ARLINGTON, Texas – Jean Segura and the Seattle Mariners figured five consecutive games scoring two runs or fewer were more than enough.
Segura hit a two-run double in a four-run ninth inning after Mitch Haniger’s tying homer in the eighth, lifting the Mariners over the Texas Rangers 6-2 on Friday night.
Seattle had dropped four of the five games during the offensive skid, which ended on Friday with three hits apiece from Segura and Haniger and 14 total. The late runs came after the Mariners scored just once despite having a runner at second with no outs in each of the first four innings.
“We were due to put a rally together,” manager Scott Servais said. “We certainly had a lot of chances earlier in the ballgame. Our situational hitting and some other stuff, our execution wasn’t very good early.”
The liner to right-center from Segura chased Texas closer Keone Kela (2-1), who gave up singles to Daniel Vogelbach and Dee Gordon and got his only out on Guillermo Heredia’s sacrifice bunt.
Haniger’s fifth homer was a two-out shot to the berm in center field against Chris Martin. Haniger and Kyle Seager added RBI singles in the ninth off Jake Diekman as the Rangers remained the only team in the majors without a win in a series opener, dropping to 0-7.
Juan Nicasio (1-0) pitched a scoreless eighth, and Edwin Diaz struck out two in the ninth around a walk and a hit batter.
Kela hadn’t given up a run in his first six appearances covering 5 1/3 innings. The hard-throwing right-hander fell behind all four hitters, and three of the four runs in the ninth were charged to him.
“Coming in a 2-2 game, I nitpicked a little bit,” Kela said. “I was trying to make the best pitch instead of just focus on making the most quality pitch that I could. I guess I could say that I’m glad I got it out of the way now. I take this as a learning step.”
Nomar Mazara hit a tying single and scored the go-ahead run on a fielder’s choice by Ronald Guzman in the sixth for Texas.
Felix Hernandez gave up four hits and two runs in 5 1/3 innings, leaving after hitting friend and former teammate Adrian Beltre with a pitch following Mazara’s tying hit.
Texas lefty Mike Minor, trying to become the first pitcher in the 24-year history of the Rangers’ home ballpark with three straight starts allowing three hits or less, gave up six hits and a run in 5 1/3 innings with six strikeouts.
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