ARLINGTON, Texas — As Edwin Diaz’s nasty slider dove past the flailing bat of Shin-Soo Choo for the final out of the game, manager Scott Servais put his head down for a moment and exhaled. A game that his team should have won with ease in nine innings instead became a 4-3 victory in 12 innings over the Texas Rangers in the sauna that was Globe Life Park.
Ryon Healy broke a 3-3 tie in the top of the 12th singling past a diving Adrian Beltre into left and scoring Mitch Haniger with go-ahead run.
Diaz allowed a pair of singles in his outing, but notched his 42nd save of the season.
The Mariners improved to 9-1 in extra inning games and 65-48 overall on the season.
Starter Wade LeBlanc gave the Mariners an outstanding outing, pitching 6 1/3 innings, giving up one run on just two hits with a walk and four strikeouts. He wasn’t even on the mound when his one run allowed scored. No, he could only watch a less-than-stellar showing from three relievers that general manager Jerry Dipoto acquired to address previous problems.
After giving up a one-out single to Elvis Andrus, Servais opted to have recently-acquired right-hander Adam Warren to face Adrian Beltre to protect a 3-0 lead. The strategy didn’t quite go as planned. Warren walked Beltre on four pitches and then gave up a RBI double to Jurickson Profar on a 0-2 slider. It only got worse, Warren hit Robinson Chirinos with a pitch on the hand to load the bases. The Mariners argued that the ball hit the bat first before catching Chirinos on the pinky finger. A replay challenge was asked for, but the call on the field was upheld.
With lefty slugger Joey Gallo coming to the plate, Servais went to lefty specialist Zach Duke, who was acquired on the same day as Warren, to play the matchup. Duke got up 1-2 and then tossed three straight balls to walk Gallo and force a run in to score.
Servais made it three pitching changes in the inning, calling on eighth inning reliever Alex Colome to clean up the mess. It didn’t exactly happen. He immediately gave up a RBI single to Isiah Kiner-Falefa that tied the game at 3. Colome did retire the next two hitters to end an inning where all nine batters came to the plate.
After giving up the lead in the seventh, the Mariners’ bullpen does deserve some credit for keeping the game tied Colome worked a scoreless eighth, Nick Vincent, James Pazos and Sam Tuivailala worked scoreless frames to set up closer Diaz with the one-run lead in the 12th.
Mike Zunino gave the Mariners a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning, hammering his 14th homer of the season — a solo blast to left field — off of Rangers starter Martin Perez. It was his second of three hits on the night off of Perez.
Zunino has faced Perez in 14 at-bats in his career, he has six hits — three of them homers.
The Mariners pushed the lead to 3-0 in the sixth inning. Ryon Healy led off with a double and scored on Cameron Maybin’s RBI single to right on an awkward swing. Seattle loaded the bases with no outs, but only got one run because Rougned Odor made a brilliant play on Dee Gordon’s ground ball up the middle, fielding it with the backhand, hustling and stepping on second and throwing off balance to first.
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