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MLB: Mariners bid to grind out series win vs. Rangers

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On the day the Seattle Mariners unveiled a statue of Hall of Famer Edgar Martinez outside T-Mobile Park, perhaps it was fitting that designated hitter Luis Torrens had the winning hit.

Torrens’ drive off the center-field wall with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning Wednesday brought home rookie Jarred Kelenic with the winning run to lift the Mariners to a 2-1 win over the visiting Texas Rangers.

Torrens’ hit evened the three-game series at one win apiece. The rubber match is set for Thursday afternoon.

For the Mariners, Wednesday’s game resulted in their major-league leading 24th one-run victory of the season. Yet it snapped a six-game skid in such situations.

“We have played an enormous amount of close games all year long,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “We do have ability to execute late but things haven’t gone our way recently. The fact we’re in all these close games is awesome … it’s going to make us better down the road.”

Kelenic led off the ninth by legging out a double on a ball hit into right-center field. He advanced to third an out later on an infield single by Jake Fraley and trotted home on Torrens’ liner.

Kelenic, who was sent back to Triple-A Tacoma after struggling in his first few weeks in the majors earlier this season, also drove in the Mariners’ other run with a bases-loaded walk in the sixth.

“We needed to grind some at-bats,” Servais said. “Kelenic drew that walk and smoked that ball in the ninth and really got out of the (batter’s) box.

“(Torrens) worked himself into a good count (3-1), got a ball up and put a great swing on it.”

Texas missed a chance to take a 2-0 lead in the top of the sixth after Adolis Garcia led off with a double and advanced to third on a balk. But two strikeouts and a foul out in front of the Rangers’ third-base dugout ended the threat.

“We have to find a way to get the job done and score that run,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward said. “We’re not a juggernaut offense, I understand. But that’s your duty as a player. I notice sometimes in those situations we’re a little bit tentative. You’ve got to put that aside.”

There was additional designated hitter trivia Wednesday, as it marked only the fifth game in major-league history in which the DH for both teams — Seattle’s Jake Bauers, followed by Torrens, and the Rangers’ Curtis Terry — batted in the ninth spot in the order. The last time that occurred was in a game between Tampa Bay and Baltimore on Aug. 20, 2013.

The Rangers are scheduled to send right-hander Mike Foltynewicz (2-10, 5.77 ERA) to the mound Thursday, his fifth start against Seattle this season. He’s 0-4 with a 5.29 ERA in seven career appearances against the Mariners, including 0-2 with a 4.21 ERA in 2021.

The Mariners are set to start left-hander Marco Gonzales (3-5, 4.73) on Thursday. Gonzales is 6-6 with a 4.29 ERA in 14 career starts against the Rangers, including 0-1 with a 7.71 ERA in two appearances this season.

–Field Level Media

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