Overton-Bergman duo helps patchwork staff

Overton-Bergman duo helps patchwork staff

SEATTLE -- The Mariners' patchwork pitching rotation continued piecing things together on Sunday, and this time it took a tag-team effort from Dillon Overton and Christian Bergman to hold the line long enough for Seattle to rally for a 4-3 victory over the Rangers at Safeco Field.

A day after rookie Chase De Jong admirably filled the gap created by Felix Hernandez's sore shoulder, Overton and Bergman stepped in for James Paxton and combined to limit the Rangers to three runs (two earned) on five hits over seven innings, setting the stage for the offense to score the final four runs and wrap up a 4-2 homestand.

"Those two guys pitching early in the game hung in there," manager Scott Servais said. "That's what we are asking out of them, and they did it and gave us a chance. It was a nice series win after losing that first extra-inning game on Friday night."

Overton couldn't duplicate De Jong's superlative six-inning, one-run start in Saturday's 8-2 victory, but he didn't get a lot of help either in a 3 1/3-inning stint when his pitch count spiked to 71, thanks in part to some shoddy defense.

Valencia on the M's comeback win

A passed ball by veteran catcher Carlos Ruiz on a second-inning strikeout of Mike Napoli set up the Rangers' second run. Shortstop Jean Segura had a throwing error in the third on an Elvis Andrus grounder, though Ruiz erased that mistake by throwing out Andrus trying to steal.

Right fielder Ben Gamel committed a mental error in the first when he overthrew the cutoff man on an Andrus single that put runners on second and third to set up Carlos Gomez's sacrifice fly, but Overton limited the damage by picking off Andrus at second when he got too far off the bag.

"That's actually the first time I've picked somebody off second, ever," Overton said. "It was good to get that out. As soon as I turned around, Robbie [Cano's] glove was already out, so I figured I better throw over there as quick as possible. It's just a daylight play, if he's leaking off, try to get him."

It was that sort of day for Overton, who was making his first start for the Mariners after four games in relief.

"I haven't started in a while, so I was just trying to give the team as much as I had," the 25-year-old lefty said. "I knew it wasn't going to be a whole lot, and some unfortunate things happened that caused me to throw a little more pitches than I wanted to. But that's baseball. It happens. I tried to minimize the damage and hang in there."

Overton hung in well enough to turn a 2-0 deficit over to Bergman, who'd gone 5-0 with a 2.17 ERA in five starts for Triple-A Tacoma and was added to the roster on Sunday morning just in case this scenario played out. The 29-year-old pitched in long relief for the Rockies the past two seasons and slid comfortably into that role again as he allowed just one hit and one run in 3 2/3 innings.

Bergman strikes out Napoli

"He came in and settled the game down," Servais said. "It's what we needed."

Added Bergman: "It was great to get in there and help out in whatever way I could."

And for a Mariners team minus three-fifths of its original rotation with Drew Smyly also on the mend, the past two games have been exactly what the doctor ordered. De Jong and Overton started back-to-back games and helped Seattle improve to 5-1 on the season against the rival Rangers.

"That's what is really impressive," said third baseman Kyle Seager, who hit the game-winning homer. "With the amount of injuries and stuff we've had on the pitching staff as a whole, these guys have come in and are throwing the ball and keeping us in games. That's all you can ask for."

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.