Rangers, Mariners About to Get Really Familiar

The Rangers and Mariners are tied for first place in the AL West a third of the way through the season, and on Friday they begin a pivotal stretch in which they'll meet six times over the next 10 days.

So get ready for some fun June baseball.

The teams have met six times already this year — three in Arlington and three in Seattle — with the road team winning each series. In fact, the Mariners are the only team to win a series from the Rangers in Arlington this year.

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But there's more than that to it. There's plenty of familiarity between the clubs.

Nelson Cruz is the biggest bat in the Mariners lineup after being the same for years in Texas. Leonys Martin, who could return from the DL for next weekend's series in Seattle, came up with the Rangers and was sent away after the Rangers basically gave up on him this winter. Now, he's in the midst of a career season.

Mariners manager Scott Servais is a former Rangers executive and is in his first year as a big-league manager and has already had one verbal shouting match with Jeff Banister in the season's opening series. Tim Bogar, who was the interim manager when Ron Washington resigned in 2014, is Servais' bench coach.

After next week, the teams will be through 12 of their 19 regular-season meetings and we'll have a better idea of where each team stands in the division.

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