Rangers hope to build on home win, in series opener vs A's

Rangers hope to build on home win, in series opener vs A's

Not much has been going right for Texas through the first 23 games of the season, but the stars aligned correctly on Sunday afternoon and allowed the Rangers to beat the Seattle Mariners 7-4, avoid a three-game sweep and win at home for the first time in almost two weeks.

It helped that the Rangers (8-15) got Delino DeShields, their starting center fielder, back from injury, left-hander Martin Perez fashioned his best performance of the season, and two of Texas’ most important power hitters – Nomar Mazara and Joey Gallo — homered.

Now Texas must find a way to sustain that momentum, as the Oakland Athletics head to Arlington for a three-game series beginning Monday night at Globe Life Park.

Right-hander Trevor Cahill (1-0, 0.00 ERA) will take the mound for Oakland and left-hander Matt Moore (1-3, 5.59) will be the starter for the Rangers.

The most surprising part of Sunday’s win was the showing by Perez. He struggled in his first three appearances of the season, allowing at least nine hits in all three starts and 21.16 hits per nine innings, the most of any pitcher in the league this year with at least three starts.

That changed Sunday as Perez (2-2) held the Mariners to two runs in six innings, allowing seven hits and a walk with four strikeouts.

Perez said afterward that he took the advice of teammate and seemingly ageless pitcher Bartolo Colon and stayed positive despite his tough start to the season.

“I was talking to Bartolo yesterday and he was saying, ‘Stay with it, we’re close to good things happening,'” Perez said. “Everything starts with your mind. If you’re not ready in your mind, you’re not ready to compete. You’ve got to stay positive, even when things are not going good.”

DeShields returned from the disabled list and made the defensive play of the game in the sixth inning, robbing Seattle’s David Freitas of a home run by snatching the ball back over the center field fence.

“At first, it looked like a high popup, but the wind was carrying it pretty good,” DeShields said. “I tried to get back to the wall and time it. I don’t know if I robbed it, but it was at least at the top of the wall.”

Moore is 1-1 with a 2.25 ERA in his last two starts after allowing an unearned run and five hits in seven innings of Tuesday’s 7-2 win at Tampa Bay. He is 1-2 with a 7.07 ERA in five career starts against Oakland.

The Athletics head to the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex on the heels of a 4-1 victory over Boston on Sunday in Oakland that was their sixth in the past seven games.

Khris Davis broke a 1-1 tie with a three-run homer off the David Price in the bottom of the eighth inning to provide the winning margin.

Davis also drove in the A’s first run with an RBI single in the first inning and made a winner out of reliever Blake Treinen, who got the last five outs of the game after starter Daniel Mengden allowed one run.

The A’s 5-1 homestand included Sean Manaea’s no-hitter Saturday night. Oakland coach Bob Melvin spoke Sunday about how Manaea has evolved in his time with the team.

“Sean came into camp trying to prove a point that he’s a top of the rotation guy,” Melvin said. “The second half of last year didn’t sit very well with him.

“He’s doing things a little differently than what we saw with him when he was really dominating with all the swings and misses. His location is so much better. And he still has so much deception with his delivery.”

The Rangers will miss Manaea in this upcoming three-game series, but that’s likely OK with a team that, until Sunday, was struggling to score runs. They will try to hit Cahill, who tossed seven scoreless innings during a 10-2 win over the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday to start his second stint with Oakland.

Cahill is 10-4 with a 2.69 ERA in 17 career starts against Texas.

Minor-league report: An 0-for day for the Rangers' organization

Minor-league report: An 0-for day for the Rangers' organization

Worth noting from the Texas Rangers’ minor-league system on Sunday, when all four affiliates lost:

TRIPLE-A ROUND ROCK (5-13): Gave up four runs in the 10th inning for a 6-5 loss to Colorado Springs (Milwaukee). LF Willie Calhoun homered for the second time in four games but is in a 3 for 18 skid.

DOUBLE-A FRISCO (3-13): Gave up a two-run lead in the eighth inning during an 8-6 loss to Corpus Christi (Houston). Starter LHP Brett Martin had nine strikeouts but also allowed four runs in five innings, lowering his ERA to 9.95. He has the highest ERA in the Texas League among pitchers with a minimum of 10 innings.

