J-Rod goes deep to help Mariners win for 6th time in 7 games, 7-5 over Rangers

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON - JUNE 15: Julio Rodriguez #44 of the Seattle Mariners gestures after hitting a single during the first inning against the Texas Rangers at T-Mobile Park on June 15, 2024 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images

SEATTLE (AP) — Julio Rodríguez hit a two-run homer, his second in three games, George Kirby allowed an unearned run over six innings and the Seattle Mariners held off the Texas Rangers 7-5 on Saturday.

Seattle won for the sixth time in seven games and won its ninth consecutive series at home dating to mid-April. The Mariners also increased their lead over the defending champion Rangers to 7 1/2 games in the AL West. It’s the largest division lead for Seattle at any point since June 18, 2003, when it also had a 7 1/2-game advantage.

Kirby (6-5) didn’t give up a hit until Wyatt Langford’s infield single with one out in the fourth inning. Kirby leaned heavily on a fastball at the top of the strike zone and scattered three hits over six innings. Marcus Semien had an RBI double in the fifth inning, but Kirby finished his outing by striking out the side in the sixth.

Rodríguez hit a tying home run in the ninth inning Thursday night against the Chicago White Sox and his power has been on an uptick after a slow start. Rodríguez hit a 1-2 cutter from Texas starter Nathan Eovaldi (3-3) an estimated 412 feet for his seventh homer and a 3-0 lead in the third inning.

Dominic Canzone added a two-out RBI single later in the inning, and Cal Raleigh had an RBI single in the first inning as the Mariners knocked out the Texas starter after just three innings.


Josh Rojas had a solo homer in the seventh, his first long ball since April 28, and had a two-run single in the eighth.

Texas scored four times in the ninth on five hits and a walk and all four runs were charged to reliever Eduard Bazardo. Semien dropped a two-out, two-run single off Ryne Stanek to pull the Rangers to 7-5, but Tyler Locklear made a diving stop on Corey Seager’s grounder at first base and stepped on the bag for the final out.

Eovaldi allowed four runs, four hits and struck out six. But he also struggled with control with four walks in the 17 batters he faced. Eovaldi threw seven innings allowing two runs on five hits in his previous start against San Francisco.


Rangers: C Jonah Heim was placed on the paternity list. Sam Huff was recalled from Triple-A Round Rock to take his roster spot.

Mariners: 2B Jorge Polanco (hamstring) started a rehab stint on Saturday night with Single-A Everett. Polanco is scheduled to spend the weekend with Everett before transferring to Triple-A Tacoma next week.


Rangers: RHP Dane Dunning (4-5, 4.80) will try and rebound after allowing six runs in 3 2/3 innings against the Dodgers in his last start.

Mariners: RHP Logan Gilbert (3-4, 3.19) threw 6 2/3 shutout innings against Texas on April 23.