Thu, 30 Nov 2023

Mariners attempt to delay Rangers' party again

Field Level Media
29 Sep 2023, 21:25 GMT+10

(Photo credit: Stephen Brashear-USA TODAY Sports)

Put the champagne on ice.

The Texas Rangers must wait at least another day to clinch their first playoff berth since 2016.

Aroldis Chapman failed to record an out as the Rangers blew a ninth-inning lead Thursday night in a 3-2 loss to the host Seattle Mariners, leaving Texas' magic number at one.

The teams will meet again Friday night in Seattle. The Rangers (89-70) hold a two-game lead on second-place Houston (87-72) in the American League West, while the Mariners (86-73) are a game behind the Astros in the race for the AL's third and final wild-card berth.

Chapman entered with a one-run lead in the ninth before allowing singles to Cal Raleigh and Dylan Moore, throwing a wild pitch and walking Ty France. Jonathan Hernandez replaced Chapman and nearly got out of the jam, but J.P. Crawford lined a two-out double to left to score the tying and winning runs.

"At the end, it just got away, and that's a tough one," Rangers manager Bruce Bochy said. "We've got to bounce back. ... Nobody thought this would be easy, and you know, we're in their park and give them credit. They fought back and then found a way to win that ballgame."

Leody Taveras and Adolis Garcia homered for the Rangers, and Jordan Montgomery pitched six innings of one-run ball.

"It's only one loss, we're still top of the division and still kind of hold our own fate," Montgomery said. "We're still a good team, (Chapman's) a really important part of our team, and baseball's hard sometime. We're just going to be good teammates to him and keep supporting everybody and keep doing what we do."

Julio Rodriguez homered for Seattle, but it was Crawford who was showered by teammates during a postgame interview on the field.

"Honestly, all that was going through my head was just, 'Get it done,'" Crawford said. "There's really nothing else to it. Keep it simple, do your job. End of story."

The Mariners' playoff hopes were fading before the ninth-inning rally, as Seattle was in danger of falling two games behind Houston with three to play.

"Tonight's about fight," Mariners manager Scott Servais said postgame. "You play all season long, spring training, all the work that goes into it, and (it) kind of comes down to you need to win a game, you need to get a big hit. And our guys found a way."

Servais announced after the game that rookie right-hander Bryan Woo (4-5, 4.39 ERA) will start on Friday.

Woo lasted just 3 1/3 innings Sunday in a 9-8 loss at Texas, allowing six runs on five hits -- four of which were home runs. Woo is 0-2 with a 20.25 ERA against the Rangers this season, having also lost his major league debut to them on June 3.

Nathan Eovaldi (12-4, 3.26) will start for Texas. The veteran right-hander beat the Mariners on Sunday -- his first win since July 18 after spending seven weeks on the injured list with a right forearm strain -- despite allowing five runs over five-plus innings.

Eovaldi is 2-1 with a 4.17 ERA in nine career starts vs. Seattle, including a 2-0 mark with a 4.09 ERA in two starts this year.

--Field Level Media

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