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Aggressive offense backs Felix for a Labor Day victory over Texas

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

9/5 vs TEX by TOM HAYDEN

70-67, 11.5 GB in AL WEST, 5.0 GB in AL WILD CARD ---- 

Labor Day winners! The Mariners defeated the Texas Rangers on Monday afternoon in what was the start of a 4-game home series with our rivals of the American League Western Division.  A HUGE day of offense at the plate helped to seal the deal, as RHP Felix Hernandez was a little shaky at points of his outing. Robinson Canó extended his hitting streak to 9 games in this one with a fine day at the plate. My pick for Mariners Player of the Game was RF Franklin Gutierrez, who ended the month of August in a bit of a slump, but has turned things around big time since. Offense also wasn't the only thing that backed Felix in this one, as relief pitching got the job done too, shutting down a tough Rangers offense and preventing the possibility of a come back. With the win, Seattle has advanced to 3 games over .500 at 70-67 on the season. The Mariners now trail these first place Rangers by 11.5 games in the American League Western Division. For that second American league Wild Card spot, the Mariners need to now climb a ladder of 5.0 games to try and catch up to the Baltimore Orioles, who currently sit in that second Wild Card spot. 

Offensively on Monday afternoon on what was a nice Labor Day in the Pacific Northwest, the Mariners brought the bats putting up 14 runs on exactly 14 hits. As I said earlier, RF Franklin Gutierrez (.257 AVG) had himself a day going 3-for-4 at the dish with 1 run scored and 4 RBI! Guti connected for his 9th double of the season, a single, and his 14th homer of the season in this one for Seattle. His home run came in the second inning for a solo blast off of TEX LHP Cole Hamels. Entering the game, Franklin had 35 RBI on the season, and he now has 39. Also contributing offensively on Labor day Monday was 2B Robinson Canó (.305 AVG) who extended his hitting streak to 9 games with a 2-for-5 day at the plate. Canó connected for his 32nd homer of the season in this one, a no doubt 2-run home run to right center in the bottom of the first inning for the M's. Canó also singled, scoring 2 runs for the Mariners. He now has a a great RBI total of 86 on the season! 1B Dae-Ho Lee (.262 AVG) continues to rip the cover off of the baseball as he went 2-for-5 on the day 3 RBI and 2 runs scored! Lee put up 3 singles in this one, and now has a total of 47 RBI on the season. C Jesus Sucre (.364 AVG) who was called up from AAA Tacoma at the beginning of September because of roster expansion, went 3-for-3 with 2 RBI in his first Major League game since July the 17th vs the Houston Astros. Sucre belted 3 singles in the ball game, and now has 2 RBI on the season from the big day. DH Nelson Cruz (.282 AVG) went 2-for-4 at the plate with an RBI in this one also. Cruz had 2 singles on the day and now has 83 RBI on the season. 3B Kyle Seager (.290 AVG) didn't bat home a run in this one but did connect for his 32nd double of the season for the M's, while also scoring 2 runs. CF Leonys Martin (.241 AVG) also scored a pair of runs going 1-for-4 at the plate, also connecting for a double for his 13th on the season so far for the Mariners. 

On the mound on Monday afternoon at the Safe, RHP Felix Hernandez (3.75 ERA) took the ball for his 20th start of the season. Hernandez was shaky at first, giving up 6 runs on 6 hits (all runs earned) in a combined 5.2 innings of work. Hernandez struck out 3 but also walked 4 Rangers in his outing. Hernandez struggled to keep the baseball in the ball park as well, as he gave up a pair of those (3-run HR, and a Solo). Fortunately, thanks to a day of solid offense and relief, King felix earned himself his 10th win of the season! Felix now has an individual W-L record of 10-5 on the season with an ERA of 3.75 in just under 130.0 innings pitched this year so far. In relief on Monday afternoon, a job was done well by RHP Nick Vincent (3.65 ERA), RHP Evan Scribner (0.00 ERA), and RHP Dan Altavilla (2.25 ERA) to help secure the series opener win. Vincent earned his 15th hold of the season in 1.1 innings of work as he stuck out 1 and gave up nothing else. Scribner shut the door in 1.0 inning of work as he tossed a very sharp 3 strikeouts on the inning. Dan Altavilla was impressive himself on Monday afternoon, as he tossed 1.0 inning giving up nothing and striking out 1 Ranger in his outing. 

WHAT'S NEXT? : 

The Mariners and Rangers will get back at it on Tuesday night at Safeco Field as LHP James Paxton will take the ball for his 16th start of the season. Paxton (4-5, 3.94 ERA) and the M's are set and ready to take on TEX LHP Martin Perez (9-10, 4.15 ERA). Be sure to catch all of the action on ROOT Sports NW for watching or listen in on 710 ESPN Seattle Radio! First pitch start time is scheduled for 7:10 PM PAC, 10:10 PM ET! 

This is Tom Hayden signing off saying Go Mariners! Stay #TrueToTheBlue as our M's #KeepFighting for the #PostSEAson! 


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