The Rangers look to record a fifth straight road victory by handing the reeling Mariners a ninth consecutive defeat Sunday.
David Murphy had three RBIs and two of Texas' 13 hits, and Derek Holland threw 6 2-3 strong innings in Saturday's 5-2 win at Seattle. Winners in 15 of 21 overall, the Rangers (32-17) have batted .299 and hit 19 home runs while winning eight of nine away from home.
They own a 37-10 scoring advantage during their five-game winning streak over the Mariners.
"It's great to get a series win, but we hope to get the sweep (Sunday)," Murphy said.
"(On Saturday) things were definitely clicking a little bit. They've definitely been clicking a little bit more the last week or two and hopefully that trend continues."
Seattle (20-29), meanwhile, has been outscored 60-23 while in the midst of its worst skid since it dropped 17 straight July 6-26, 2011."This is where you've got to be tough. You've got to stay determined, stay persistent, keep coming to the ballpark and knocking on that wall," manager Eric Wedge said.
The Rangers scored all their runs and recorded 11 hits against Seattle ace Felix Hernandez on Saturday.
Though Murphy is batting .229 on the season, he is 8 for 21 (.381) with 11 RBIs in the last six games.
"I've had some success over the last week or two but I still can't quite say I felt like myself," he said.
Murphy is 5 for 12 (.417) with two doubles and a home run against scheduled Seattle starter Hisashi Iwakuma (5-1, 2.37 ERA).
The right-hander is 2-2 with a 3.73 ERA against the Rangers, with both wins coming in his last two starts. He gave up a home run and two other hits in 6 2-3 innings of a 3-1 victory over Texas on April 12.
Iwakuma allowed five earned runs in a four-start span before Monday, when he gave up a season-high five in six innings while not factoring in the decision of a 10-8 loss at Cleveland.
Four of those runs came on two homers in the second inning.
The Rangers counter with Nick Tepesch (3-4, 3.98), who returns to the mound after he was scratched from his scheduled start Wednesday because of a blister on the middle finger of his throwing hand.
"It's getting there," Tepesch told the Rangers' official website Friday. "I didn't feel it in the bullpen at all. It's getting close to where it needs to be."
The rookie right-hander has allowed three runs in 11 innings while splitting his last two starts after giving up 11 over 10 2-3 frames to drop the previous two. He yielded two in five innings of a 2-1 win over Detroit on May 17.
Tepesch went 0-1 with a 4.91 ERA when he made back-to-back starts versus Seattle in April. In his most recent April 20, he left in the second inning after being hit by a line drive above the right wrist.
Kendrys Morales delivered a two-run double Saturday for the Mariners, who managed five hits off four Texas pitchers. The veteran slugger has been one of the team's few bright spots, batting .342 with 14 RBIs in his last 20 games.
Teammate Michael Saunders is 3 for 34 in his last nine to drop his average from .278 to .221.
Seattle first baseman Justin Smoak is likely to sit out after he suffered an oblique strain checking his swing during an at-bat early in Saturday's game. He will be re-evaluated before the series finale.
|May 18, 2013||Ian Kinsler||15-Day DL||Right intercostal strain|
|May 16, 2013||Alexi Ogando||15-Day DL||Right biceps tendinitis|
|May 06, 2013||A.J. Pierzynski||15-Day DL||Strained right oblique|
|May 06, 2013||A.J. Pierzynski||15-Day DL||Strained right oblique|
|April 20, 2013||Nick Tepesch||Day-to-Day||Left game - right arm bruise|
|April 11, 2013||Justin Miller||60-Day DL||Recovery from right elbow surgery|
|May 16, 2013||Aaron Harang||Day-to-Day||Lower back stiffness|
|April 23, 2013||Franklin Gutierrez||15-Day DL||Strained right hamstring|
|April 22, 2013||Franklin Gutierrez||Day-to-Day||Torn right hamstring|
|April 15, 2013||Stephen Pryor||60-Day DL||Torn right lat muscle|
|April 12, 2013||Michael Morse||Day-to-Day||Fractured finger|
|April 11, 2013||Michael Saunders||15-Day DL||Sprained right shoulder|
SEATTLE (AP) -- The Seattle Mariners had several heartbreaking losses during their eight-game losing streak.
