SEATTLE — The line drive off the bat of the Seatle Mariners‘ Jean Segura was estimated at 101 mph. As much as Texas Rangers starter Bartolo Colon tried to get his glove up and shift his body, there was no way he could avoid being struck.
After Colon picked up the loose ball and threw Segura out at first base, he laughed as the Rangers staff rushed to check on him.
“The important thing is we won the game and I was able to get the out,” Colon said through an interpreter. “He got me on the side. It was not in the middle. And I have a big belly, so I can [handle] it.”
All kidding aside, Colon put together arguably his best performance of the season Wednesday, allowing four hits in 7⅔ shutout innings and helping the Rangers get a 5-1 win over the Mariners. On the cusp of his 45th birthday, Colon (2-1) was excellent in spotting his fastball and using his breaking pitches to keep Seattle off balance, one night after the Mariners scored nine runs.
“Everything was working. My curve, my fastball, my slider — everything was working,” Colon said.
It was the second time this season he pitched into the eighth inning, the previous time against the Houston Astros when he was perfect through seven innings.
Colon struck out three and threw 71 of 96 pitches for strikes on Wednesday.
“It’s unbelievable. He’s not tricking you. He just executes and gets the job done,” Seattle’s Kyle Seager said.
Offense was scarce for both teams. The Rangers took advantage of two key mistakes by Seattle in the ninth inning to earn a split of the two-game series.
Delino DeShields gave Texas the lead with a two-out RBI double in the eighth inning that scored Isiah Kiner-Falefa. The Rangers added four more in the ninth, all after Ryon Healy‘s two-out error with two runs scoring on a wacky strikeout.
Healy’s error allowed Rougned Odor to reach, which loaded the bases. Then Ronald Guzman struck out swinging with the bases loaded and two outs, but catcher David Freitas couldn’t handle the pitch from Marc Rzepczynski. Jurickson Profar scored from third on the passed ball and Kiner-Falefa from second, after Freitas made an unnecessary throw trying to get Guzman at first base.
The Rangers added two more runs — one due to the hustle of Shin-Soo Choo reaching on an infield hit — to cap the sloppy inning by Seattle.
“I threw a slider and [Freitas] was thinking fastball. I’ll just say that. We got crossed up and it ended up getting by him and cost us two runs,” Rzepczynski said.
Seager’s homer in the ninth was the extent of Seattle’s offense. The Mariners threatened in the eighth after Colon was lifted, but Jose Leclerc got Segura to pop out on the first pitch with runners on second and third.
Seattle starter Christian Bergman didn’t allow a hit until Kiner-Falefa reached on an infielder grounder in the fifth inning. Bergman allowed two hits in seven shutout innings while making a spot start after being recalled from Triple-A. He was lifted to start the eighth inning after striking out five and throwing 90 pitches.
James Pazos (1-1) was tagged with the loss after giving up two hits opening the eighth. It was his first run allowed since April 7.
Seattle manager Scott Servais said there’s a chance Dee Gordon could be moved to second base sometime this weekend. Gordon played center field again Wednesday but did pregame work for a second straight day at his old position.
To clear a spot for Bergman on the 25-man roster, right-handed reliever Erik Goeddel was designated for assignment by the Mariners. He is out of minor league options.
Rangers: Elvis Andrus will join the team in Chicago and might be able to resume baseball activities such as fielding and playing catch. Andrus has been out since breaking his right elbow on April 12.
Mariners: Nelson Cruz was sore a day after getting hit by a pitch on his right foot and leaving a game early. Servais expects it will be a few days before Cruz is back in the lineup but doesn’t believe a DL stint is needed.
Mariners: LHP Marco Gonzales (3-3) makes his ninth start of the season as the Mariners open a series against Detroit. Gonzales has thrown six innings in each of his past four starts, but he took the loss in his last outing, also against the Tigers.