ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Delino DeShields can make good things happen for the Texas Rangers with his small ball. The speedy outfielder also has a little pop in his bat.
DeShields homered after taking a speedier trip around the bases for an earlier run and the Rangers beat the Seattle Mariners 5-3 on Monday night in the opener of a four-game series matching teams still hoping to get one of the AL’s two wild cards.
“I don’t know where that came from,” DeShields said of his no-doubt shot into the left-field seats in the fourth.
That homer came two innings after DeShields reached on a one-out bunt single, when he was initially called out before a replay challenge overturned the call.
DeShields then raced home from first on Shin-Soo Choo’s two-run double that made it 4-1, running through a fill-in third-base coach’s stop sign and scoring on a nifty headfirst slide.
“It’s hard to stop a race car,” manager Jeff Banister said. “We talk about D all the time, and just the excitement of the speed. … He jump-starts this offense, he gets us going.”
Jason Wood, the Rangers’ Triple-A manager, coached third base with Tony Beasley out to deal with a personal matter. But the Rangers said it wasn’t a health issue for Beasley, who was limited last season while undergoing treatment for rectal cancer.
DeShields said he was intent on scoring when Choo’s ball went into the left-center gap. His head was down when rounding third base.
“As soon as I looked up, he was giving me the stop sign, but there was no stopping,” DeShields said. “I was full throttle right there.”
Cole Hamels (10-3) struck out seven in six innings to win for the first time in his last four starts.
Alex Claudio worked a perfect ninth to get his eighth save in 12 chances for the Rangers (72-71), who got within two games of idle Minnesota for the American League’s second wild-card spot. Seattle (71-73) is 3 1/2 games back.
Kyle Seager and Mitch Haniger homered for Seattle. Seager led off the second with his 23rd homer and Haniger, who had three hits and finished a triple shy of the cycle, had a two-run shot in the third.
Mariners starter Ariel Miranda (8-7) allowed gave up six hits and walked three in only 1 2-3 innings. It was the lefty’s 29th start this season.
“Miranda has taken the ball every time out there for us. He just didn’t have much in the tank at all tonight,” manager Scott Servais said. “He’s running on fumes right now. Again, I appreciate how he competes and how he goes out there. There are certain nights he just didn’t have it.”
Rangers C Robinson Chirinos has reached base in 25 consecutive games after his single in the first. It is the longest on-base streak for Texas since Mike Napoli’s club-record 38 in a row between the 2011 and 2012 seasons. … It was the second time in three days Haniger just missed a cycle. He had a single, triple and homer Saturday against the Angels.
Matt Bush pitched for the first time since spraining his right knee Aug. 20, striking out one in a scoreless seventh. Left-hander Jake Diekman struck out two and walked two in his fifth scoreless outing since his return Sept. 1 after three surgeries to replace his colon.
Mariners: OF Jarrod Dyson, whose 28 stolen bases were tied for third in the American League, is done for the season. He will have surgery to repair something similar to a groin injury. He hasn’t played since Sept. 2.
Rangers: Keone Kela, out more than a month with right shoulder soreness, threw another bullpen session and will be re-evaluated Tuesday. … 2B Rougned Odor was back in the lineup a day after he twisted his left foot and ankle chasing a popup down the right-field line. Odor is the only Texas player to appear in all 143 games. He has started 141 of them.
Mariners: Marco Gonzales (0-1, 6.20) will be the second consecutive Mariners lefty to start against Texas.
Rangers: Right-hander Miguel Gonzalez makes his second start for the Rangers since they acquired him Aug. 31 in a trade from the Chicago White Sox. He allowed four runs over three innings in his first start last Wednesday in Atlanta.
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