They ended it with an uplifting win in their last at-bat.
Jason Bay hit a two-out RBI single in the 13th inning, lifting the Mariners to a 4-3 victory Sunday over the Texas Rangers .
"It feels great. Not just for me but for everybody. That was a big sigh of relief for a lot of people," Bay said.
The Mariners had been on the losing end of three walkoff victories by the Cleveland Indians in four games and were facing an extra-inning loss after A.J. Pierzynski had given the Rangers a 3-2 lead in the top of the 11th inning with an RBI single.
But Raul Ibanez hit a solo home run off Rangers closer Joe Nathan to keep the game going and Bay came through in the 13th after he was denied a chance to win it in the 11th, when David Murphy leaped above the fence in left-center field to catch Bay's drive.
Yoervis Medina (1-0) worked out of a jam in the 13th inning to keep the game tied.
Kendrys Morales doubled and advanced to third on a groundout by Carlos Triunfel . Bay didn't miss his second opportunity as he singled to left off Rangers reliever Michael Kirkman (0-1) to score Triunfel from third and hand the Mariners a much-needed victory.
The Mariners had moved within a game of .500 after taking two of three from the New York Yankees . Then three losses in the last inning in Cleveland started the eight-game skid.
"We've got a good group of guys out there. They're grinding. They're fighting. They're not giving into it. A lot of breaks have gone against us this week," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. "We've got guys that are working to try to get to where they need to get to help us win ballgames. We've got a lot going on out there right now but a great win for us."
Jurickson Profar hit a leadoff home run off Mariners starter Hisashi Iwakuma . Texas scored again in the second after hits by Nelson Cruz and Mitch Moreland put runners in scoring positions. Leonys Martin drove in Cruz on a sacrifice fly to give the Rangers a 2-0 lead.
The Mariners left a pair of runners stranded in both the fourth and fifth innings before finally breaking through against Nick Tepesch in the sixth. Kyle Seager doubled down the right field line and Morales homered to knot the game at 2.
Tepesch went 5 2-3 innings for Texas, allowing just five hits and two runs. He walked one and struck out six.
The Rangers fumbled an opportunity to possibly retake the lead in the seventh inning. After a leadoff double from Adrian Beltre , Cruz struck out swinging at a ball in the dirt. Beltre was caught between second and third base as the ball bounced away from Mariners catcher Jesus Sucre . Cruz tried to take first base on the play but collided with Sucre and was ruled out. Sucre then ran down Beltre and he was called out for running out of the baseline.
"Any time you lose - especially when you go to extra innings - it's difficult but they took it from us," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "We had our chance. They took it back and they finally took it from us."
Pierzynski delivered a pinch-hit RBI single in the 11th inning off Seattle Mariners reliever Oliver Perez to give the Rangers a 3-2 lead.
Ibanez homered off Nathan into the right field seats to even the game at 3-all in the bottom half. It was the first blown save of the year for Nathan. He had been 9 for 9 in save opportunities this season.
"If you throw it into the zone, then he is pretty good at hitting it," Nathan said. "He doesn't miss it too often when you put it there."
Iwakuma had another strong outing for Seattle. He allowed two runs and two hits over eight innings. He struck out eight.
NOTES: Profar is the youngest player to hit a leadoff homerun (20 years, 95 days) since Lou Klimchock (18 years, 348 days) of the Kansas City Athletics homered on Sept. 28, 1958, against the Chicago White Sox. ... Nathan had his streak of 36 consecutive saves on the road snapped with Ibanez's tying home run in the 11th inning. Nathan had converted all 31 save opportunities on the road since joining the Rangers last year. ... Mariners 1B Justin Smoak is day to day after straining an oblique Saturday night. Morales started in his place. Michael Morse also is expected to see time at first base in Smoak's absence. ... Rangers manager Ron Washington said Neal Cotts will unable to pitch and Nathan and Tanner Scheppers likely won't be available for the Rangers doubleheader against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday.