The Mariners came into Texas needing to at least win the series if they wanted to keep up in the wild card race. They did their job against Toronto and won the series. It was the hope against Texas that they would be able to do the same thing. They were unable to go 2-1 against the Rangers though.
That’s because they broke out the brooms and swept Texas instead!
Coming into the game, fans were hoping for a strong start from Chris Flexen. Not just because it’s fun to see, but because it would help save the bullpen a bit in case they were needed for the Houston series that is coming up. The Mariners got just that, as Flexen would go seven innings, giving up two runs (one earned) while striking out five. Guess he wanted to one-up Tyler Anderson or something as the Mariners pitchers have all been throwing well lately.
The scoring started early during the series finale, with the Mariners first three hitters all getting on base. JP Crawford would single, and so would Mitch Haniger. Then, Kyle Seager would lace his 300th career double, driving in Crawford. France followed with an RBI groundout, and the Mariners were up 2-0 at the end of the first inning.
They kept it coming in the next inning, as Mitch Haniger would break out of a power slump with a three-run home run, giving the Mariners a 5-0 lead. Then, a toro single in the 3rd would get it up to 6-0. That was all Flexen needed and allowed him to pitch through the 7th comfortably before being pulled after 105 pitches. He would give up two runs (one earned) and strike out five.
Texas scored occasionally as well, with a Sac Fly in the 5th and a solo home run by Adolis Garcia in the 6th. The Rangers were still down 6-2, but really hadn’t made any headway all game. They avoided a massive blowup in the 8th as the Mariners had the bases loaded. Kyle Seager would walk, which pushed Jake Bauers across the plate. That was the end of the threat, as Ty France was caught looking to end the inning.
Then, oh my word. Just when you think the Mariners are having a good game, where the pitching is hot and the bats are hot too… it falls apart.
The Mariners forgot how to play baseball in the 9th, giving up five runs, punctuated by a three-run homer to tie it at 7-7 and send the game to extras. It seemed like trouble was brewing in the bottom of the 10th. With runners on first and second, the Rangers hit a grounder that looked bound for a double play.
Well, it ended up happening, but not in the way you would think. They got the runner at second, but a wild throw pulled France off the bag. Thinking quick, he backdoored the runner at third to get him out. The Mariners would escape, and head to the 11th where VIVA LE FRANCE would come through with a two-run home run to give them a 9-7 lead. They almost had another, but Adolis Garcia robbed Fraley of a home run to end the inning.
It got sketchy in the bottom of the innings though, when the Rangers would plate one runner to make it 9-8. Then for all of us listening on the radio, we thought the Rangers had walked us off once again when Andy Ibanez hit one deep to center. Fraley caught it at the wall, and the Mariners won 9-8 to sweep the Rangers. I need to go lie down now, I can’t take all this excitement.