Speedy DeShields helps pace Rangers over Mariners

AP, ARLINGTON, Texas

Wed, Sep 13, 2017 - Page 16

Delino DeShields can make good things happen for the Texas Rangers with his small ball. The speedy outfielder also has a little pop in his bat.

DeShields on Monday homered after taking a speedier trip around the bases for an earlier run as the Rangers beat the Seattle Mariners 5-3 in the opener of a four-game series matching teams still hoping to get one of the American League’s two wild cards.

“I don’t know where that came from,” DeShields said of his no-doubt shot into the left-field seats in the fourth.

That homer came two innings after DeShields reached on a one-out bunt single, when he was initially called out before a replay challenge overturned the call.

DeShields then raced home from first on Choo Shin-soo’s two-run double that made it 4-1, running through a fill-in third-base coach’s stop sign and scoring on a nifty headfirst slide.

“It’s hard to stop a race car,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. “We talk about D all the time and just the excitement of the speed ... He jump-starts this offense, he gets us going.”

Jason Wood, the Rangers’ Triple-A manager, coached third base with Tony Beasley out to deal with a personal matter, but the Rangers said it was not a health issue for Beasley, who was limited last season while undergoing treatment for rectal cancer.

DeShields said he was intent on scoring when Choo’s ball went into the left-center gap. His head was down when rounding third base.

“As soon as I looked up, he was giving me the stop sign, but there was no stopping,” DeShields said. “I was full throttle right there.”

Cole Hamels (10-3) struck out seven in six innings to win for the first time in his past four starts.

Alex Claudio worked a perfect ninth to get his eighth save in 12 for the Rangers (72-71), who got within two games of Minnesota for the league’s second wild card. Seattle (71-73) are 3.5 games back.

Kyle Seager and Mitch Haniger homered for Seattle.

Seager led off the second with his 23rd homer and Haniger, who had three hits and finished a triple shy of the cycle, had a two-run shot in the third.

Mariners starter Ariel Miranda (8-7) gave up six hits and walked three in only 1-2/3 innings. It was the lefty’s 29th start this season.

“Miranda has taken the ball every time out there for us. He just didn’t have much in the tank at all tonight,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “He’s running on fumes right now. Again, I appreciate how he competes and how he goes out there. There are certain nights he just didn’t have it.”