By STEPHEN HAWKINS
AP Baseball Writer
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — With a bunt, a blast and some grittiness, the Texas Rangers finally snapped a long losing streak against the surging Seattle Mariners.
Corey Seager matched a career high with his 26th homer after rookie Bubba Thompson drove in a run with a sacrifice squeeze bunt as the Rangers overcame an early three-run deficit in a 7-4 victory Saturday night. The Mariners had won nine in a row against their AL West rival.
“We got a little gritty there,” manager Chris Woodward said. “It’s something we’ve been talking a lot about, finding ways to get back in games, finding a way to fight in the game … and down 3-0, this team’s had our number.”
Eugenio Suárez homered and had a sac fly for the Mariners, whose nine wins in a row over Texas were their most ever — and matched the longest in-season losing streak by the Rangers against a single opponent. Seattle has won 12 of 15 in the season series, with four games to play.
The Rangers went ahead to stay with a four-run outburst in the fourth inning against Marco Gonzalez (7-12), who they faced for the fifth time already this season. That was capped by Thompson’s bunt pushed to the right side as Charlie Culberson crossed home plate.
“They were on him. I mean, they got some hits, there were some balls hit hard, and some that weren’t hit hard. That’s what happens when you put a big number up there,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “It happened pretty quick, and it was a matter of about 14, 15 pitches.”
Adolis Garcia stretched his hitting streak to 10 games with a one-out double and scored when Jonah Heim followed with a double. Nathaniel Lowe had an opposite-field bloop hit to shallow left, then Culberson and Ezequiel Durán had back-to-back RBI singles before Thompson’s bunt.
“His stuff was fine, they found some holes,” Servais said of Gonzales, who allowed five runs in five innings.
The Mariners lost for only the 14th time in their last 47 games overall since mid-June. They dropped a half-game behind Toronto for the American League’s top wild card.
Seager, in the first season of his $325 million, 10-year contract with Texas, went deep in the fifth with a solo shot pulled down the right-field line that made it 5-3. He had 26 homers for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2016, when he was the National League rookie of the year in his first full season.
Brett Martin (1-7) got the win after facing only one batter. The left-hander got an inning-ending double play grounder in the fifth after replacing Dane Dunning. Hard-throwing right-hander Jonathan Hernandez worked a perfect ninth for his third save in three chances.
Seattle opened the game with consecutive singles off Dunning, and led 2-0 after a wild pitch and a sac fly by Suárez. Cal Raleigh had a leadoff double in the second and scored on a sac fly by Sam Haggerty.
Dunning, who in his last start snapped a 15-start winless span since April 30, walked the leadoff hitter in the fifth after being given a 4-3 lead and the chance for another victory. But he was pulled after striking out Mitch Haniger on his 101st pitch.
“Fell behind on practically everything. I just wasn’t really competitive in the zone throughout the game,” Dunning said. “Very frustrating for me. The one thing I will say that is, the team had my back, was able to put together a good rally. Just wish I could’ve done better for them.”
Former Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler and longtime communications director John Blake were inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame during a pregame ceremony. … Haniger has hit safely in all seven games for Seattle since being reinstated from the 60-day injured list on Aug. 7. He is hitting .423 (11 of 26) in that span, and has a 10-game hitting streak overall. … Lowe had two singles and has reached base safely via a hit or a walk in 19 consecutive games. That is the longest streak by a Texas player this season.
Mariners: OF Taylor Trammell was reinstated from the 10-day injured list and optioned to Triple-A Tacoma. Trammell hit .235 with three homers and nine RBIs over 32 games before going on the IL on June 28 because of a right hamstring strain.
Rangers: Reliever Josh Sborz felt fine a day after taking a liner off his upper right arm.
All-Star left-hander Martín Pérez (9-3, 2.85 ERA), coming off his first loss in 20 starts since April, pitches the series finale for Texas. Right-hander Logan Gilbert (10-5, 3.47) will be on the mound for the Mariners.
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