SEATTLE (AP) — Marco Gonzales is answering all those preseason questions about his place in Seattle’s rotation.
Hard to argue with his results of late.
Gonzales pitched into the seventh inning and did not allow an earned run for a third consecutive start, helping the Mariners top the Texas Rangers 2-1 on Monday.
Seattle won for the ninth time in 10 games and reached 13 games above .500 for the first time since late in the 2014 season. And it was once again a one-run win. The Mariners have been held to three runs or less in seven of the past eight games, but are 7-1 in those games thanks largely to their pitching.
Gonzales was just the latest performance, running his streak of consecutive innings without allowing an earned run to 19 1/3.
“Yes, there was a lot of questions from a lot of people. I’m really happy for him,” manager Scott Servais said. “I think that’s what our scouts saw when we made the trade for him. The guys in the front office recognized if we get this guy, get him back completely healthy and in a really good environment he could be a guy that could carry innings.”
Gonzales (5-3) lasted 6 2/3 innings and has not allowed an earned run since May 12 when he gave up four runs in a loss to Detroit. His only issue against Texas was walks. Gonzales walked four, including Ryan Rua with two outs in the seventh inning to conclude his day.
“I’m not trying to pay too much attention to that,” Gonzales said of his recent performances. “I’m trying to keep my approach simple, throw a lot of strikes, get ahead of guys and good things will happen when you do that.”
James Pazos got the final out of the seventh, before letting the duo of Alex Colome and Edwin Diaz work together for the first time. Colome, an All-Star closer acquired from Tampa Bay late last week, struck out a pair sandwiched around a two-out hit to finish the eighth inning, and Diaz pitched the ninth for his 19th save.
Seattle has 16 one-run wins, best in the majors.
“Winning is just fun. I won’t lie, it would be nice if we go out tomorrow and win by like 10. That would be awesome,” Seattle’s Kyle Seager said.
The only run for Texas came in the third inning when Rougned Odor reached on a bunt single and eventually scored on a passed ball.
Texas starter Doug Fister (1-5) cruised through the first five innings, the only hit allowed a single by Andrew Romine in the third. It was a defensive miscue that created the opportunity for Seattle to take the lead.
With one out in the sixth, Denard Span hit a grounder to second base that should have ended the inning. Odor briefly bobbled the grounder and the Rangers were unable to turn the double play. Mitch Haniger’s base hit barely eluded the diving attempt of shortstop Jurickson Profar, and Nelson Cruz and Seager followed with line-drive RBI singles.
Odor also got picked off second base in the fifth inning.
“We can pick apart the one if you want to, however I look at it as a whole and the positives form (Odor) outweigh the negatives today,” Texas manager Jeff Banister said.
Span, who also came over in the trade with the Rays, made his debut after being added to the 25-man roster. The Mariners optioned outfielder John Andreoli to Triple-A Tacoma to clear the roster spot. Span was 0 for 4.
Rangers: SS Elvis Andrus and 3B Adrian Beltre (hamstring) took ground balls before the game. It was the first time Andrus had done any field work since suffering a right elbow fracture in early April.
Mariners: SS Jean Segura was originally in the lineup, but was scratched. Segura was inadvertently kicked in the head during Saturday night’s game and missed Sunday’s game. Servais said Segura should return on Tuesday. … The Mariners expect Dee Gordon will be able to return to the lineup Thursday barring any setbacks in his recovery from a toe injury.
Rangers: Austin Bibens-Dirkx (0-1) will make his second start since being called up from Triple-A Round Rock. Bibens-Dirkx allowed four earned runs and eight hits in his debut against Kansas City.
Mariners: Felix Hernandez (5-4) will try to have a better first inning than his last start when he gave up four runs in the first to Oakland. Hernandez has struggled early in games and has re-examined some of his routine in hopes of being better from the start.