SEATTLE (AP) — Texas Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor is fiery and energetic, much like the hard-throwing pitcher he was facing Tuesday night with the game on the line.
And for the second time in his career, Odor got the best of Seattle Mariners closer Edwin Diaz in the ninth inning.
Odor broke a tie with a three-run double and the Rangers beat Seattle 9-5 to end the Mariners’ four-game winning streak.
Ronald Guzman went 4 for 4 with three RBIs and Shin-Soo Choo homered for the Rangers, who tagged Diaz (0-2) in the ninth.
The AL saves leader loaded the bases with one out and Odor hammered a high slider just off the outer part of the plate the opposite way to left field, clearing the bases for an 8-5 Texas lead.
It was Aug. 30, 2016 — Diaz’s rookie season — when Odor hit a two-run homer off the reliever in a dramatic 8-7 Rangers victory at Texas.
“I just try to do my best,” Odor said. “He’s a pitcher kind of like me — he competes and he’s got a lot of energy. I like to face him.”
Mariners manager Scott Servais saw Diaz didn’t have “the feel or the life on the fastball,” adding that he was rushing his pitches.
“That (slider) was a bad pitch,” Servais said. “It’s tough to execute it all the time.”
Diaz blew a save against Texas earlier this month when he gave up the tying run in the ninth inning of a 9-8 Mariners win at Safeco Field
“We’ve had some moments against Diaz in the past,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. “Anytime he comes in, it raises the concentration level for all of our guys.”
With the score tied 5-all, Diaz gave up a single to Jurickson Profar to open the ninth. Two batters later, Isiah Kiner-Falefa went the opposite way for a single to right field, and Profar reached third. Joey Gallo walked to load the bases for Odor.
Diaz was pulled after getting just one out. He was charged with four earned runs when Chasen Bradford allowed Guzman’s run-scoring single.
Before his meltdown, Diaz had allowed only five earned runs in 28 appearances this season. His 19 saves lead the American League.
“You’ll have those games where you don’t have your command, and you have to battle,” Diaz said. “If something bad happens, it’s unfortunate. You come back the next day.”
Mariners pitchers issued eight walks, hit two batters and uncorked a wild pitch.
Texas reliever Chris Martin (1-1) got the win after giving up the tying run in the eighth on an RBI groundout by Jean Segura, who had three hits.
Seattle remained a game behind first-place Houston in the AL West.
With his strikeout of Choo in the fifth, Seattle starter Felix Hernandez moved past Dodgers great Sandy Koufax and tied Kevin Brown for 44th place in career strikeouts at 2,397.
WHAT’S IN A NAME?
The only big leaguers with hyphenated last names — the Rangers’ duo of Austin Bibens-Dirkx and Kiner-Falefa, and former Mariners pitcher Ryan Rowland-Smith — met outside the visitors’ clubhouse for a group photo before the game. Bibens-Dirkx and Rowland-Smith were teammates at Triple-A Buffalo in the Toronto organization in 2014.
It was Mitch Haniger — not Denard Span — who played center field for the Mariners with Guillermo Heredia getting a night off. Servais said he changed his mind on that alignment after talking to the newly acquired Span about it Tuesday, leaving him put in left field. “That is what he’s done in Tampa,” Servais said.
Rangers: 3B Adrian Beltre (hamstring) is nearing a return to the team. For the first time since being placed on the 10-day disabled list May 15, Beltre ran the bases on a dirt infield before the game. He fielded grounders at third base and took batting practice. Banister wants to see his four-time All Star repeat the workload and come out of it feeling OK. “The last hurdle is being able to repeat and recover,” Banister said. “Obviously, it is a great sign to see him go through everything he did today.” … RHP Tim Lincecum (blisters), who starred in high school up the road from Safeco Field, is nearing the end of his 30-day minor league assignment. Banister said Lincecum has to show consistency and “put together some competitive innings” at Triple-A Round Rock before the team would consider bringing him up. Lincecum has a 7.45 ERA in eight appearances. … RHP Ricardo Rodriguez (arm) was activated from the 60-day DL and optioned to Round Rock.
Mariners: 2B-CF Dee Gordon (toe) is expected to activated from the DL when first eligible Thursday, Servais said. … RHP Hisashi Iwakuma (shoulder) had his live batting practice session delayed until Wednesday because of tightness in his neck.
Rangers: After battling right knee soreness, left-hander Matt Moore (1-5, 7.99 ERA) will be activated from the 10-day DL to make his 10th start of the season Wednesday. He is tied for third in the league with 40 runs allowed. Moore has had a good career track record against the Mariners, going 1-1 with a 2.03 ERA in five starts.
Mariners: Left-hander James Paxton (4-1, 3.10) beat the Tigers 2-1 last Friday. He has logged six consecutive quality starts in May. Of all AL West opponents, Paxton has struggled most against Texas, going 2-4 with a 5.10 ERA in his career. He had a no-decision in April at Texas, allowing five earned runs in four innings.
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