Seattle has lost three straight to fall to 6-8 in September. The Mariners are 2 1/2 games behind Boston in the AL wild-card race and trail Oakland by 4 1/2 games in the AL West.
The Mariners have 11 games left, all against the AL West.
“It’s time to lay it on the line,” said Seattle’s Bret Boone, who had three hits. “We can’t put our tails between our legs and go home. We’ve got to look into the mirror when this is over. We don’t want to be sliding now, but that’s the reality. We can’t turn back the clock.”
The Mariners are hoping Moyer can get them back on track.
Moyer (18-7) is two wins shy of reaching the 20-win plateau for the second time in his career.
“I’m not quite there yet,” Moyer said. “You can’t get 20 before you get 19.”
The crafty lefty, who went 20-6 in 2001, has been successful against Texas, going 11-3 despite a 5.18 ERA in 27 career appearances, including 25 starts. Moyer has won three of his last four starts and is 6-2 with a 4.39 ERA since the All-Star break.
Seattle’s Gil Meche allowed eight runs and seven hits—four of them homers—in 2 1-3 innings.
STANDINGS: Mariners - 2nd place, 4 1/2 GB, AL West. Rangers - 4th place, 23 1/2 GB, AL West.
MARINERS PROBABLE STARTER: Moyer (18-7, 3.52 ERA). Moyer pitched seven innings, allowing two runs and eight hits, to earn a 7-4 win over Anaheim on Friday.
RANGERS PROBABLE STARTER: Ryan Drese (2-3, 7.64 ERA). Drese is 0-1 with a 15.19 ERA in two starts against Seattle. The 27-year-old righty allowed four runs and four hits in 6 1-3 innings of a 9-3 loss to Oakland on Friday.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Mariners - Ichiro Suzuki, .310 avg., 108 runs and 31 SBs; Boone, 33 HRs and 110 RBIs. Rangers - Blalock, .313 avg.; Rodriguez, 44 HRs, 112 RBIs, 117 runs and 16 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Tied, 9-9.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Mariners - Seattle has lost five of its last seven against Texas. … Seattle has used the same five starters—Moyer, Ryan Franklin, Freddy Garcia, Gil Meche and Joel Pineiro—all season, putting the Mariners on track to match the major league record for fewest number of starters used in a season. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, since 1900 the following teams used only five starters: 1966 Los Angeles (NL), 1904 Boston (AL), 1901 Boston (NL) and 1901 Washington (AL). … LHP Moyer is the second Mariners pitcher after Randy Johnson to win more than 17 games twice. Rangers - SS Rodriguez leads the AL with 117 runs and ranks third with 112 RBIs. … 2B Young has nine hits in his last 14 at bats. … 3B Blalock is 2-for-11 with three strikeouts against Moyer.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Mariners - 39-34 on the road; Rangers - 40-36 at home.
INJURIES: Mariners - INF Greg Colbrunn (wrist), 15-day DL; RHP Rett Johnson (shoulder), 15-day DL; LHP Matt Thornton (elbow), 60-day DL. Rangers - IF Herbert Perry (shoulder), 60-day DL; OF Juan Gonzalez (calf), 60-day DL; OF Rusty Greer (neck), 60-day DL; OF Kevin Mench (wrist), 60-day DL; RHP Chan Ho Park (back), 60-day DL; RHP Ricardo Rodriguez (hip), 60-day DL; RHP Jeff Zimmerman (elbow), 60-day DL.