SEATTLE (AP) — Marco Gonzales gave up a run in the first inning in part due to a fan. He gave up four singles in five batters to open the second and was immediately in a bases-loaded jam.
“For me, I’d rather have that early in the game than late when you’re fatigued,” Gonzales said. “Guys on base, those are big situations that you’d like to have early on, and then hopefully that gets you in a groove.”
Gonzales recovered from the shaky start to throw seven strong innings, Austin Nola hit a three-run homer to put Seattle ahead for good, and the Mariners handed the Texas Rangers their eighth straight loss with a 7-3 victory Monday night.
The Rangers’ swoon since the All-Star break continued as Texas was shut down by Gonzales (11-8) after the second inning. The left-hander finished seven for the second time in three starts, retiring 13 straight during one stretch and 17 of the final 18 batters he faced.
Gonzales allowed seven hits and struck out four, but was fortunate to even get through the second.
“Texas has been struggling a little bit and didn’t want to give them a bunch of early momentum. He was able to shut it off right there and give us a chance,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said.
Texas took a 2-0 lead after Shin-Soo Choo’s RBI single, the last of four singles in five batters to start the second inning. But Gonzales struck out Danny Santana looking on a borderline pitch and won a lengthy battle against Elvis Andrus to end the threat with a lineout to right field. Gonzales needed 12 pitches to finally get Andrus, and the at-bat included eight foul balls.
“I was just trying to make stuff up. I didn’t know what he was doing, I don’t know if he knew what I was doing, but it was a good battle,” Gonzales said.
From there the only baserunner Gonzales allowed was Rougned Odor, who reached on a two-out single in the sixth. Roenis Elias got the final out for his 12th save.
Texas is 2-8 since the break and has fallen back to .500 at 50-50.
“You try not to let those things affect you, but everybody feels it, everybody wants to be the guy to stop our losing streak,” manager Chris Woodward said. “We’ve still got to go the same way we’ve prepared all year. Let’s win each pitch of every game, just be as prepared as we possibly can, and have a game plan every at-bat, every pitch we throw, just not lose sight of that. It’s important.”
Nola hit his third homer in the bottom of the second off Texas starter Adrian Sampson. Mallex Smith added a two-run single in the fourth and Kyle Seager homered leading off the eighth.
Sampson (6-7) made his first start since July 5 after three straight appearances out of the bullpen and gave up six runs and eight hits in 5 1/3 innings.
“I wanted to be the guy to kind of stop the bleeding, pick up the team and get everyone right on track,” Sampson said. “That hanging curveball put up three runs. Other than that I thought I made some good pitches.”
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