<
>

Mariners-Rangers preview

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers meet in a matinee on Wednesday in a matchup of right-hander Felix Hernandez and lefty Martin Perez.

The Rangers are seeking a sweep and a fifth consecutive victory. Seattle has lost four straight and eight of its last nine games.

Texas, now 25 games over .500 for the first time since the 2012 season, triumphed Tuesday on Rougned Odor's walk-off, two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth. It marked the Rangers' sixth walk-off victory of the season.

"All I can say is don't ever think there's not heart, passion in this club ... determination," Texas manager Jeff Banister said. "Look, I've said it before, they never believe they're out of any single game. No matter the score, no matter the situation, no matter who's on the mound, they continue to amaze me every single night with things they do, how they do it."

At 10-4, Texas has clinched the season series from Seattle and is 5-1 on the current 10-game homestand.

After Tuesday's game, the Rangers are 30-8 in one-run games.

Perez, 1-6 in his last 10 starts, will be looking to extend the pitching staff's streak of consecutive games without a home run to nine. Conversely, Texas out-homered opponents 11-0 in the last eight games. Perez (8-10, 4.45 ERA), making his career-high 28th start, has quality starts in both outings against Seattle this season, both in Arlington. Against the Mariners, he's 1-0 with a 3.75 ERA. He has induced a major league leading 34 double play balls.

"We're in a tough stretch playing really good teams," Seattle manager Scott Servais said.

The Mariners will counter with Hernandez (9-4, 3.14). He is 3-0 with a 2.05 ERA in his last three starts and 5-0 with a 3.00 ERA in his last seven outings.

The right-hander, though, is 7-10 with a 4.01 ERA in 22 starts at Globe Life Park in Arlington.

Kyle Seager (.347), Leonys Martin (.328) and Shawn O'Malley (.314) are all hitting better than .300 against lefties since July 20.

On Tuesday, the Mariners scored four or more runs for only the second time in their last nine.

Also expected back is Nelson Cruz, who sat out Tuesday's game with a nerve issue in his right hand. Cruz suffered the injury on a check swing Sunday. The former Rangers outfielder has 97 home runs in Arlington, seventh-most by any player.

"We had really good at-bats," said Seager, who has reached base safely in 47 of his last 53 games, dating to June 28. "The guys didn't quit even when we were down. I'm really proud of our guys. The line was moving. It was good to see. We did enough offensively."