ARLINGTON, Texas — Everything about the first eight innings Sunday felt familiar and not in a good way. The lack of offense, because of an inability to hit with runners in scoring position, the quality starting pitching ruined by the bullpen and the gloom of another winnable game against a team they should beat being frittered away.

It’s been a common theme for the 2022 Mariners, particularly in games away from T-Mobile Park, where they’ve lost more than half the games they’ve played.

Down three runs going into the top of the ninth, the Mariners were headed for another costly loss in what has been a disappointing start to this season of expectations. Per Fangraphs win probability tracker, they had a 98.6% chance of losing that game going into the ninth inning.

Instead, they rallied for three runs in the top of the ninth. Ty France’s solo homer and a two-run double from Eugenio Suarez sent the game into extra innings. After a stellar inning from Diego Castillo, they took the lead in the top of the 10th on a wild pitch and celebrated a stunning 6-5 victory over the Rangers after Paul Sewald worked a scoreless bottom half of the inning for his fourth save.

“Quite a comeback,” manager Scott Servais said. “We’ve had some good ones here through the years. It seems like in this ballpark, we’re always playing crazy games where it gets crazy late in the game. Credit to our guys, no quit. We did not quit today. We certainly could have.”

The Mariners’ fourth win in five extra-inning games meant a series win over the Rangers. The Mariners have won three series in a row, including back-to-back series on the current road trip.  


“The Seattle Super-grinders are back,” said shortstop J.P. Crawford.

They have the opportunity to turn a good road trip into an exceptional one over the next three days at Minute Maid Park in Houston. If they can somehow win at least one game, yes one, it would mean a 5-4 record over the nine-game trip. It may not seem like much, but considering they came into the day with an 11-20 road record and have lost 26 of their past 30 games in Houston, one win will suffice.

Two wins?

Throw a party, hang a banner.

Servais admitted the outcome was looking “bleak” when his bullpen gave up a combined three runs in the seventh and eighth innings after rookie starter George Kirby had given them a quality start, allowing two runs over six innings.

With Kirby at 90 pitches, Andres Munoz came on to start the seventh inning of a 2-2 game. With one out, the hard-throwing right-hander left a 100-mph fastball in the hitting zone of Rangers top prospect Ezequiel Duran, who made his MLB debut Friday. Duran hammered the triple-digit pitch, sending it into the left-field seats at higher rate of speed than it came in for his first MLB homer and a 3-2 Rangers lead.

Texas seemed to blow the game open an inning later when Mitch Garver blasted a two-run homer off Sergio Romo that made it 5-2.

“It didn’t look so great there,” Servais said.

France, who has been the Mariners’ best hitter all season, came into the ninth inning having gone hitless in his previous 18 plate appearances. But facing hard-throwing right-hander Matt Bush, France was able to stay on a fastball away for his eighth homer and 37th RBI this season.

Julio Rodriguez followed with a hard single to right field and J.P. Crawford blooped a single into left to put runners on the corners for Suarez. He stayed on a fastball away, sending a line drive into the right-field corner.


Crawford read the ball as a hit immediately and never slowed down, scoring from first base.

“Off the bat, I was, ‘Yeah, I’m scoring,'” Crawford said.

And if third-base coach Manny Acta had given him the stop sign, would he have ran through it?

“Yeah,” he said with a smirk. “I was going too fast to stop anyway.”

The Mariners got a solid start from Kirby, who continues to post impressive numbers.

Making his sixth start of the season, Kirby pitched six innings, giving up two runs on five hits with no walks and three strikeouts. The two runs allowed came on solo homers on misplaced sliders.


With two outs in the second inning, Kirby left a slider at the top of the strike zone to Adolis Garcia. It didn’t end well. Garcia jumped on the mistake, sending a rocket deep into the seats in left-center for his 10th homer of the season.

Texas made it 2-0 an inning later when Marcus Semien, a free-agent target of the Mariners last offseason, showed some signs of breaking out of a season-long slump. Semien took advantage of a slider from Kirby, sending it into the left-field seats for just his third homer of the season.

But after the Semien homer, Kirby retired the next nine batters in a row and allowed just one base runner over the next 13 batters he faced.

Suarez, who had a monster day at the plate, driving in four of the Mariners’ six runs, crushed a solo homer to center off his good friend and fellow Venezuelan countryman Martin Perez to make it 2-1. It was the first homer that Perez has allowed this season.

In the fifth inning, Suarez dumped a single into left field to score Rodriguez and tie the game at 2-2.