Three takeaways from the Mariners’ 4-3 win Sunday over the Texas Rangers:

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Before he stepped to the plate in the eighth inning of a tie game Sunday, Kyle Seager had gone 55 at-bats this season without a home run at Safeco Field.

Seager, of course, has hit plenty of home runs at Safeco during his seven-year career with the Mariners — 47, if you want to be exact. So nobody was worried about Seager’s mini-drought.

But he also couldn’t have picked a much better time to end it: Seager’s solo home run broke the tie and lifted the Mariners to a 4-3 win against the Rangers. The Mariners (15-17) took two of three games from the Rangers and won their second straight series.


Mariners @ Philadelphia, 4:05 p.m., ROOT Sports

“I’ve hit some here before, so I kind of remembered a little bit,” Seager deadpanned. “But it definitely feels good to get one in a big situation.”

It was just Seager’s second homer this season, but as Mariners manager Scott Servais pointed out, Seager hit the ball hard all series against the Rangers, including a fly ball to the warning track Sunday.

“Kyle Seager had a really nice series,” Servais said. “It didn’t always show up in the box score and the number of hits. But the number of balls he’s hit hard in the last three or four games, he’s really starting to get locked in.

“The one thing about Seags is, he knows at the end of the year his numbers will be there, and he’s very confident in his ability.”

The win was instructive as a blueprint for how the Mariners have to play in the immediate future. With three starters on the disabled list — Felix Hernandez, Drew Smyly and James Paxton — the Mariners have no choice but to rely on an assortment of fill-ins and, more than ever, their offense.

On Sunday, this is how that formula worked out:

Pitching: The Mariners piecemealed a start together, with Dillon Overton and Christian Bergman combining to allow three runs in seven innings.

Offense: The Mariners did little of consequence offensively until the seventh inning, when they used four walks and a clutch two-out, two-run hit from Danny Valencia to tie the game. Then Seager won it with his home run.

“Our offense is going to be the key for us as we get rolling here in the stretch where we’re at with our starting pitching being banged up,” Servais said.

Overton started in Paxton’s place, and although he lasted 31/3 innings, Overton kept the Mariners in the game. He had runners in scoring position in both the first and second innings but limited the damage to two runs (one earned).

“He did a good job of minimizing everything,” said Bergman, who replaced Overton and allowed just one hit and one run in 32/3 innings. “It could have gone sideways there for a while, but he did a really good job of minimizing and keeping us in the game. That’s part of the reason we came out with it today.”

In the seventh inning, the offense finally woke up. Seager, Taylor Motter, Jarrod Dyson and Jean Segura all walked, with Segura’s walk coming with the bases loaded.

With two outs and the bases still loaded, Servais decided to pinch hit Valencia for Ben Gamel. Valencia was a late scratch about an hour before Sunday’s game because of a tight hamstring.

He said his hamstring has bothered him for the last few games, an injury he dealt with last season, and wanted to be proactive to avoid a trip to the disabled list. But he told Servais he could pinch hit if needed.

“I made it very clear that I was available,” Valencia said.

Valencia flared a bloop single into center field, driving in two runs and tying the game at three. Seager hit his home run one inning later and watched as the ball carried toward right field.

Did he know it was out?

“I hoped,” Seager said. “I was really, really hoping.”

Turning it around?
The Mariners have played 10 series so far this season and have won three of their past four.
Series Opponent M’s record Result
1 @ Houston 1-3 LOST
2 @ L.A. Angels 0-3 LOST
3 Houston 1-2 LOST
4 Texas 3-0 WON
5 Miami 2-1 WON
6 @ Oakland 1-3 LOST
7 @ Detroit 2-1 WON
8 @ Cleveland 1-2 LOST
9 L.A. Angels 2-1 WON
10 Texas 2-1 WON
Totals 32 games 15-17 5-5