Joe Barlow was itching to get back into a game as quickly as possible after his first blown save this season. The Texas Rangers closer didn’t even have to wait a full day.
Adolis Garcia hit a three-run homer, rookie Glenn Otto won his third start in a row despite some erratic control Saturday and Barlow rebounded with a perfect ninth inning as the Rangers beat the Seattle Mariners 3-2 — less than 20 hours after the young closer entered the series opener with that same score before giving up a two-run homer.
“Rarely do you get that opportunity. Sometimes you have to wait around for four or five days,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward said. “I had zero thoughts of not putting him in there. ... Honestly, it was like the easiest call in the world.”
Woodward said he had talked earlier in the day with some of his staff about Barlow’s mentality, and the work he puts in on the mental side to handle tough moments to be able to succeed and bounce back.
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“I think just like yesterday, having a rough day, being able to stay easy, not try to get too high or too low,” Barlow said. “It makes it easy to rebound. ... Like today, I don’t have to try to fight the emotions back down, I just try to stay kind on an even keel.”
Otto (4-2) allowed only two hits over five innings. But the right-hander walked five and hit a batter in the first four innings when the Mariners didn’t get any of those runners home. Their runs came when Jesse Winker hit a two-run homer in the fifth, a 446-foot blast pulled into the right-center seats right after No. 9 batter Cal Raleigh’s one-out single for their first hit.
“Not enough offensively in a winnable game,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said.
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After three other Texas relievers worked scoreless innings, Barlow got his 10th save in 11 chances this season. He had converted 17 chances in a row overall before Eugenio Suárez hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning of the series opener Friday night to give the Mariners a 4-3 win.
The Rangers didn’t have a base runner against Marco Gonzales (3-6) until Marcus Semien led off the fourth with a single grounded through the right side left open by shifted infielders. On the first pitch after Mitch Garver’s one-out walk, Garcia went deep for a 3-0 lead with his ninth homer.
Gonzalez, in his 18th career start against Texas, struck out five and allowed three runs and five hits over seven innings. He said the homer came on a changeup that cut back over the middle of the plate.
“I made the mistake to Adolis, who unfortunately clipped me with guys on base. And that’s how it goes,” Gonzalez said. “But other than I thought we really had a good game plan against those guys and executed really well and kept them off base paths, kept them off balance pretty much the entire day.”
Mariners: Servais said OF Kyle Lewis is still experiencing some concussion symptoms a week after getting hit by a pitch that went off his shoulder and then helmet. Lewis could come off the 7-day concussion IL as early as Sunday, but Servais said he is still resting and not expected back any earlier than next weekend after the Mariners return home. ... Servais said reliever Ken Giles (right middle finger) still has “got a few more outings ahead of him” in his rehab before his season debut. ... RF Mitch Haniger (high right ankle sprain), who has been out since end of April, has started slowly doing some baseball activity.
Rangers: 3B Josh Smith was put on the 10-day IL with a left AC joint sprain in his shoulder, and received an injection from team physician Dr. Keith Meister. Smith, who had reached base safely in 10 of his 17 plate appearances since his MLB debut Monday, hurt his shoulder diving for a ball on the infield Friday night.
ANOTHER MLB DEBUT
Smith was replaced in the lineup by Ezequiel Duran, who was called up from Double-A Frisco for his big league debut. He went 0 for 3 at the plate and had a fielding error on his first chance at third base above the Double-A level. Smith, Duran and Otto all came to the Rangers from the Yankees last July in at trade that sent slugger Joey Gallo to New York.
Rangers LHP Martin Perez (4-2, MLB-best 1.42 ERA) makes his first start since being named the AL pitcher of the month for May. He has pitched at least six innings without allowing more than one earned run in eight consecutive starts, a club record. He hasn’t allowed a homer this season. Mariners rookie right-hander George Kirby (1-1, 3.46) got his first MLB victory with six scoreless innings against Tuesday at Baltimore.