(Photo credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports)
Marcus Semien hit a pair of solo home runs and the Texas Rangers hit six overall to close out a series sweep of the Seattle Mariners 9-8 on Sunday in Arlington, Texas.
Texas (87-68) built a five-run cushion with a four-run fourth inning, all of which came off of home runs. Adolis Garcia led off with a solo shot, Leody Taveras drove in Mitch Garver with a two-run blast and Semien hit the second of his homers on the day to cap the inning.
The Rangers maintained their lead the rest of the way, but not without Seattle pushing Texas throughout.
The Mariners (84-71) -- looking to avoid losing ground on the Rangers and pull ahead of Houston, which suffered a weekend sweep against Kansas City -- totaled 13 hits.
Five Seattle batters collected multiple base hits with Julio Rodriguez, Eugenio Suarez and Teoscar Hernandez and Ty France each going 2-for-4 on the day. J.P. Crawford went 2-for-5.
Hernandez and Crawford each hit solo home runs for an early 2-1 lead, but Corey Seager put Texas back in front with a two-run shot in the bottom of the third before pouring it on in the fourth.
The Mariners cut into the 7-2 deficit in the sixth inning when Jarred Kelenic drove in a run on a fielder's choice, Suarez sent home Cal Raleigh on a sacrifice fly and Sam Haggerty tripled to score Kelenic.
Evan Carter hit the last of Texas' six home runs in the Rangers' half of the sixth, a two-run shot scoring Garver, to push the lead to 9-5. But Seattle came right back in the top of the seventh with runs scored off singles by Hernandez, Kelenic and Suarez.
Seattle had opportunities to bridge the gap down the stretch, including in the eighth inning with runners on second and third. Texas reliever Brock Burke recorded the third out, however, striking out Raleigh in three pitches.
Suarez, representing the tying run, doubled in the ninth with two outs. But Jose Leclerc forced Dominic Canzone to ground out to record his fourth save of the season and preserve the win.
Texas starter Nathan Eovaldi (12-4) picked up the win. He struck out six and allowed five earned runs in five innings.
Seattle starter Bryan Woo (4-5) took the loss. He struck out six and allowed six earned runs in 3 1/3 innings.
The loss dropped Seattle three games behind Texas and a half-game behind Houston.
--Field Level Media