Kyle Seager usually heats up in Texas. More than most things. But he was hitless in first two games this weekend against the Rangers at Globe Life Park.
That changed Sunday when Seager delivered baseball’s version of a triple double in helping the Mariners avoid a sweep with a 7-3 victory.
"Fortunately, they didn’t catch them today," he said, "which was nice. I thought I swung it all right the previous two days without too much luck. Today, I hit it where they weren’t.
"I should have been trying to do that the whole time."
Each of Seager’s three doubles drove in a run. The first opened the scoring in a four-run first inning against Rangers starter Yu Darvish. No. 2 came in the third inning against Darvish.
The third one came as the Mariners were wobbling in the eighth inning. Texas had pulled to within 5-3 in the seventh before Nick Vincent stranded three runners. Seager fueled a two-run answer.
"The last one might have been the biggest one," manager Scott Servais said. "We needed a little more cushion there. He got into good hitting counts today. When Kyle gets in a good count, he puts a good swing on fastballs."
Vincent and Edwin Diaz then closed out the victory for starter Christian Bergman, who gave up two runs in 5 2/3 innings..
Seager entered the weekend with a .332 career average plus 18 doubles, nine homers and 35 RBIs in 52 games at Globe Life Park. So 0-for-8 was an anomaly and called for something different.
Seager always wears his pants to his cleats. On Sunday, he showed socks and stirrups.
"They were (Danny) Valencia’s (pants)," he said. "I don’t wear my pants up, so (the clubhouse staff) don’t have any for me. But Danny wasn't wearing them."
Why the switch?
"Robby (Cano) was wearing them (up)," Seager explained, "and he’s next to me (in the clubhouse). He had real cool spikes, though. I think he was trying to show those off."
And after going 3-for-5 with three doubles, does Seager stay with the short-pants look Monday against Detroit at Safeco Field?
"I don’t know," he said. "That ’s a good question. It might be a game-time decision."
Bergman (4-4) gave up a two-run homer to Carlos Gomez in the second inning but pitched into the sixth without further damage before exiting after Adrian Beltre’s two-out single.
It could be Bergman’s last start for a while. The Mariners expect to get Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma back from the disabled list by next weekend.
"That doesn’t affect my job," Bergman said. "My job is to go out and win games and contribute to the team. That’s what I’m going to do."
Servais was non-committal.
"We’ll talk about it when we get back to Seattle," he said, "but he’s done a great job for us. I know he’s had a couple when he stubbed his toe, and they put big numbers up on him. For the most part, he’s been very consistent."
The Mariners carried a 5-2 lead into the seventh inning, and Steve Cishek got two quick outs before things got interesting. Cishek hit Robinson Chirinos with a pitch and walked pinch-hitter Mike Napoli.
In came James Pazos, who balked the runners to second and third before throwing a run-scoring wild pitch.
When Pazos walked Shin-Soo Choo, the Rangers had the tying run on base, and the Mariners went to Vincent, who loaded the bases by walking Elvis Andrus.
But Vincent held the lead by retiring Nomar Mazara on a fly to center.
"I thought we were in great shape," Servais said, "and it started to get away from us with the hit by and the walk and another walk. Someone needed to lock it down, and Nick stepped up today."
PLAY(S) OF THE GAME: The Mariners ran themselves into two outs on the bases in the third inning.
After an RBI double, Seager broke for third on Valencia’s grounder to short. He was an easy out. Valencia reached first on the fielder’s choice but tried for a delayed steal. Darvish turned and threw to second for the out.
Chooch Ruiz then opened the fourth inning by getting thrown out at second while trying to stretch a single into a double. Three outs on the bases in a four-out span.
PLUS: Valencia capped the four-run first inning against Darvish with a two-run homer…the Mariners forced Darvish (6-5) to throw 99 pitches in five innings, which forced the Rangers to go to their bullpen…Ben Gamel went 2-for-4 and raised his average to .346.
MINUS: Jarrod Dyson stole his 17th base in the sixth inning but then got picked off by reliever Jeremy Jeffress. That was one of four outs the Mariners made on the bases…Pazos has a 1.78 ERA in his last 24 games, but he nearly let the Rangers back into the game with a balk, a wild pitch and a walk in a five-pitch span.
STAT PACK: Gamel’s single in the first inning extended his hitting streak to 10 games…When Cano stole second base in the fifth inning, it was his first stolen base since July 3, 2015 at Oakland…the Mariners broke an eight-game losing streak at Globe Life Park.
QUOTABLE: "It was a big win by the team," Vincent said. "Bergy pitched really well out there. The bullpen did its job. We got some runs and held the lead."
SHORT HOPS: Texas manager Jeff Banister was ejected in the second inning for arguing a delayed call that Tyler Smith was hit by a pitch. While home-plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt made the delayed call, it was third-base umpire Joe West, the crew chief, who ejected Banister.
ON DECK: The Mariners and Tigers open a four-game series at 7:10 p.m. Monday at Safeco Field. Right-hander Sam Gaviglio (3-1 with a 3.41 ERA) will oppose Detroit right-hander Anibal Sanchez (0-0, 9.00).
The game can be seen on Root Sports Northwest and heard on 710 ESPN and the Mariners Radio Network.
Bob Dutton: @TNT_Mariners