ARLINGTON -- Robinson Cano's two-run single in the top of the ninth off left-hander Alex Claudio lifted the Mariners to a 6-4 victory over the Rangers in Monday's opener of a three-game set at Globe Life Park.
A throwing error on second baseman Rougned Odor, one of four Texas errors in the game, gave the Mariners life in the ninth, and Claudio's second balk of the game pushed Ben Gamel and Jean Segura into scoring position to set up Cano's tiebreaking hit.
"We're a team that always stays positive and we know we can compete with anyone," Cano said. "And we took advantage of a couple errors they made. This is a team that can get on a roll. We have a great bullpen and guys that love to compete in big situations."
The win pushes Seattle past .500 at 54-53, just 2 1/2 back of the Royals for the second American League Wild Card spot after Kansas City fell at Baltimore. The Rangers have lost three straight and are 50-55, including 3-7 against Seattle.
Odor ripped a two-run homer in the first and Carlos Gomez added a solo shot in the second as the Rangers jumped to a 4-0 lead on Felix Hernandez. But the Mariners' veteran right-hander shut the door after that and got through 5 1/3 innings on six hits with three walks and two hit batters.
"Hernandez's slider was pretty sharp for him tonight," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "In certain situations, I felt like our at-bats against him were good. We were able to maneuver the ball around, hit some balls hard, obviously."
Hernandez said his fastball was up the first two innings and he just tried to keep his team in the game with off-speed pitches after that.
"That was about a rocky a start as we've seen Felix get off to in quite some time," said Mariners manager Scott Servais. "He just didn't really have a whole lot tonight. Carlos Ruiz did a great job massaging him through to get to the sixth inning. He changed up his style a little and started executing some pitches. Nice of him to hang in there for us, and our offense responded and got us back in the game."
Rangers starter Cole Hamels couldn't hold the lead as he gave up a trio of runs in the fourth and an unearned run in the sixth, turning a 4-4 tie over to the bullpen. Hamels wasn't helped by three Texas errors in his outing, allowing six hits with a season-high seven strikeouts and one walk.
Adrian Beltre singled in his first at-bat against Hernandez in the first to hike his career hit total to 3,001, moving him past Roberto Clemente into 30th on the all-time list. But it was Beltre's throwing error in the sixth that opened the door for Seattle to tie the game on Leonys Martin's triple off Hamels.
"Ultimately when it comes down to the heart of the lineup, you have to keep the ball down, and that wasn't the case in the fourth inning," Hamels said. "Obviously, I left pitches up and those guys were able to do what they do."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Leonys back with a bang: Martin was sent down to Triple-A Tacoma three weeks into the season when he was hitting .111 and had only one extra-base hit -- a double -- in his first 54 at-bats. But after Mitch Haniger went on the disabled list after being hit in the face by a Jacob deGrom pitch on Saturday, the former Ranger was called up by the Mariners and launched a home run in Sunday's 9-1 win over the Mets. He followed that with a booming triple off Hamels in the sixth inning to drive in the tying run. Martin just missed a homer on this one, hitting a 404-foot drive off the base of the wall in right-center to score Guillermo Heredia from first.
"Leonys played well again tonight," Servais said. "I thought that triple was going out, he just hit it to the deepest part of the park. We talk about Leonys' high-energy personality, but he's been much calmer. I think he's trying to stay focused, more than anything. He knows he got off to the rough start here, and he just wants to contribute any way he can."
The good and the bad: Odor supplied the early offense for Texas with his 437-foot blast off Hernandez in the first, which gave him home runs in three straight plate appearances going back to Sunday night. He also committed two errors, including a costly one in the ninth. But the Rangers' second baseman also came up with a huge defensive play in the seventh when he dove to his right to snare a 107-mph grounder by Cano, throwing him out to prevent Seattle from scoring the go-ahead run.
"We have a lot of road games ahead of us. Bring it on. That's the slogan. That's what we're going to go with, and we did tonight. Our guys really responded after being down early and it was great to see." -- Servais, as his team kicked off a stretch with 21 of 28 games on the road
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Mariners reliever David Phelps just missed an "immaculate" inning in the eighth when he struck out the side on 10 pitches. Phelps, acquired from the Marlins in a trade July 20, struck out five batters in 1 2/3 innings and has 10 punchouts in 5 2/3 innings in five outings with Seattle.
AFTER FURTHER REVIEW
With no outs in the sixth, Gomez reached on a broken-bat single. He attempted to steal second, but Ruiz cut him down. The Rangers challenged the call, but it was upheld. Banister fell to 25-for-44 on challenges this year.
BALKS LEAD TO EJECTION
Things got heated in the top of the ninth. After Claudio balked for the second time during the game, putting two runners in scoring position for the Mariners, Rangers pitching coach Doug Brocail emerged from the dugout to dispute the call. He got into it with home-plate umpire Doug Eddings, who tossed Brocail from the game.
"I was doing the same thing, just attacking the hitters, but I didn't change anything," Claudio said. "But I lost the game."
"The stuff with Claudio, I'm as perplexed as everybody else in the stadium," Banister said. "Same stuff all year long, he hasn't deviated, which hasn't been called. All of a sudden you get called twice. Look at the video, looked like he was good."
WHAT'S NEXT Mariners: Right-hander Erasmo Ramirez (4-3, 4.80 ERA) starts Tuesday's 5:05 p.m. PT rematch at Globe Life Park, his first appearance since being acquired from the Rays on Friday. The 27-year-old will be limited to 60-80 pitches after working out of Tampa Bay's bullpen the past month. He will be making his first start since June 21.
Rangers: Righty Nick Martinez (3-3, 4.56) will take the mound on Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. CT. Martinez, who was recalled on Monday from Triple-A Round Rock to take the place of Yu Darvish, will be making his first Major League start since June 25. Preview >>