Mike Minor was tired of talking about all the speculation over the last few weeks that he was going to be traded by the Rangers. With that distraction over and the All-Star lefty still in Texas, he can focus on fixing some mechanical issues.
Minor won for the first time in more than a month, with the Rangers going ahead to stay after he had thrown the last of his 103 pitches in a 9-7 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday night, hours after the trade deadline passed.
“I felt pretty bad out there. Just mechanical, I feel lost,” said Minor, signed with Texas through 2020. “I’ll be all right. I’ll get through it.”
The Rangers trailed 5-3 when Minor (9-6) left the mound after the top of the fifth. But Willie Calhoun’s three-run homer in the bottom of the inning put them in front before Texas went to the bullpen.
“He was a warrior today, honestly. He didn’t really have command of much,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward said. “It worked out the way I was hoping it would work out, where he kind of had to battle, and going out there for the fifth and getting the three-up, three-down and giving our offense a chance.”
Austin Nola and Keon Broxton homered for the Mariners, who saw the end of a six-game winning streak that had matched their longest of the season.
Minor’s scheduled turn in the rotation was Tuesday, but the Rangers pushed that back a day to get past the trade deadline. He had five strikeouts but matched a season high in allowing 11 baserunners (seven hits, three walks and a hit batter). Minor was 0-2 with a 6.04 ERA in his previous four starts since his last win June 26.
Jesse Chavez, the fourth Texas reliever, worked the ninth for his first save this season.
Wade LeBlanc (6-4) was gone after 4 1/3 innings, leaving a batter after allowing the homer to Calhoun that just cleared the 8-foot wall in the right field corner.
“There’s no finish, there’s no life on the pitches, which is really frustrating,” LeBlanc said.
LeBlanc had entered after an opener in nine of his previous 10 appearances, but started this game after the Mariners traded relievers Roenis Elías and Hunter Strickland to the Washington Nationals earlier in the day.
Seattle loaded the bases with no outs in the fourth before leadoff hitter Mallex Smith’s high infield chopper just over Minor’s outstretched glove for an RBI infield single. J.P. Crawford followed with a two-run single.
Calhoun’s seventh homer came with two outs, after Danny Santana hit his third single of the game and Hunter Pence doubled.
“You’ve got to score runs in this ballpark,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “Did a good job getting the pitch count up on Minor and getting him out of there, but you still look up he ends up with a win.”
Shin-Soo Choo had a two-out solo homer, his 18th, for a 3-2 Texas lead in the second.
Pence, who was elected by fans as the American League’s starting DH but couldn’t play in the All-Star Game because of a right groin strain, had an RBI single in the first and finished with three hits. The Rangers had trade offers for Pence until the final minutes before the deadline.
The Rangers said after the final out that 3B Asdrúbal Cabrera, signed during the offseason after 3B Adrian Beltre retired, and C Tim Federowicz will be designated for assignment before their next game. C Jose Trevino and C-INF Isiah Kiner-Falefa will be recalled before Friday’s series opener against Detroit. Kiner-Falefa will see a majority of his time at third base.
The Rangers went ahead 9-5 in the seventh when Logan Forsythe hit a two-run single and eventually scored on an error. Broxton’s homer was a two-run shot in the eighth, in his second game for Seattle since being claimed off waivers from Baltimore on Saturday.
Mariners: LF Tim Beckham exited after the first inning because of oblique tightness and will be re-evaluated Thursday. … RHP Félix Hernández is scheduled to make a rehab start Friday night for the Everett AquaSox, the short-season Class A team for which the 2010 AL Cy Young Award winner started his pro career in 2003 when he was only 17. He has been out since May 12 because of a right shoulder strain.
Rangers: All-Star slugger Joey Gallo is at least two or three weeks from swinging a bat after surgery to remove the hamate bone from his right wrist. The outfielder had surgery last Thursday. Gallo, who has 22 homers in 70 games this season, said the wrist had been bothering him for about two months.
Mariners: After a day off, the Mariners open a three-game series at AL West-leading Houston on Friday night.
Rangers: RHP Lance Lynn looks to match the major league lead with his 14th victory when Texas plays at home Friday night against the Tigers.
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