Mariners’ late slide continues with 5-0 loss to Rangers

SEATTLE (AP) — Top contender Josh Jung hit two home runs and finished with five RBIs, and the Seattle Mariners continued to crumble in their quest for a postseason berth in a 5-0 loss to the Texas Rangers on Tuesday night.

Despite the loss, the Mariners came closer to ending baseball’s longest playoff drought thanks to Boston’s win over Baltimore. The Orioles’ loss left them 3 1/2 games behind Seattle and reduced their magic number to five for winning one of the American League’s three wild cards.

But Seattle failed to capitalize on Toronto’s loss, losing ground to Tampa Bay as the three teams continue to jostle for positioning in the final week of the season.

Losing for the eighth time in 11 games, Seattle returned home after a terrible road trip. The Mariners went 3-7 and capped the swing by cutting a nine-run lead in a 13-12 loss to Kansas City.

The Mariners hoped returning home would ease the frustration, but Seattle’s woes continued. The Mariners were held on one run or fewer for the seventh time in 13 games.

And Jung made sure Rangers had enough offense on their side.

Jung hit a solo homer in the second inning in front of Seattle starter Robbie Ray and his two-off RBI single on a 3-2 pitch in the sixth goal hit Marcus Semien.

Then came the final blow in the eighth. Jung greeted helper Diego Castillo with a triple homer into midfield for his first multi-homer game of his career.

Texas used Jesús Tinoco as an opener before Tyson Miller (1-1) took over. The pair allowed two hits in 5 2/3 innings with five strikeouts.

Ray (12-11) went 5 2/3 innings and allowed six hits. He struck eight and walked two. Most of the time two earned runs would be enough for a win this season, but not with the current slump for Seattle’s offense.

Rangers: Miller recalled by Triple-A Round Rock. Right-handed starter Dane Dunning was placed on the 15-day injured list after undergoing arthroscopic hip surgery on Monday. Texas also transferred LHP Brett Martin from the bereavement list to the 15-day IL with a shoulder strain.

Mariners: 3B Eugenio Suárez has been left off the 10-day injury list after breaking his right index finger on the road trip. OF Taylor Trammell was optioned to Triple-A Tacoma. Suárez was the designated hitter on his return and took Grounder with him during the infield before the game to see how the finger responded to throwing and catching. … BY Julio Rodríguez (back strain) could start baseball later in the week with a goal of being off the injured list next Monday if he is eligible.

Rangers: LHP Martín Pérez (12-6, 2.90 ERA) is making his 31st start and has won his last two decisions. Pérez was undecided in his final game, allowing three runs over six innings against the Angels.

Mariners: RHP George Kirby (7-4, 3.30) appears to be recovering from his worst start to the season when he lasted just 2 1/3 innings and conceded five earned runs against Oakland. Kirby went three against the A’s after walking three batters combined in his previous six starts. Mariners’ late slide continues with 5-0 loss to Rangers

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