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Too little and too late for the Texas Rangers: Seattle Mariners extend their lead in AL West

The gap between the Texas Rangers and the Seattle Mariners grows with each loss in their series in Seattle.

The Mariners beat the Rangers 7-5 on Saturday, increasing their lead in the American League West to 7.5 games.

Once again, the Mariners (42-31) held the Rangers offense in check. The Rangers (33-37) scored two hits on eight hits against Seattle starter George Kirby (6-5).

Seattle hit two home runs against the Rangers, led by All-Star Julio Rodriguez, and had seven hits. Third baseman Josh Rojas had a great night with two hits and three RBIs. Rangers starter Nathan Eovaldi (3-3) took the loss.

Catcher Jonah Heim was placed on the paternity list before the game. His new name is Champ Heim. Sam Huff was recalled from Triple-A Round Rock to back up Andrew Knizner, who started Saturday.

June 15, 2024; Seattle, Washington, USA; Texas Rangers starter Nathan Eovaldi (17) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Seattle Mariners at T-Mobile Park. Mandatory Photo Credit: Stephen Brashear-USA TODAY Sports

June 15, 2024; Seattle, Washington, USA; Texas Rangers starter Nathan Eovaldi (17) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Seattle Mariners at T-Mobile Park. Mandatory Photo Credit: Stephen Brashear-USA TODAY Sports / Stephen Brashear-USA TODAY Sports

This was not Eovaldi's best night. The right-hander lasted just three innings, allowing four runs on four hits and four walks. He struck out six times.

It was Eovaldi's second three-inning performance in his four starts since returning from the injured list, and the first time he allowed more than three earned runs since allowing five earned runs against Houston on April 14.

Left-handed reliever Brock Burke pitched in his first game since returning from the IL. He threw 2 2/3 hitless innings, striking out four players and walking one.

The Mariners were able to score one run against Jesus Tinoco through reliever Jonathan Hernández and two more.

June 15, 2024; Seattle, Washington, USA; Texas Rangers left fielder Wyatt Langford (36) scores a run in the ninth inning against the Seattle Mariners at T-Mobile Park. Mandatory Photo Credit: Stephen Brashear-USA TODAY Sports

June 15, 2024; Seattle, Washington, USA; Texas Rangers left fielder Wyatt Langford (36) scores a run in the ninth inning against the Seattle Mariners at T-Mobile Park. Mandatory Photo Credit: Stephen Brashear-USA TODAY Sports / Stephen Brashear-USA TODAY Sports

Texas finally scored, albeit late, with a four-run opener against a leaky Mariners bullpen. It ended, however, with a groundout by Corey Seager. Seager went 0-for-5.

In the ninth inning, Adolis Garcia and Nathaniel Lowe each hit a single before Wyatt Langford drove in a run on a groundout. Later, Travis Jankowski and Robbie Grossman each hit a single before Josh Smith drove in a run on a walk, and Marcus Semien hit two more singles before Seager drove in a groundout.

Semien's RBI in the fifth inning was the only other offensive effort the Rangers could muster.

June 11, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; Texas Rangers starting pitcher Dane Dunning (33) throws in the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Photo Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

June 11, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; Texas Rangers starting pitcher Dane Dunning (33) throws in the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Photo Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Rangers right-hander Dane Dunning (4-5, 4.80) will face Mariners right-hander Logan Gilbert (3-4, 3.19) in the series finale on Sunday at 3:10 p.m.

The Rangers return to Arlington for a six-game home series beginning at 7:05 p.m. Monday against the New York Mets. After an off day on Thursday, the Rangers host the Kansas City Royals for a weekend series.

You can find Matthew Postins on Twitter @PostinsPostcard

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Anna Harden

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