HIGH-A DOWN EAST (8-10): Had 14 strikeouts on offense during an 8-3 loss at Myrtle Beach (Chicago Cubs). 1B Andretty Cordero had two doubles in four at-bats and is hitting .550 for his last 20 at-bats.

LOW-A HICKORY (6-10): Had only three hits and no at-bats with a runner in scoring position during a 5-0 loss at Columbia (New York Mets). RHP Alex Speas had two walks and four strikeouts in 1 2/3 innings. For the season, Speas has 16 strikeouts and eight walks in eight innings.

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Perez helps Rangers top Mariners, 7-4

Perez helps Rangers top Mariners, 7-4

Martin Perez pitched six strong innings as the Texas Rangers defeated the Seattle Mariners 7-4 Sunday afternoon to avoid a sweep in the three-game series at Globe Life Park.

Perez (2-2), who entered the game with a 13.14 ERA, allowed two runs on seven hits. He walked one and struck out four.

Keone Kela pitched the ninth inning for his third save of the season.

Nomar Mazara and Joey Gallo homered for Texas in a three-run fourth off Mariners starter Erasmo Ramirez (0-1), who was making his season debut.

Leading 1-0, Mazara hit a solo homer to center field. After a walk to Adrian Beltre, Gallo hit a two-run shot to left-center field, his seventh of the season.

The Mariners got two runs back in the fifth. Ben Gamel led off with a triple to left field and scored on Jean Segura‘s sharp single to right. Segura moved to second on a balk and scored on Mitch Haniger‘s double to left.

Shin-Soo Choo‘s run-scoring single made it 5-2 in the bottom of the inning.

Seattle closed within 5-4 on Haniger’s two-run homer off Rangers reliever Matt Bush in the seventh.

The Rangers got a couple of insurance runs in the eighth, as Isiah Kiner-Falefa hit a two-run single to center with the bases loaded.

The Mariners twice left the bases loaded and stranded a total of 12 runners on base, batting 3-for-16 with runners in scoring position.

Ramirez, who didn’t pitch in spring training because of a strained right lat, went 4 2/3 innings, allowing five runs on five hits. He walked one and struck out one.

Beltre went 2-for-3 for the Rangers, with two doubles, and scored three times.

Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki — who was surprisingly kept on the roster when Ramirez was activated before the game (Guillermo Heredia, batting .310, was sent to Triple-A Tacoma) — reached base four times, going 2-for-3 with two walks.

–Field Level Media

Perez helps Rangers top Mariners, 5-4

Perez helps Rangers top Mariners, 5-4

Martin Perez pitched six strong innings as the Texas Rangers defeated the Seattle Mariners 5-4 Sunday afternoon to avoid a sweep in the three-game series at Globe Life Park.

Perez (2-2), who entered the game with a 13.14 ERA, allowed two runs on seven hits. He walked one and struck out four.

Keone Kela pitched the ninth inning for his third save of the season.

Nomar Mazara and Joey Gallo homered for Texas in a three-run fourth off Mariners starter Erasmo Ramirez (0-1), who was making his season debut.

Leading 1-0, Mazara hit a solo homer to center field. After a walk to Adrian Beltre, Gallo hit a two-run shot to left-center field, his seventh of the season.

The Mariners got two runs back in the fifth. Ben Gamel led off with a triple to left field and scored on Jean Segura‘s sharp single to right. Segura moved to second on a balk and scored on Mitch Haniger‘s double to left.

Shin-Soo Choo‘s run-scoring single made it 5-2 in the bottom of the inning.

Seattle closed within 5-4 on Haniger’s two-run homer off Rangers reliever Matt Bush in the seventh.

The Rangers got a couple of insurance runs in the eighth, as Isiah Kiner-Falefa hit a two-run single to center with the bases loaded.

The Mariners twice left the bases loaded and stranded a total of 12 runners on base, batting 3-for-16 with runners in scoring position.

Ramirez, who didn’t pitch in spring training because of a strained right lat, went 4 ? innings, allowing five runs on five hits. He walked one and struck out one.

Beltre went 2-for-3 for the Rangers, with two doubles, and scored three times.

Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki — who was surprisingly kept on the roster when Ramirez was activated before the game (Guillermo Heredia, batting .310, was sent to Triple-A Tacoma) — reached base four times, going 2-for-3 with two walks.

–Field Level Media

Rangers avoid series sweep with 7-4 win over Mariners

Rangers avoid series sweep with 7-4 win over Mariners

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Texas Rangers left fielder Delino DeShields (3) makes a catch to rob Seattle Mariners David Freitas (36) of a home run during the sixth inning of a baseball game Sunday, April 22, 2018, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Nomar Mazara and Joey Gallo hit impressive home runs in the same inning, and the Texas Rangers avoided a series sweep with a 7-4 win over the Seattle Mariners on Sunday.

Mazara pulled a shot into the right-center seats beyond the Rangers bullpen in the fourth, a drive that would have been 441 feet unimpeded. Adrian Beltre walked. Gallo’s opposite-field popup that carried into the Seattle bullpen for his seventh homer and a 4-0 lead over Erasmo Ramirez (0-1), who was making his season debut.

Martin Perez (2-2) gave up seven hits, walked a batter and hit another one in six innings before leaving with a 5-2 lead. The Texas lefty, who has given up 36 hits and eight walks in 18 1/3 innings this season, lowered his ERA from 13.14 to 9.82.

Keone Kela worked a scoreless ninth for his third save. He allowed consecutive hits starting the inning, but the game ended when shortstop Jurickson Profar made a tough catch of a popup in shallow left field.

Mitch Haniger homered in all three games of the series. His two-run shot in the seventh off Matt Bush got the Mariners to 5-4 before they loaded the bases against the second reliever in the inning. Jake Diekman had a throwing error and a walk, then struck out David Freitas and pinch-hitter Mike Zunino to end the threat.

That came an inning after Rangers center fielder Delino DeShields, activated from the disabled list for his first game since March 30, had a homer-robbing catch of a Frietas drive. DeShields had surgery three weeks ago to remove a broken hamate bone from his left hand.

Ramirez, who didn’t appear in a spring training game and started the season on the disabled list because of a strained right lat, allowed five runs and five hits in 4 2/3 innings.

To make room on the 25-man roster for Ramirez, the Mariners optioned Guillermo Heredia, one of their five outfielders, to Triple-A Tacoma. Ichiro Suzuki, the 44-year-old outfielder who stayed, had two infield singles and walked twice.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mariners: CF Dee Gordon, the MLB stolen base leader, was out of the starting lineup on his 30th birthday to rest a sore foot. He pinch hit in the ninth, and had the game-ending popout.

Rangers: Carlos Tocci, who had started eight games in CF, was placed on the 10-day DL with a bruised left hip. Tocci banged against the wall in Tampa Bay trying to make a catch last Monday. … RHP Doug Fister (right hip strain) threw 40 pitches in a bullpen session and is on track to come off the DL to start Wednesday against Oakland.

UP NEXT

Mariners: Seattle plays the fourth game of its 10-game trip. Mike Leake (2-1) starts the series opener at the Chicago White Sox.

Rangers: Matt Moore (1-3), the lefty who has allowed only three earned runs over 12 innings his last two games, starts the opener of a three-game home series against Oakland.

More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

DeShields returns to Rangers ahead of schedule

DeShields returns to Rangers ahead of schedule

Texas Rangers center fielder and leadoff hitter Delino DeShields is back well ahead of schedule after being placed on the 10-day disabled list with a broken left hand.

DeShields, who broke his hamate bone, had been expected to miss four to six weeks when he went on the DL on March 31.

During an at-bat when he eventually walked in the seventh inning, DeShields apparently was hurt. He stayed in the game and eventually scored, but his hand was starting to swell by the time he was back in the dugout afterward.

The Rangers also put Carlos Tocci, who made his first major league start in replacing DeShields in center field, on the 10-day DL, citing a bruised left hip.

DeShields, 25, just began his fourth season with Texas. He hit .269 with six home runs, 22 RBIs and 29 stolen bases in 120 games last season.

DeShields went 3-for-7 in three games with Double-A Frisco during a rehab assignment that ended Saturday.

–Field Level Media