Gonzales looks to rebound when Mariners face Rangers

Field Level Media

When Marco Gonzales last faced the Texas Rangers on April 25, he threw seven scoreless innings and tied a career-high with nine strikeouts.

With that victory, the left-hander improved to 5-0 and become the first Seattle Mariners pitcher in history to win five games by the end of April.

Things haven't been the same for Gonzales since.

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In his past four starts, Gonzales is 0-3 with a 5.94 ERA. He'll try to get back on the right track when the teams conclude a three-game series Wednesday afternoon in Arlington, Texas.

Gonzales (5-3, 3.65 ERA) is scheduled to start opposite Rangers right-hander Jesse Chavez (0-1, 5.25 ERA), who is expected to make a brief appearance ahead of right-hander Adrian Sampson (1-3, 4.79), who began his career with Seattle.

Gonzales is 4-1 with a 2.60 ERA in six career starts against Texas; Chavez is 1-7 with a 5.32 ERA in 23 career appearances, nine starts, against the Mariners, while Sampson is 0-1 with a 2.35 ERA in two appearances, one start, against the Mariners.

Gonzales allowed a season-high five earned runs in his last start, a 7-1 loss Friday to visiting Minnesota.

"We have a lot of baseball to play," Gonzales said after the game. "I'm not looking at April's success vs. May's success. I'm looking at the next start and how I can get better at that one."

Gonzales opened with two scoreless innings before allowing six runs over the next three.

"I think they strung a couple hits together, timely hits," Gonzales said. "Other than that, some ground balls that found some holes. But I felt like overall maybe them making some adjustments, being a little more aggressive early in the count and leaving some pitches up in the zone I think was a deadly combination there."

Mariners manager Scott Servais thought Gonzales "threw the ball OK."

"They got some hits," Servais said. "The one inning had the couple ground ball hits, the check swing blooper. They did situationally hit. They got some big hits with guys on base."

The Rangers have been swinging the bats well, scoring 20 runs in their three-game winning streak that has gotten them back to .500 and put them in second place in the American League West.

The Rangers held on for a 10-9 victory in the series opener against Seattle and won 5-3 Tuesday night as Lance Lynn pitched seven strong innings and Shawn Kelley, activated from the 10-day injured list, earned the save hours after learning that two lumps removed from his throat last week were benign.

"I'd be lying to you if I didn't say there weren't thoughts over the last few weeks of, 'Will I play again?'" said Kelley, 35. "It was really fun to be out there and just be in a situation to help the guys."

Rangers manager Chris Woodward had told Kelley he would pitch either the eighth or ninth inning.

"It was awesome to have Kelley back out there," Woodward said.

Rangers outfielder Willie Calhoun left Tuesday's game after six innings with tightness in his left quadriceps muscle. Woodward said Calhoun would undergo an MRI on Wednesday morning to determine the extent of the injury.

--Field Level Media

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