By STEPHEN HAWKINS
AP Baseball Writer
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Robbie Ray struck out 12 without a walk over 6 2/3 innings, rookie All-Star center fielder Julio Rodríguez hit a grand slam and the Seattle Mariners extended their longest winning streak in more than two decades to 12 games with an 8-3 win over the Texas Rangers on Friday night.
The only time the Mariners had a longer winning streak was their team-record 15 in row in 2001, their last playoff season. Atlanta has the only longer streak in the big leagues this season with 14 consecutive wins last month.
Rodríguez hit his first career slam on a full-count pitch with two outs to straightaway center for his 16th homer, and finished with a career-best five RBIs. His run-scoring single in the fourth put the Mariners ahead 3-0.
Eugenio Suárez doubled and scored Seattle’s first run in the fourth. His sacrifice fly an inning later made it 4-0 before Corey Seager and Leody Taveras homered for the Rangers.
Ray (8-6) allowed three runs, on those two Texas homers, while matching his season high for strikeouts. It was his 15th game since the start of 2021 with at least 10 Ks, tied with Milwaukee’s Corbin Burnes for the most in that span. Ray had 10 such games last season when the lefty won the AL Cy Young Award while pitching for Toronto.
Taylor Hearn (4-6) matched his career high with seven strikeouts over four innings after Matt Bush pitched a scoreless first as an opener. Hearn allowed four runs, two earned, while giving up five hits and walking two.
Seager’s 22nd homer came a day after being added to the American League All-Star team and the Home Run Derby. He will face Rodríguez in the first round of the derby next week at Dodger Stadium, which was Seager’s home his first seven big league seasons before going to Texas in free agency last winter on a $325 million, 10-year contract.
That two-out solo shot in the sixth was Seager’s seventh homer in the past 10 games, and extended his career-best RBI streak to eight games. His career high for homers is 26 in 2016.
Taveras’ two-run homer was his third of the year, and cut the deficit to 4-3 in the seventh. Ray then got another strikeout before giving up a single on his 106th and final pitch.
After Seattle loaded the bases on a single and two walks by reliever A.J Alexy to start the eighth, José Leclerc struck out back-to-back batters, but was unable to get a third strike past Rodríguez.
Mariners: SS J.P. Crawford was out of lineup for the second game in a row since bruising his right index finger during a doubleheader Wednesday at Washington. Manager Scott Servais said the finger only really limits Crawford throwing, and that he could be available to hit. … INF Carlos Santana was placed on the restricted list to deal with a family emergency. INF Kevin Padlo, who turned 26 Friday, was recalled from Triple-A Tacoma.
Rangers: Manager Chris Woodward said reliever Johnathan Hernandez, who had Tommy John surgery 15 months ago, should be close to returning. The right-hander could pitch at some point before next week’s All-Star break.
Mariners right-hander Logan Gilbert (10-3, 2.80 ERA) allowed one earned run over 12 2/3 innings in his previous two starts against the Rangers this year. Texas right-hander Spencer Howard (1-1, 8.04) is 1-3 with a 9.95 ERA in his seven career games (six starts) at Globe Life Field.
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