Mon, 04 Dec 2023

Rangers take care of M's, clinch playoff berth

Field Level Media
01 Oct 2023, 12:55 GMT+10

(Photo credit: Stephen Brashear-USA TODAY Sports)

Andrew Heaney came out of the bullpen to make a spot start, pitching 4 1/3 scoreless innings as the Texas Rangers clinched a postseason berth with a 6-1 victory against the host Seattle Mariners on Saturday night.

Jonah Heim drove in three runs for the Rangers (90-71), who guaranteed themselves at least one of the three American League wild-card spots. Texas is headed to the playoffs for the first time since 2016.

Eugenio Suarez homered for the Mariners (87-74), who needed Houston to lose at Arizona later Saturday night to remain in the playoff hunt.

Heaney, a left-hander who last started on Sept. 4 and pitched in relief in the series opener on Thursday night, allowed five hits, walked one and struck out two.

Reliever Josh Sborz (6-7) entered with the bases loaded and one out in the fifth inning and got out of the jam to earn the victory.

Mariners ace Luis Castillo (14-9) failed to last five innings for the first time this season. The right-hander gave up four runs on five hits in 2 2/3 innings, his shortest start since May 2019 while with Cincinnati. He walked five and struck out four.

The Rangers broke a scoreless tie with four runs in the third inning.

Marcus Semien drew a leadoff walk before Castillo retired the next two batters. Adolis Garcia reached on an infield single and Nathaniel Lowe grounded a single to center, scoring Semien. Josh Jung walked to load the bases and Heim then fouled off three 0-2 pitches before grounding a two-run single to right. Leody Taveras lined a base hit to right to make it 4-0.

Texas added a run in the fourth as Mariners reliever Matt Brash struggled with his command. Corey Seager led off by grounding a single into left field. An out later, Brash threw a wild pitch to allow Seager to take second before walking Garcia. With two outs, Brash hit Jung with a pitch and then walked Heim to bring home the run.

The Rangers also scored in the eighth as Evan Carter drew a leadoff walk and scored on Semien's double to left.

The Mariners avoided the shutout on Suarez's solo shot to left off Cody Bradford in the eighth.

--Field Level Media

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