ARLINGTON, Texas — The versions of the adage come in different forms depending on the manager at the time.

Eric Wedge liked to say, “Do you know how hard it is to win one game?”

Lloyd McClendon would growl: “Those guys over there drive Mercedes, too.”

And Scott Servais often reminds you, “These are the best players in the world.”

Really, it comes down to this: No game is a guaranteed victory in baseball regardless of your opponent.

Yes, the Mariners have the easiest remaining schedule in baseball based on opponent’s record and winning percentage. It’s an advantage to be sure.


But these past two days in Texas have shown that if they don’t play to the levels of execution that have carried them into a projected wild-card spot, that easy schedule will become very difficult.

The Mariners didn’t play poorly in Sunday’s 5-3 loss to the Rangers. But they simply didn’t hit enough or pitch well enough to beat a team they’ve dominated for most of the 2022 season.

“Not how we wanted this series to end up,” Servais said. “You’ve got to play good baseball, you’ve got to make all the plays defensively. We got a couple breaks from them today. You’ve got to make those plays in tight games. They beat us. They out-executed us, they out-hit us, certainly in today’s game and they out-pitched us.”

The back-to-back losses at Globe Life Field meant that the Mariners lost their first series to a team other than the Astros since mid-June. The last time the Rangers beat the Mariners in a series was just over a year ago (July 30-Aug. 1).

Seattle fell to 62-54 on the season and remained in the second wild-card spot behind the Blue Jays, who also lost, and a half-game ahead of the Rays.

“We’ll let this one go, and we need to start playing a little bit better offensively,” Servais said. “On the road, you have to hit. You’re not going to win games, 2-1 or 3-2 on the road. You’re gonna have to put up a few more runs and we will. We’ll get back to it.”


Mariners starter Logan Gilbert bounced back with a better outing, pitching six innings and allowing three runs on five hits with four walks and five strikeouts.

Obviously, he’s had more dominant outings this season and the walks are never ideal, but facing a team that wasn’t the Yankees or Astros, who he faced two times each in his last four starts, Gilbert gave the Mariners a “quality start.”

“It was nice to face somebody else,” he said of his outing. “It was kind of weird. I mean, obviously, it wasn’t my best. I was a little off and I was fighting out there, trying to keep us in it.”

Seattle gave him a 1-0 cushion in the first inning on Sam Haggerty’s RBI single to left field to score J.P. Crawford.

Gilbert kept the lead until the fourth inning. But a leadoff double to Nathaniel Lowe and a walk to Meibrys Viloria started his problems. A one-out single to Brad Miller loaded the bases for rookie Bubba Thompson, who ambushed a first-pitch slider for a two-run single. The Mariners tied the game at 2-2 in the fifth on Mitch Haniger’s RBI single.

But Gilbert gave the run right back with two outs in the bottom of the inning. With runners on second and third, he bounced an 0-2 slider about a foot in front of the plate that catcher Curt Casali couldn’t block. The wild pitch made it 3-2 Texas.


“I was going a little too far knowing where I wanted to miss,” he said. “And I missed way too far. The next pitch was perfect. It’s easier said than done, but I should’ve just done that the first time.”

The Mariners tied the game at 3-3 in the sixth as Dylan Moore worked a leadoff walk and then eventually scored on Julio Rodriguez’s ground ball to short.

A strong 1-2-3 sixth inning allowed Gilbert to exit with the game tied.

But the bullpen couldn’t keep the Rangers scoreless.

Matt Brash, who replaced Gilbert, gave up a two-out double to Seager to start the problems. With Garcia at the plate, Brash pulled a 98-mph fastball into the left-handers’ batter’s box that went for a wild pitch allowing Seager to advance to third and then later jog home on Garcia’s hard single to center to give the Rangers a 4-3 lead.

With no lefty in the bullpen, yet, Servais went to right-hander Erik Swanson to face left-swinging Lowe. Swanson’s splitfinger is an effective pitch against left-handed hitters. After Garcia stole second base to move into scoring position on the first pitch, Lowe took advantage of an 0-1 fastball in the middle of the plate, hitting a double into the left field corner to score Garcia to make it 5-3.

“We’ve got to regroup,” Servais said. “We’ll head over to Anaheim and get back on track offensively. Obviously, it was a struggle offensively. We got the pitch count up on Martin Perez. But between Martin and Josh Sborz, we struck out too much. We struck out 13 times today. It really stalls rallies and you can’t get much going. It’s disappointing. It’s not the end of the world.”

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