Rangers end postseason drought with 6-1 victory over Mariners
(AP photo/Lindsey Wasson)
Slumping first baseman Nate Lowe drove in the first of four third-inning runs Saturday, and Josh Sborz tossed 1 2/3 scoreless innings of relief as the Rangers beat the Mariners 5-0 and secured their first postseason berth since 2016.
The Rangers secured a wild-card spot and can still win the American League West with a victory Sunday at T Mobile Park or with an Astros loss at Arizona.
“We knew what we needed to do to get in, and we did it,” shortstop Corey Seager said. “We’re going to celebrate tonight. Coming from a 100-loss season, this is pretty special to us.”
The West title is the preferred route to the postseason as the Rangers would host the winner of the No. 4 vs. No. 5 wild-card series, starting Saturday. Otherwise, the Rangers will be either the No. 5 seed or No. 6 seed and will play a best-of-3 series either at No. 4 seed Tampa Bay or at No. 3 seed Minnesota.
The wild-card round begins Tuesday.
Lowe was in a 1-for-29 slide when he singled up with middle to score Marcus Semien. After Josh Jung walked to load the bases, Jonah Heim singled in Adolis Garcia and Lowe. Leody Taveras followed with an RBI single.
Heim drew a bases-loaded walk in the fifth, and Semien doubled home Evan Carter in the eighth to make it 6-0. It was Semien’s 40th double of the season and his 100th RBI.
Andrew Heaney start for the Rangers and did his best pitching in the third and fourth. He tossed a 1-2-3 third for a key shutdown inning after the Rangers’ four-spot.
The Mariners’ best threat came in the fifth, when they loaded the bases against Heaney with one out. Sborz entered to face All-Star Julio Rodriguez, who popped to left, and third baseman Eugenio Suarez, who grounded to third to end the inning.
Sborz tossed a scoreless sixth, Cody Bradford allowed one run in 1 2/3 innings and Jose Leclerc recorded the final four outs.
Jeff Wilson, email@example.com