ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Jon Gray pitched two-hit ball over seven innings to win his fifth consecutive start, Marcus Semien scored the game’s first run after extending his major league-best hitting streak to 21 games and the AL West-leading Texas Rangers beat the Seattle Mariners 2-0 on Friday night.
Gray (6-1) struck out five and walked one to win a duel against Luis Castillo (4-3) that took only 2 hours, 5 minutes.
Castillo limited the Rangers to one run over seven innings with six strikeouts and one walk. Texas entered averaging an MLB-best 6.29 runs per game and had scored 11 runs in each of its previous two home games — though those were before a 6-3 trip with series wins in Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Detroit.
Grant Anderson, who made his big league debut Tuesday for Texas with seven strikeouts over 2 2/3 innings at Detroit, worked a scoreless eighth with one strikeout. Will Smith worked a perfect ninth for his 10th save in 11 chances, wrapping up the Rangers’ sixth shutout.
Seattle was shut out for the fourth time.
Castillo had thrown 12 scoreless innings over his last two outings and extended that streak to 17 before Texas got to him in the sixth. Semien had a leadoff single, moved to third on Corey Seager’s single and scored on Nathaniel Lowe’s sacrifice fly. The 21-game hitting streak is the longest of Semien’s career.
The Rangers didn’t have a hit until back-to-back singles by Robbie Grossman and Travis Jankowski in the fifth.
Texas added a run in the eighth on Corey Seager’s RBI double against reliever Matt Brassh.
Teoscar Hernández led off the Mariners third with their first hit, a bloop down the right-field line, and was thrown out by several steps trying to stretch that to a double. It was the MLB-leading ninth outfield assist for right fielder Adolis Garcia, and his fourth in his last nine games in the field.
That same inning ended when No. 9 batter José Caballero was hit by a pitch, and then Gray picked off the rookie at first.
Gray was 4-0 with a 1.95 in May, when the Rangers won all five of his starts.
Mariners: LHP Marco Gonzales remained in Seattle for tests on his left forearm and will not make his scheduled start Saturday. He felt discomfort during his last start Sunday and in a bullpen session this week.
Rangers: C Mitch Garver was activated from the 10-day injured list after missing 47 games since April 8 because of a left knee sprain. He wasn’t in the lineup for his first game back.
Right-hander Bryan Woo will make his big league debut for the Mariners, pitching in the spot of Gonzales. The 23-year-old Woo, a sixth-round draft pick in 2021, was 3-2 with a 2.33 ERA and 32 strikeouts in five starts for Double-A Arkansas. Texas lefty Andrew Heaney (4-3, 3.76) is 2-0 with a 0.95 ERA his last three starts.
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