ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — J.P. Crawford was facing a different situation at the plate for the streaking Seattle Mariners after Sam Haggerty stole third base in the 10th inning.
“Made our jobs a whole lot easier,” Crawford said. “Changed the whole infield. Now a lot of more holes are open, and we have an extra opportunity not to waste an out to try to get him over. Just get him in.”
Crawford got Haggerty in with the tiebreaking run when he chopped a one-out single down the line past first base and the Mariners stretched their winning streak to 13 games with a 3-2 win over the Texas Rangers on Saturday.
Carlos Santana homered as the Mariners (50-42) moved closer to the club-record 15-game winning streak set in their last playoff season in 2001. They have won 21 of their last 24 games overall to take eight series in a row, their most since winning 14 straight sets during that 116-win season 21 years ago.
“Everybody’s just doing their job, pitching in and really keeping a very calm demeanor about them,” manager Scott Servais said. “You’re not always going to get the big hit or get a big shutdown inning. But we’ve been able to do it through the streak, and it has been awesome.”
Seattle would match the longest winning streak in the majors this year with a victory in the series finale Sunday, its final game before the All-Star break. Reigning World Series champion Atlanta won 14 games in a row last month.
Crawford got the hit off Brett Martin (0-5), who was the fifth Texas pitcher and went the last two innings. Haggerty was the automatic runner to start the 10th, coming on as a pinch-runner for Santana, who had an inning-ending groundout in the ninth. Servais said it was Haggerty’s call to steal third.
“He said, ‘Hey Skip, I think I can get to third base on this guy.’ … He’s paying attention the inning before knowing that he might end up in the game,” Servais said. “Don’t play scared. You’ve got to play to win. And that’s what we’re doing.”
Diego Castillo (7-1) faced only three batters in the ninth, benefitting from a double-play liner after walking the leadoff batter. Matthew Festa struck out the side in the 10th for his first career save.
“We had a chance to win the game, we didn’t. We didn’t make baseball plays today. That’s plain and simple,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward said. “I’m not going to get into specifics, but we didn’t play team baseball at the end of the game to win a game.”
Crawford and Santana both returned to the Mariners lineup. Crawford had missed two games because of a bruised right index finger, and Santana was reinstated from the restricted list after being away from the club for a day after a fire at his home in Florida — his family wasn’t there at the time.
“I was definitely playing today no matter what,” Crawford said. “It felt good to pick up the boys.”
Ty France, who had three more hits to raise his batting average to .306, singled in the third before Santana hit his eighth homer of the season to put the Mariners up 2-1. France had a one-out double in the ninth, but his pinch-runner got stranded on base.
Nathaniel Lowe led off the Texas second with a double and scored on a single by Jonah Heim. The Rangers tied the game in the seventh after a leadoff double by Leody Taveras before Elier Hernandez singled to get his first career RBI. Taveras has hit .593 (16 of 27) with six doubles in a seven-game hitting streak.
It was Seattle’s seventh one-run win during its current streak. The Mariners’ 21 one-run wins overall are tied with Toronto for the most in the majors. The Rangers are tied for the major league lead with 20 one-run losses. … All-Star SS Corey Seager had his first triple with the Rangers, but saw the end of his career-best RBI streak at eight games.
Right-hander Logan Gilbert, trying to become the first Mariners starter since Félix Hernández in 2015 to win 11 games before the All-Star break, struck out four without a walk and allowed one run over five innings. Rangers starter Spencer Howard struck out three and walked five, one intentionally, pitching into the sixth. The only runs he allowed were on Santana’s homer.
Rangers: RHP Johnathan Hernandez was activated from the 60-day injured list and pitched a scoreless seventh with one strikeout. He missed all of 2021 recovering from Tommy John surgery. RHP A.J. Alexy was sent to Triple-A Round Rock.
RHP Chris Flexen (6-8, 3.84 ERA), who is 4-0 with a 2.53 ERA in five career starts against Texas, takes the mound for the Mariners in the final game before the All-Star break. Rangers rookie RHP Glenn Otto (4-5, 5.50) has given up no more than two runs in eight of his 12 starts overall, but has allowed 10 earned runs his last two home starts.
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