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Beltre shines as Rangers top M’s 8-3 in rain-shortened game

September 22, 2018
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Texas Rangers Adrian Beltre, center, is congratulated by Hanser Alberto (2) and Jurickson Profar, after hitting a three-run home run against the Seattle Mariners during the first inning of a baseball game Friday, Sept. 21, 2018, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Mike Stone)

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Adrian Beltre’s excitement over a three-run homer, season-high five RBIs and Texas’ 8-3 victory over the Seattle Mariners in a rain-shortened game Friday night was muted hours after the Rangers fired manager Jeff Banister.

“Weird day. Lot of stuff going on. Lot of rain,” said Beltre, who passed Stan Musial and Willie Stargell with his 476th career home run and passed Reggie Jackson and Jim Thome in career RBIs with 1,703. “But we survived this day.”

The game was halted with two outs in the top of the seventh inning and called after a rain delay of 1:09.

The Rangers won their first game under interim manager Don Wakamatsu, who will finish out the season. Texas is 65-88 and has been in last place since April 9.

“It’s nice to get the first one for him,” Beltre said.

“There’s no mystery why he’s at where he’s at,” Wakamatsu said of Beltre, now ranks 22nd in career RBIs and 30th in career homers. “It’s a special player that comes along once in a lifetime.”

The loss moved the Mariners closer to elimination in the American League wild-card race. They began the night 7½ games behind the Oakland A’s for the second spot with nine games to play. Seattle hasn’t qualified for the postseason since 2001.

Beltre’s RBIs came with two outs. He homered to the opposite field on a 0-1 pitch off right-hander Erasmo Ramirez (2-4), driving in Shin-Soo Choo and Elvis Andrus. Seven of Beltre’s 14 homers this season have come in September.

In the third inning, Beltre sliced a single down the right-field line that scored Choo and Jurickson Profar and chased Ramirez.

The Rangers used an “opener” for the fifth time this season; right-hander Connor Sadzeck pitching a scoreless first inning. Right-hander Ariel Jurado (4-5) followed an “opener” for the fourth consecutive time, allowing two runs in five innings on the way to the win.

Profar came all the way around to score on a fourth-inning bloop into shallow right field that eluded a diving Ben Gamel. Gamel’s throw toward second base skipped all the way into the photographer’s well next to Seattle’s dugout, and Profar was awarded two bases.

“I think the wind played a factor,” manager Scott Servais said.

Banister, hired before the 2015 season, had a record of 325-313 and led Texas to AL West titles in 2015-16 before the franchise’s first back-to-back losing seasons since 2005-08.

LET’S PLAY TWO - MORE?

Mariners LHP James Paxton threw another bullpen session Friday afternoon — amid pouring rain — in hopes of pitching twice during the season’s final week. He hasn’t pitched since Sept. 7 while recovering from influenza and pneumonia.

“I feel good. I feel much better,” said Paxton (11-6, 3.83 ERA). “I have quite a bit of my strength back.”

PICKING UP WHERE HE LEFT OFF

Rangers OF Joey Gallo returned to the lineup after missing three games with a sore small toe on his right foot and hit his 38th homer, his third in four games. It was the left-handed hitter’s 15th off left-handed pitching, tying a club record set by Rafael Palmeiro in 2003.

SHORT HOPS

Wakamatsu managed the Mariners in 2009 and most of the 2010 season. He was on Texas’ coaching staff 2003-07 and interviewed for the Rangers’ managerial position when Ron Washington was hired following the 2006 season. ... Mitch Haniger singled and has hit safely in 41 of 47 games. ... Rangers “openers” have pitched eight scoreless innings in their five appearances.

UP NEXT

Mariners LHP Marco Gonzalez (12-9, 4.28) has four losses and two no-decisions since winning on July 29.

Rangers LHP Mike Minor (12-7, 4.14) will try to equal his career high in wins, set in 2013 with Atlanta.

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