|5:05 PM PT6:05 PM MT7:05 PM CT8:05 PM ET20:05 ET0:05 GMT8:05 5:05 PM MST7:05 PM EST7:35 PM VEN4:05 UAE (+1)7:05 PM CT, September 13, 2017
Globe Life Park in Arlington, Arlington, Texas Attendance: 23,083
Leake helps pitch Mariners past Rangers, 8-1
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(TSX / STATS) -- ARLINGTON, Texas -- One of the newest Seattle Mariners is doing his part in the club's late-season push to play beyond the regular season.
Mike Leake remained perfect since coming to Seattle as the Mariners beat the Texas Rangers 8-1 in a crucial battle in the American League wild-card race Wednesday night at Globe Life Ballpark.
Leake (10-12) improved to 3-0 since coming to the Mariners in a trade with the St. Louis Cardinals in late August. The 29-year-old right-hander went 5 2/3 innings, allowing one run and five hits. He struck out five and walked one.
"It's about pitching, and Mike Leake's been outstanding," Seattle manager Scott Servais said. "He really threw the ball well tonight. Good sinker, really good cutter, a lot of balls on the ground. Great to see, and the key for us tonight was certainly Leake getting deep into the game."
The Mariners (73-73) climbed back to .500 with their second consecutive win and inched ahead of the Rangers (72-73) in the logjam of clubs trying to run down the second AL wild card.
Seattle is 3 1/2 games behind Minnesota after the Twins' win Wednesday, while Texas is four games back.
"We've got 16 games to go," Servais said. "They're all important. We've really got to focus on what we can do, how we compete and how we attack on the rest of this road trip. It's a really important time of the year.
"Guys have busted their tails all year to put themselves in this position, to play meaningful games. We want to enjoy it, we want to stay after it and be aggressive and just see what happens."
Mariners catcher Mike Zunino hit two home runs to run his season total to 23.
"If we can take care of what we can, the rest can fall into place," Zunino said. "We've just got to do our job, and hopefully everything works out in our favor."
Texas managed just five hits in the loss.
"We need to play with a little bit more urgency," Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus said. "We don't really have too many games left, and we have to leave everything when we go out there on the field every single day. I think that's what we're missing right now. We need to find a way to way to create that energy and lay it all out."
Jean Segura hit a two-run homer for the Mariners, who took a 3-0 lead in the fifth. Seattle added five runs in the seventh to put the game away.
Rangers starter Martin Perez (12-11) saw his career-high streak of winning seven consecutive starts end after leaving with one out in the sixth, trailing 3-0.
"That's part of the game. It happens. That's baseball," Perez said of the streak ending. "I don't feel bad. I think I pitched good."
The five runs in the seventh were charged to Texas relievers Matt Bush and Jake Diekman.
Leake keep the Rangers off the scoreboard until the sixth. Elvis Andrus reached on a one-out double and scored on a two-out single to left by Robinson Chirinos.
Leake's evening was over at that point, with left-hander James Pazos coming in to face pinch hitter Adrian Beltre. It was Beltre's first appearance since straining his left hamstring on Aug. 31.
Beltre flied out to center with two men on.
"It was probably the only spot that we were going to get an opportunity to use Adrian in a big spot, and he's ready to hit," Texas manager Jeff Banister said. "We felt like it was the best spot. ... I don't want to pass up the opportunity to have our best guy not be able to come up in a situation to change the game, and that was a situation we could change the game, so I felt that it was the best opportunity for us to send him out there and take a swing at it."
The Rangers didn't manage a hit over the last 3 1/3 innings against four Mariners relievers -- Pazos, Emilio Pagan, Marc Rzepczynski and Edwin Diaz.
Perez cruised through the first four innings, holding the Mariners scoreless on one hit. The shutout ended in the fifth when Zunino crushed a breaking ball into the left field club seats.
Segura followed later in the inning with a two-run shot to left to make it 3-0. It was his 10th home run of the season.
NOTES: Seattle C Mike Zunino had his sixth career multi-homer game, his third this season. ... Texas 1B Mike Napoli (stress reaction lower right leg) did not play. ... Seattle will start LHP Ariel Miranda or RHP Andrew Moore on Sunday at Houston. ... Rangers C Robinson Chirinos has reached base in 27 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the majors. ... The Mariners improved to 10-5 against Texas, clinching the season series with four games to go. ... Academy Award-winning actor Matthew McConaughey was part of the first-pitch ceremony in conjunction with his Just Keep Livin Foundation.
Updated September 14, 2017