Hunter Pence homered and Adrian Sampson pitched 5 1/3 strong innings in relief as the Texas Rangers defeated the Seattle Mariners 2-1 Wednesday afternoon to complete a sweep of their three-game series in Arlington, Texas.
Sampson (2-3) allowed one run on four hits, with no walks and five strikeouts. Sampson, a right-hander who made his major league debut with the Mariners in 2016, came in for opener Jesse Chavez, who pitched the opening 1 2/3 innings without allowing a run on one hit.
Pence scored both runs for the Rangers, who won their fourth consecutive game.
Pence reached base with two outs in the first inning on a throwing error by Mariners first baseman Edwin Encarnacion, whose toss to Marco Gonzales covering the bag was too far in front of the pitcher. Nomar Mazara then lined a run-scoring double to right field to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead off Gonzalez (5-4).
It stayed that way until the sixth, when Pence hit a one-out homer to left-center field. It was Pence's 10th home run of the season.
The Mariners scored in the seventh. With one out, Jay Bruce blooped a wind-aided double down the left-field line. J.P. Crawford grounded Sampson's next pitch into right field, with Bruce scoring just before the throw from Mazara reached the plate.
Seattle threatened in the eighth against right-hander Ariel Jurado. With two outs, Mitch Haniger lined a single to right field and Daniel Vogelbach walked. Jurado struck out Encarnacion to end the inning.
Right-hander Shawn Kelley earned his fourth save of the season. It was the second consecutive day Kelley closed out a victory after learning that two lumps removed from his throat last week were benign.
Gonzales, a left-hander, lost his fourth consecutive decision since defeating the Rangers on April 25 in Seattle with seven scoreless innings.
In seven innings Wednesday, Gonzales allowed two runs (one earned) on seven hits with one walk and three strikeouts. Gonzales was aided by four double plays by a Seattle defense that has committed an MLB-worst 56 errors. The Mariners turned another double play in the eighth.
--Field Level Media