easily by right fielder Shawn O'Malley. But Lucroy singled off of right-handed reliever Dan Altavilla to drive in the two-out run and tie the game.
"That was awesome," Lucroy said. "Any time you win like that, it's a special, special night. It was a hard night pitching-wise for us. They weren't really chasing anything. We had some walks that got us into trouble, Cole was definitely not himself. We had to put together some good at-bats. Tough night early on, but that kind of makes it all worth it."
Cano gets it done: Cano had a pair of hits and scored a run, but it was his sacrifice fly in the eighth that gave Seattle a one-run lead as he scored Seth Smith from third with the bases loaded. That play helped make up for a botched sacrifice attempt earlier in the inning, when Zunino was forced at third when Matt Bush jumped quickly on O'Malley's bunt and got the lead runner for the first out. But Ketel Marte followed with a bloop single over second, and Cano delivered the go-ahead fly for his 83rd RBI of the season.
"We had some really good at-bats, the guys didn't quit even when we were down," Servais said. "We made Hamels work. I was proud of our guys, without Nelson Cruz in the lineup, to step up and put some runs up there. We had some big at-bats by a lot of guys. It was the walks, the line was moving. It was nice to see guys locked in. We did enough offensively, we just couldn't get it done on the mound."
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Hamels had faced 150 batters in his career with the bases loaded before Tuesday night and walked six. He walked two in the fourth.
"I was feeling great. I made a couple mistakes and I paid the price. But we battled. We tried to get the win, but today we lost." -- Diaz, after his first blown save
"If he doesn't do what he does, we don't win that game." -- Rangers manager Jeff Banister, on reliever Alex Claudio, who threw 2 2/3 scoreless innings
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
The Mariners successfully challenged a double-play ruling on a grounder by Seager in the seventh. After initially ruling Seager out on the 6-4-3 play, the call was overturned following a review and Seager was awarded first base.
WHAT'S NEXT Mariners: Felix Hernandez (9-4, 3.14 ERA) starts Wednesday's 11:05 a.m. PT series finale at Globe Life Park. The Mariners' ace is 3-0 with a 1.86 ERA over his last four games, but has struggled over the years in Arlington, where he's 7-10 with a 4.01 ERA in 22 starts, including a 3-2 Opening Day loss this year.
Rangers:Martin Perez (8-10, 4.45 ERA) will start the series finale for the Rangers at 1:05 p.m. CT on Wednesday. Perez has 1-5 with a 5.63 ERA in nine starts since the All-Star break, which is the fifth-highest mark in the American League in that span.