Four bases-loaded moments made the difference last night.
All went the Rangers’ way.
In the top of the fourth inning, the Rangers had taken advantage of the generosity of two Mariners errors and two Felix Hernandez walks to take a 3-1 lead. The bases were loaded for Rougned Odor. He quickly got down 0-2.
Mariners reliever Matt Albers left the next pitch up and in the heart of the strike zone and Odor, who never saw a pitch he didn’t swing at with all his might, connected. The ball disappeared over the centerfield wall. The Ranger put the game away 7-1.
Cut to the top of the sixth inning. 7-2, Rangers. Shin-Soo Choo is up with bases loaded. He hits one to the fence for what was inches from a second grand slam, but what turned out to be a sac fly. Rangers up 8-2.
In the bottom of the inning, Andrew Cashner has just given up a single to Kyle Seager to load the bases with no outs. He quickly takes the count to 2-1 against Yonder Alonzo.
Cashner gets Alonzo to make weak contact on a ground ball that turned into a double play. A run scored, but the air was out of the balloon.
The next inning, the Mariners put two runs across and have loaded the bases once again after a Kyle Seager walk, with two out.
Yonder Alonso up again. He grounds out to third. Inning over. Threat over.
Two bases-loaded at-bats for the Rangers. Five runs.
Two bases-loaded at-bats for the Mariners. One run.
That’s where the game was won.
Cole Hamels (10-4, 3.96) vs. James Paxton (12-4, 4.82)
Game time: 9:10