For the first time since May 2019, the Rangers pulled off a series win in Seattle. Today Texas sent basically their No. 8 starter to the mound to pitch against the ace of the staff for the Mariners.
Dane Dunning came into the year likely behind Jake Odorizzi and Glenn Otto in the pecking order to be next man up for the rotation but each were injured before the Rangers made it out of Surprise for spring training.
Meanwhile, perennial Cy Young candidate and two-time All-Star Luis Castillo pitched Opening Day for the M’s and got the nod today against a Texas team that had been handcuffed by Seattle hurlers throughout the series.
Well, score one for Dunning as he out-dueled Castillo and the bats and bullpen did just enough to secure another series win for Texas with the rubber match victory today.
After being shut out last night, the Rangers collected 13 hits in today’s contest and even though they were uncharacteristically poor at bringing home those runners on base, they ultimately plated one more than the Mariners.
At 22-14, the Rangers are back to eight games above .500 and they leave Seattle with the Mariners 4 1⁄2 games behind in the AL West.
Player of the Game: Dunning isn’t Jacob deGrom in almost any way you can imagine as a pitcher expect that Dunning keeps throwing zeroes. Today, Dunning actually allowed two runs in his six innings of work but each came almost directly from the fact that Robbie Grossman remains one of the worst outfielders I’ve ever seen (and I watched the Rangers try to get away with Mike Napoli playing in the outfield in a season in which they won the division).
Overall Dunning finished with a line of 6 IP, 6 H, 2 R 1 BB, 5 K as he continues to be a bright spot for the Texas pitching staff no matter where he’s needed.
Up Next: The final leg of this West Coast road trip sees the Rangers venture to Oakland for the first time this season. Streaking righty Nathan Eovaldi will pitch for Texas in the opener against a hurler to be named for Oakland.
The Thursday night first pitch from the Oakland Coliseum is scheduled for 8:40 and will air on BS Southwest.