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HR-happy Mariners roll into matchup with Rangers

Sportsnaut
Apr 14, 2022; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Logan Gilbert (36) delivers against the Chicago White Sox during the first inning at Guaranteed Rate Field. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

It seems the Seattle Mariners dig the long ball, too.

The Mariners fell a grand slam shy of the homer cycle Tuesday in defeating the visiting Texas Rangers 6-2. The teams will meet again Wednesday night at T-Mobile Park.

Eugenio Suarez hit a three-run blast in the first inning, Jarred Kelenic added a solo shot in the second and Abraham Toro hit a two-run homer in the seventh to account for all of Seattle’s scoring.

The victory was the fourth in the past five games for the Mariners — each by four runs or more — and improved their home record to 3-1.

“That was a nice night, nice ballgame,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “It was short, crisp, homers, good pitching, solid bullpen. It kind of checked all the boxes. It’s a nice way to start the series and continue a productive homestand.

“Everybody is chipping in, and that’s what it takes. I talked about it when we left spring training. I thought this was the most balanced team that we’ve had since I’ve been here. And it’s starting to play out that way.”

The Rangers, who spent big this past offseason in landing free agents Corey Seager and Marcus Semien, have lost four in a row and six of their past seven games.

“They hit it hard and it went over the fence, we hit it hard and it didn’t,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward said.

The Rangers will face a tall task Wednesday against Mariners right-hander Logan Gilbert (1-0, 0.90 ERA).

Gilbert, a former first-round draft pick, has allowed one run on seven hits over two starts, with one walk and 11 strikeouts.

In three starts against Texas as a rookie last season, he was 1-0 with a 4.15 ERA.

“When you see the pitchers at the top of the league, or the guys that pitch near the front of rotations — and I always go back and I think about when I was coming up in the league or even as a kid growing up and you watch Nolan Ryan — if you didn’t get Nolan Ryan in the first six outs, you weren’t going to get him,” Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto said. “And I can say the same about a lot of pitchers (who) once they caught their wind, they were just gonna take it and push it in a different gear. And I feel like Logan has that in him.”

The Rangers will counter with right-hander Dane Dunning (0-0, 5.19) — also a former first-round pick — though that was two teams ago (Washington in 2016).

Dunning is 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA in one previous start against Seattle.

The Mariners placed catcher Luis Torrens on the COVID-19 injured list Tuesday, after doing the same with outfielder Mitch Haniger over the weekend. Seattle selected the contract of infielder Mike Ford from Triple-A Tacoma to fill Torrens’ roster spot.

The Rangers also made a roster move prior to the series opener, designating reliever Greg Holland for assignment to clear a roster spot for starter Jon Gray’s return from the 10-day IL.

–Field Level Media