Even with the AL West title wrapped up, the Texas Rangers hope to add to their momentum heading into the postseason.
The Rangers have a chance to do that against the lowly Seattle Mariners when they return home Monday night for the first time since clinching their first postseason berth in 11 years.
A day after beating Oakland 4-3 to secure its first division title since 1999, Texas (87-68) won its third straight over the Athletics, 16-9 on Sunday.
“We’re going win as many games as we can, get some guys some rest and get ready for the playoffs,” manager Ron Washington told the Rangers’ official website.
With some of the regular Rangers expected to sit this week, rookie outfielder Mitch Moreland(notes) could have a chance to play his way onto the postseason roster. He helped his case by going 3 for 6 with two homers and five RBIs on Sunday.
“I’m just happy to be here,” said Moreland, who was 4 for 25 with 11 strikeouts over his previous eight games. “I just want to enjoy this incredible season with this group of guys. If they need me for the postseason, I’ll be ready.”
“I think we’ve all been pressing a little bit,” Moreland said. “It was easier to relax after we had everything wrapped up.”
The Rangers are 11-5 against the Mariners (59-96) this season, and have outscored them 31-6 during a three-game home winning streak.
After giving up two runs in eight innings of a 2-1 loss at Seattle on Sept. 17, Wilson allowed one and three hits in six innings of a 2-1, 12-inning win over the Angels on Wednesday.
Despite the win, Seattle’s 24-54 road mark is the worst in the AL. Suzuki is 12 for 27 while the Mariners have gone 2-4 on their final nine-game trip, but is batting .214 at Texas this season.
Pauley (3-8, 4.06) has allowed two runs and six hits in six innings in each of his last two starts, the latest coming in a 6-3 win at Toronto on Wednesday.
The right-hander is making his first start against the Rangers since giving up six runs and 12 hits in five innings of a 13-6 loss with Boston on June 11, 2006.