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For all of their success, the Seattle Mariners haven't had much against the cellar-dwelling Texas Rangers this season. The Mariners look to even their three-game series at one victory apiece and avoid a ninth loss in 14 meetings with their American League West rival when they host the Rangers on Tuesday. The Mariners had won 14 of 18 before seeing their offense go limp in Monday's 2-0 setback, dropping the upstart club's lead to a half-game over Detroit in the race for the second wild card.
Although Texas notched its fourth win in 11 outings Monday, it suffered one significant personnel loss while another looms on the horizon. Outfielder Shin-Soo Choo will have surgery to remove a bone spur in his left elbow and is done for the season while stud pitcher Yu Darvish - who last pitched on Aug. 9 - has yet to resume throwing as he deals with mild inflammation in his right elbow. "Once a guy is down for three weeks, he's not going to go right back into a big-league game," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels told MLB.com. "So the calendar is not working in his favor."
TV: 10:10 p.m. ET, Fox Sports Southwest (Texas), ROOT (Seattle)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Rangers RH Nick Martinez (3-9, 5.13 ERA) vs. Mariners LH James Paxton (3-1, 2.20)
Martinez recorded his second win in three outings Wednesday, allowing two runs and striking out a career-high seven in six innings in a 5-4 victory over Miami. The 24-year-old has fanned 23 batters in his last 22 innings, but fanned only three in his lone career start versus Seattle on June 15. In that game, Martinez permitted two runs on nine hits in six innings of a 5-1 setback.
Paxton suffered his first career loss in 10 starts over two seasons after yielding four runs in as many innings in a 4-3 setback to Philadelphia on Aug. 20. The 25-year-old British Columbian has kept the ball in the park in each of his last three outings, but was undone by his own throwing error against the Phillies. Paxton, who has yet to face the Rangers, has limited the opposition to a .205 batting average in his career.
1. Seattle RF Logan Morrison is 4-for-7 in his last two contests and has hit safely in nine straight games in which he's had a plate appearance.
2. Rangers DH J.P. Arencibia had an RBI single in Monday's 2-0 triumph, but is just 10-for-65 in his career versus the Mariners.
3. Seattle 2B Robinson Cano had a single in the series opener after leaving Sunday's game due to dizziness.
PREDICTION: Mariners 3, Rangers 2