Usually during the grinding marathon that is the 162-game Major League Baseball season, a team or a player can erase the frustration of a poor performance the next day.
With a game almost every day, it represents the opportunity for a reset or redemption from all that has gone wrong in the days and games prior.
But thanks to the required day off for teams traveling through two time zones, the Mariners didn’t get a chance to atone for their forgettable performance on Wednesday when they were held hitless by Baltimore’s John Means.
But after 14 games in 14 days, an off-day, even if some of it was spent stewing on being no-hit, was still beneficial for an offense that produced a .185/.266/.349 slash line with only 53 runs, 82 hits and 133 strikeouts over that span.
With a slight tweak to their usual batting order, the Mariners, at least for one game, found the offense that was missing for that two-week stretch in a 5-4 win over the Texas Rangers, Friday evening at Rangers Ballpark.
With Ty France in a slump and the No. 5 spot in the batting order giving Seattle less production than most team’s No. 8 spots, manager Scott Servais decided to move him out of his usual No. 2 spot in the order. France swapped spots with normal cleanup hitter Kyle Lewis moving to the No. 2 spot. Servais also moved J.P. Crawford, who has spent most of the season batting in the No. 9 spot or near it, to the No. 5 spot.
Lewis put together a three-hit night, France snapped an 0-for-24 stretch with a key double and Crawford had his best game of the season, tallying three hits, including his first homer of the season — a big two-run blast — and scoring three runs.
Obviously, the lineup change wasn’t the only reason for the renewed run production, the Mariners benefited from facing a pitcher — right-hanger Mike Foltynewicz — who came into the game with opponents posting a .271/.317/.558 slash line against him while giving up a MLB-high nine homers in 33 1/3 innings.
The Mariners tacked on two more homers to his total for the four runs scored off him.
After Mariners starter Chris Flexen gave up two runs in the first inning, the Mariners answered in the top of the second. Crawford looped a single into center to start the inning and watched Dylan Moore hit a deep homer to left-center that tied the game at 2-2. It was Moore’s third homer of the season.
In the fourth inning with the Mariners trailing 4-2, Crawford tied the game with his two-run homer just inside the foul pole in right field.
The Mariners took the lead for good in the seventh with a bit of luck. Taylor Trammell’s two-out blooper to left field bounced just inside the line for a hustle double. Mitch Haniger followed with a single up the middle for the game-winning RBI.