ARLINGTON, Texas — Seattle closer Edwin Diaz was well-rested and had already gotten through one inning. A couple of mistakes when he went back out for another one cost the Mariners.
Diaz, making his first appearance in four days, gave up a leadoff single to Adrian Beltre in the ninth before Rougned Odor made up for two earlier baserunning blunders with a game-ending homer to give the AL-best Texas Rangers an 8-7 win Tuesday night.
“When I saw him hit it, I was thinking that was a home run. I saw Leonys (Martin, the center fielder) running and I just started walking to the dugout,” said Diaz, who had converted his 11 previous save chances since taking over as the closer Aug. 2.
The right-hander was the sixth pitcher used by Seattle, including three in the seventh when Texas scored twice to tie the game at 6.
“He’s our best guy. … We left it all out there tonight. We went after it,” manager Scott Servais said. “I don’t know where else we were going to go. The seventh inning got away from us, trying to work through that. And the plan was mix and match. We had a lead and we were trying to hold onto it. We had a one-run lead and Diaz on the mound, so we’ll take that any night. It just didn’t work out.”
Seattle regained the lead in the eight when after loading the bases with one out against hard-throwing reliever Matt Bush (6-2) to set up Robinson Cano’s sacrifice fly.
After Diaz issues consecutive two-out walks in the eighth, the got out of that jam when a full-count slider to strike out slugger Carlos Beltran, and Bush then worked a perfect ninth.
The Mariners lost their fourth straight game and fell 10 1/2 games back of Texas in the AL West, in third place behind Houston, which won Tuesday and is still 8 1/2 games off the division lead.
Seattle has its largest deficit in the division since also being 10 1/2 games back after a win over Baltimore on July 1.
After falling behind 4-0 when Beltre hit his 24th homer, a two-run shot in the third, the Mariners pushed ahead against suddenly erratic All-Star lefty and AL ERA leader Cole Hamels with six runs over the next two innings.
Hamels needed only 27 pitches to get through the first three innings, but his 35 in the fourth included three walks — two with the bases loaded.
Four of the first five batters in the fifth reached and Hamels was gone after Dae-Ho Lee’s one-out RBI single put the Mariners up 5-4. Leonys Martin greeted reliever Alex Claudio with another run-scoring single, though the lefty worked 2 2-3 scoreless innings.
Kyle Seager drew one of the bases-loaded walks in the fourth, and an inning later had an RBI single that produced another run when right fielder Carlos Gomez overran the ball before Lee followed with his hit.
“We were able to string some good at-bats together and get some runs on the board,” said Seager, who drove in two runs and scored one. “That’s a good team over there and they’ve got a lot of fight. It kind of went back and forth. Unfortunately, they got the last blow.”
Texas improved to 30-8 in one-run games with its sixth walk-off victory. … Rangers pitchers haven’t allowed a homer in their last eight games, matching Miami for the longest streak in the majors this season.
Mariners: Starting pitcher James Paxton ripped a fingernail in the third, but still pitched five innings. … DH Nelson Cruz was given the night off because of a nerve issue in his left hand that is making it difficult to grip the bat. X-rays and an MRI showed no structural damage. Cruz hurt his hand on a checked swing Sunday, and his taking medication to ease the inflammation.
Mariners: Felix Hernandez (9-4) pitches against Texas for the first time since this year’s season’s opener, when he gave up only one hit but walked five in six innings in a 3-2 loss. He faced the Rangers five times last season.
Rangers: Lefty Martin Perez (8-10) is 1-6 his last 10 starts.
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