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Sports >  Seattle Mariners

Mariners overcome bullpen implosion in 11-inning win at Rangers

Aug. 19, 2021 Updated Thu., Aug. 19, 2021 at 9:23 p.m.

By Ryan Divish Seattle Times

ARLINGTON, Texas – Sweeping a three-game series against any team in Major League Baseball, regardless of its record, isn’t and shouldn’t be an expected outcome.

Though one could argue that the Texas Rangers are rolling out a roster that barely passes the qualifications of being a legitimate MLB team since the trade deadline, earning the whispered nickname “The Round Rock Rangers” – referencing their Triple-A affiliate – from various folks around baseball.

Still, given the array of variables that go into winning one MLB game on a given day, beating a team, even one that is highly inexperienced at almost every position, for three consecutive days is difficult. That’s what the Mariners did in a 9-8 extra-innings win on Thursday.

On Thursday, at least for eight innings, the Mariners weren’t in a close game. They had scored more runs than the previous two games combined and were cruising toward that sweep.

But when the relief duo of Anthony Misiewicz and Diego Castillo decided to set fire to their team’s five-run lead in the ninth inning, the Mariners somehow found themselves headed into extras.

After working so hard to gain ground in the wild-card race, another disappointing walk-off loss at Globe Life Park loomed for the Mariners.

An awful baserunning mistake in the 10th inning by the Rangers, however, and Ty France’s two-run homer in the 11th inning, gave the Mariners a 9-8 victory and their needed three-game sweep of Texas.

Right-hander Paul Sewald, who was pitching for a third straight day for the first time this season, allowed a run in the bottom of the 11th but secured his sixth save when Jake Fraley ran down a deep drive at the wall in center for the final out.

Seattle has won eight of its past 10 games, dating back to the final game of the previous road trip – a 2-0 victory at Yankee Stadium. The Mariners improved to 66-56. The 10 games above .500 is the high-water mark of the season.

The Mariners rolled into the ninth inning with a comfortable 7-2 lead, having scored six runs in the first two inning off Rangers starter Spencer Howard. Kyle Seager’s RBI double highlighted the two-run first while Mitch Haniger’s three-run homer was part of a four-run second.

In those two innings, the Mariners equaled the amount of runs they’d scored in the previous two games. It was also more runs than they had scored in 14 of their past 15 games.

Combine that with another solid start from Chris Flexen, who pitched seven innings, allowing two runs on four hits with a walk and five strikeouts for his 12th quality start (six-plus innings pitched and three runs or fewer allowed) this season and the Mariners seemed poised for a comfortable win.

But Misiewicz didn’t get an out, allowing three consecutive hits, and Castillo allowed a run to score on a wild pitch and served up three-run homer to Jason Martin that tied the game in the ninth.

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