ARLINGTON -- The Rangers are heading into September with an 8 1/2-game lead in the American League West while the Mariners continue to fade from view in the postseason picture.
The Rangers hit five home runs, including a grand slam by Carlos Gomez and two by Rougned Odor, and Martin Perez pitched six scoreless innings in an 14-1 victory over the Mariners on Wednesday afternoon. The victory gives Texas a three-game sweep of their series and a fifth straight win, while the Mariners have lost five in a row. They are 11 1/2 games behind the Rangers in the West and 4 games out in the Wild Card race.
The 8 1/2-game lead over the Astros is tied for the Rangers' largest going into September. They also had that big of a lead going into September 2010. The Astros arrive in Arlington for a three-game series starting on Friday night.
"So far it has been good, but we have one more series this weekend," third baseman Adrian Beltre said. "We need to win that series and continue to create some separation so we can rest some guys."
Perez beat Mariners ace Felix Hernandez, who was knocked out after allowing six runs in four innings. The big blow was Gomez's third career grand slam in a five-run fourth inning. Hernandez is now 17-23 with a 3.85 ERA in 49 career starts against the Rangers, the most losses by any opponent in club history.
"It wasn't good," said Hernandez, who was 4-0 with a 2.53 ERA in five August starts before this one. "I was terrible on my part. I should have gone out there and stepped my level up, but I made a lot of mistakes, walked a lot of people, and I left one pitch over the plate, and Gomez hit a homer."
The Mariners limp home after a 1-6 road trip and have lost eight of their last nine games in falling to 68-65.
"Nobody is happy," manager Scott Servais said. "We're really disappointed. But there's nothing we can do about it. These games are over. We have to put it behind us and look forward."
Perez allowed seven hits, walked three and struck out four. He is now 8-2 with a 2.65 ERA in 15 starts at home this season. The win was just his second overall in his last 12 starts.
"Everything was working," Perez said. "My sinker was good, I was in front of hitters and I was attacking the zone. I was able to throw my sinker down and away, and have them make contact."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Grand moment for Gomez: Gomez entered Wednesday's game just 3-for-22 since joining the Rangers. But he gave them a 6-0 lead in the fourth inning, when he launched his third career grand slam -- and second against the Mariners this season -- into the left-field seats. Two of his four hits with the Rangers so far have been homers. Carlos Beltran singled, and Beltre and Mitch Moreland walked to load the bases. The home run traveled a projected 405 feet from home plate, per Statcast™, and was the Rangers' fifth grand slam this year. More >
Beltre continues historic climb: Beltre's two-run homer to left in the fifth -- his 25th of the season -- padded the Rangers' lead and continued to move him up the all-time home run and RBI lists. The homer was No. 438 for Beltre, tying him with Hall of Famer Andre Dawson for No. 43 all-time. His two RBIs pushed him past another Hall of Famer, Willie McCovey, to No. 43 on the all-time list with 1,556. Beltre has now hit at least 25 home runs in nine seasons. That's the fourth-most all-time for third basemen, trailing just Mike Schmidt, Eddie Mathews and Aramis Ramirez.
Better day for Dae-Ho: One of the few positives for the Mariners was a solid outing at the plate for first baseman Dae-Ho Lee, who continued snapping out of his second-half funk with a three-hit day. The 34-year-old rookie from Korea had hit .128 over a 28-game stretch from July 2-Aug. 29, but he went 2-for-5 on Tuesday and 3-for-4 in Wednesday's game with a trio of singles. With Nelson Cruz out for a second day with a hand injury, the Mariners need Lee's right-handed bat to help balance their lineup. He just didn't get much help in this one.
"I'm getting better," Lee said through interpreter D.J. Park. "But we're not winning, so I'm not happy."
Ejection button: Seattle reliever Arquimedes Caminero was tossed from the game after drilling Elvis Andrus with a 98-mph fastball in the ribs with two out in the seventh and the Mariners trailing 10-0. Home-plate umpire Todd Tichenor immediately ejected Caminero, who had given up a two-run homer to Odor two batters earlier.
Andrus had appeared to anger Lee in the second inning, when he clipped the big first baseman in the back of the legs and knocked him down while running out a ground ball to second. The two teams meet again in Seattle next week.
"I have no idea. I don't understand what happened," Lee said of the second-inning incident. "I don't think it was intentional, but I have no clue why he did it. He said he was sorry. I wasn't happy, but he said he was sorry, and I accept the apology."
"I was a little surprised. You kind of know as a hitter when you might get hit and when you might not. People that play with me, or against me, know I'm not trying to run into him. I was just looking at the ground ball and didn't see too much of the base. I was trying to get out of the way at the end. I didn't realize they were going to try and hit me. But that's baseball, it happens. I'm fine, thank God nothing happened. Let's move on." -- Andrus, on getting hit in the eighth after running into Lee
"For me, it was out of nowhere. There was no warning, nothing. Certainly we're not throwing at anybody there. It's the umpire's call. It is what it is." -- Servais, on the ejection of Caminero
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Mariners are now 20-30 against left-handed starters, compared to 48-35 against right-handers. They'll face two more lefties in the first two games of the upcoming Angels series in Seattle.
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
The Mariners successfully challenged a strikeout and wild pitch ruling on the Rangers' first hitter of the game, when Nomar Mazara swung and missed on the third strike, but ran to first when the curveball in the dirt deflected off his knee and rolled away from catcher Chris Iannetta. After a 45-second review, the determination was made that Mazara was out since the batter can't advance on a ball that hits him on a third strike.
WHAT'S NEXT Mariners: After an off-day on Thursday, Seattle opens a seven-game homestand on Friday at 7:10 p.m. PT against the Angels, with left-hander Ariel Miranda (1-1, 4.98 ERA) on the hill. Miranda is making his fifth start since being acquired from the Orioles.
Rangers: Right-hander A.J. Griffin will get the start for the opener of a three-game series against the in-state rival Astros at 7:05 p.m. CT on Friday at Globe Life Park after an off-day on Thursday. Griffin threw his first quality start in his last 13 outings against the Indians on Saturday, and he ended a streak of 11 straight starts allowing a home run.