(SportsNetwork.com) – American League West cellar dwellers meet up in
Arlington on Monday night, as the Texas Rangers host the Seattle Mariners in
the opener of a three-game set at Globe Life Park.
Seattle is beginning a 10-game road swing. The Mariners wrapped up their
homestand with a series loss to Minnesota as they dropped consecutive games to
the Twins over the weekend.
Sunday’s finale went 11 innings, but Seattle came out on the wrong end of the
4-2 final. Reliever Tyler Olson gave up a two-run triple to Joe Mauer in the
top of the 11th, spoiling a solid outing from spot starter Roenis Elias, who
was called up from Triple-A. Elias, starting in place of the injured Hisashi
Iwakuma, went 5 2/3 innings and gave up only two runs while striking out six.
“Started to get in a rhythm as the game went along,” Elias said through an
interpreter. “Obviously, it’s the first start of the year and just wanted to
help the team get a win. I got comfortable as the game went along.”
Texas shares the same 7-11 record as Seattle entering Monday’s meeting.
However, the Rangers were able to snap a three-game slide on Sunday in Anaheim
as they rallied for a 5-4 win in 11 innings to avoid the sweep.
Leonys Martin led off the 11th with a home run, and Adam Rosales later added
an insurance run that the Rangers would end up needing. Closer Neftali Feliz
worked two innings and logged the win, although he did give up an RBI single
to Erick Aybar.
The Rangers forced extra innings with three straight two-out singles in the
ninth by Prince Fielder, Adrian Beltre and Mitch Moreland.
“This should give us some confidence and show our guys we can punch through at
the end,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. “We have been consistently
getting the tying and winning runs on late. To grind it out like these guys
have been doing every game, there is no quit, it was nice to see the effort
Banister will give the ball to Yovani Gallardo to start Monday’s opener. The
right-hander has yet to get past the sixth inning through four starts this
season, although he has picked up a pair of wins and sports a 3.92 ERA.
Gallardo threw six scoreless frames against Seattle in a 3-1 win on April 17
and owns a 2.70 ERA over his past three starts. Most recently, he went five
innings at Arizona on Wednesday and gave up three runs on six hits, striking
out six and walking one. This marks only Gallardo’s second home start of the
Seattle’s Taijuan Walker will look to build on his previous start against
Houston, when he yielded just one run in 5 1/3 innings and struck out eight.
Still, the right-hander owns a 10.66 ERA through three turns and has walked 10
batters in 12 2/3 innings.
The M’s took two of three from the Rangers in Seattle a few weeks ago.