Late-inning heroics have gone the Seattle Mariners’ way the past two games. In both wins, third baseman Eugenio Suarez was the center of attention.
Suarez connected on a two-run home run in the ninth inning Friday night off Joe Barlow to rally the Mariners to a 4-3 victory over the Texas Rangers in Arlington, Texas.
On Thursday night, Suarez was the placed runner on second base in the 10th inning, and he scored the winning run on Abraham Toro’s triple in Seattle’s 7-6 victory at the Baltimore Orioles.
The Mariners and Rangers have a quick turnaround with an afternoon game on Saturday.
For Suarez, Friday’s homer was a chance for redemption, because he made a throwing error that helped the Rangers tie the score at 2-2 in the sixth inning.
“I threw that one away, and I knew I would (get a chance) late in the game,” he said.
The Rangers will send right-hander Glenn Otto (3-2, 4.33 ERA) to the mound against Seattle left-hander Marco Gonzales (3-5, 3.55).
On May 30 against the Tampa Bay Rays, Otto surrendered one earned run on four hits, with three walks and four strikeouts in six innings.
“He’s been really good with in-game adjustments,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward said.
At home, Otto is 1-1 with a 6.91 ERA in three starts. He’s been more effective on the road, boasting a 2.57 ERA.
Saturday will be Otto’s first meeting against the Mariners.
Gonzales is no stranger to facing the Rangers. In fact, Saturday will be his 18th career start against Texas, matching the Los Angeles Angels for his most against any opponent.
The left-hander is 8-6 with a 3.74 ERA in his career against Texas.
The last time Gonzales took on Texas was at home on April 21. In a no-decision, he was charged with six runs, but only two were earned, in 4 1/3 innings. He fanned six and allowed a home run.
In his most recent start, Gonzales lasted a season-high 7 1/3 innings on May 29 in a loss to the Houston Astros. He yielded two runs and struck out two.
Rangers outfielder Eli White is 2-for-7 (.286) with a home run in his career off Gonzales. Corey Seager is 2-for-8 (.250) with two RBIs off him.
The Mariners feature one of the promising young players in the sport. Outfielder Julio Rodriguez on Friday was named the American League Rookie of the Month after hitting .309 with six home runs, 17 RBIs, 34 hits and five stolen bases in May.
“I was working towards this,” Rodriguez said. “This meant a lot. I put a lot of work into this. It feels really good to get rewarded after having that month.”
The Rangers recognize the threat Rodriguez presents on the bases, and they had an answer for the rookie on Friday night. Dane Dunning fanned Rodriguez three times on pitches down and away. Rodriguez finished hitless in four at-bats.
“He’s a game-changer,” Woodward said. “I know he’s got a bright future. Like I said, we’re going to make things really hard for him, hopefully.”
–Field Level Media