Double Z: Zunino homers twice in Mariners’ 8-1 win

The Associated Press

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Mike Zunino hit the longest homer of his career, and then went deep again. Those two home runs helped the Seattle Mariners jump over two teams in AL wild-card chase.

Zunino broke a scoreless tie in the fifth with a rare shot into the second-level club deck in left field, and the Mariners went on to an 8-1 victory over the Texas Rangers on Wednesday night to hand Martin Perez his first loss in eight starts.

“There’s always that urgency that sets in. Obviously, we’re running out of time,” Zunino said. “You want to come together and play as well as we can.”

Jean Segura also homered for the Mariners (73-73), who went a half-game ahead of both the Rangers (72-73) and Kansas City (72-73). Seattle remained 3 1/2 games behind the second wild card spot held by Minnesota with the only team between them the Los Angeles Angels, who the Mariners play on the final regular season weekend.

Zunino hit a curveball about 470 feet for only the 23rd homer to reach that club level section in the ballpark that is in its 24th season. His second solo homer, his 23rd of the season, capped a five-run seventh-inning for the Mariners.

Three batters after Zunino’s first homer, Segura hit a two-run shot deep into the lower level of seats in left.

Mike Leake (3-0) struck out five and allowed one run in 5 2/3 innings to win his third consecutive start for the Mariners since they acquired him from St. Louis on Aug. 30. The right-hander was 7-12 in 26 starts for the Cardinals this season.



MINNEAPOLIS — Eddie Rosario hit a two-run homer with two outs in the 10th inning, lifting Minnesota over San Diego to maintain its two-game cushion for the second AL wild-card spot.

Joe Mauer hit a one-out single off Phil Maton (3-1) before Rosario connected for his 23rd homer.

Matt Belisle (2-2) retired all five batters he faced for the Twins, who improved to 15-5 against the Padres. Ervin Santana gave Minnesota six scoreless innings. Rosario also doubled and scored.



PHOENIX — A.J. Pollock homered and drove in four runs to back another strong outing by Patrick Corbin, and Arizona defeated Colorado to expand its lead in the wild-card race.

The win gave the Diamondbacks a four-game edge over the Rockies for the top National League wild card. Arizona lost four of its previous five, including the first two games of this series.

Corbin (14-12) held the Rockies to one run over 6 2/3 innings. The left-hander is 6-1 in seven starts since Aug. 12.



CLEVELAND — Making history almost every time they take the field, the Cleveland Indians won their 21st straight game on Wednesday, 5-3 over the Detroit Tigers, to set an American League record and join only two other teams in the past 101 years to win that many in a row.

Jay Bruce hit a three-run homer off Buck Farmer (4-3), and Mike Clevinger (10-5) won his consecutive straight start as the Indians matched the 1935 Chicago Cubs for the second-longest winning streak since 1900. The run has put Cleveland within five wins of catching the 1916 New York Giants, who won 26 straight without a loss but whose century-old mark includes a tie.

Roberto Perez added a homer in the seventh and four Cleveland relievers finished. Cody Allen got his 27th save, giving the Indians the league’s longest streak since the AL was founded in 1901.

During the streak, which began with a 13-6 win over Boston ace Chris Sale on Aug. 23, the Indians have outscored their opponents 139-35 and trailed in only four of 189 innings. Cleveland starters are 19-0 with a 1.70 ERA.