The Rangers roll into Seattle this evening after a disastrous start to their second half. Going into the All-Star Break they were in legitimate contention for a Wild Card spot. After taking the first two games after the break against the Astros, the Rangers have lost every game since and now sport a 7-game losing streak and find themselves 6.5 games out in the Wild Card race. The Rangers have had their troubles on the road with a 19-28 away record this season. Only 3 of their post-break losses came on the road and they’ve got a full week of travelling to take on division rivals starting with this 3-game series against the Mariners.
The Rangers are still ostensibly buyers at the trade deadline, so hug watch will be in effect for their dugout.
The Mariners haven’t done much better since the break, winning only Mike Leake’s near perfecto on Friday night. Depending on your mileage, this series is ripe for rooting for the Mariners to take advantage of the flailing Rangers and grab a few Ws, or for the Rangers to rally following a team meeting after Sunday’s loss and hand the Mariners another 3 games for the loss column in the 2020 top draft pick race. The Mariners are currently in 6th place, 1.5 games behind Toronto.
Marco Gonzales is back on the mound for the Mariners. His last start was less than ideal. A horrendous blown call by home plate umpire Brian O’Nora led to back-to-back Athletics home runs and a loss for the Mariners and Marco.
Seattle-area native and erstwhile Mariner Adrian Sampson gets the start for the Rangers. This is his first start since July 5th. In the interim he has been pitching out of the bullpen. He was originally scheduled to start tomorrow, but Joe Palumbo’s injury on Friday moved him up a day. He has struggled a bit in his 12 traditional starts, posting a 5.89 ERA and a 1.55 WHIP. He was more effective in 3 starts this season following an opener, but there will be no opener tonight.
Daniel Vogelbach is back in the lineup for the Mariners following a scheduled day off yesterday. He has been dealing with a sore left shoulder.
RHP Matt Magill, acquired from the Twins yesterday, has joined the team. In a corresponding move, RHP Matt Festa has been optioned to Triple-A Tacoma following the game yesterday.
Game Time: 7:10 PDT
Television: Root Sports Northwest
Radio: 710 ESPN Seattle, MLB At Bat