Rangers-Mariners preview

SEATTLE — At about 10:15 p.m. Pacific time Tuesday, the retractable roof at Safeco Field made its methodical closure while the Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers played the eighth inning of another high-scoring baseball game.

It seemed like the only way to contain the Rangers' unlimited offense.

Texas and its loaded lineup will try to provide some more fireworks against the Mariners on Wednesday night, when struggling Seattle rookie Ariel Miranda (2-1, 5.76 ERA) takes the mound to face the Rangers' A.J. Griffin (7-3, 4.41 ERA).

Texas (83-56) has scored six or more runs in eight consecutive games and is averaging 7.5 runs per game over its past 13 games.

“Their offense is obviously really good; it's rolling right now,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said after Texas pounded out 15 hits and hit two home runs to beat the Mariners 10-7 on Tuesday night. “We're having trouble slowing it down.”

The Mariners (70-68) aren't alone in that respect. Texas already had a pretty good offense before adding Lucroy and Carlos Beltran in deadline deals, and now the Rangers are nothing short of loaded.

“It's a pretty special batting order,” Lucroy said after hitting his ninth home run in 28 games as a Ranger on Tuesday night. “Any guy in the lineup can hurt you.”

The Rangers, who have some question marks in their pitching rotation, have largely ridden their bats to a huge lead in the American League West. Tuesday's win kept Texas 11 1/2 games ahead of second-place Houston, and the Rangers' magic number sits at 16.

Griffin has won two consecutive starts heading into his scheduled outing Wednesday night in Seattle. He threw six shutout innings against Cleveland on Aug. 27, then Griffin had a shakier start the last time out, walking three while allowing two home runs over 5 2/3 innings in an 8-6 win over Houston.

The Texas offense gives any starter room for error, and the Rangers should feel good about their chances against Seattle starter Miranda on Wednesday. Although Texas has yet to face the rookie left-hander, the 27-year-old Miranda has struggled in recent outings as he tries to prove himself as a long-term option in the Mariners' rotation.

He's one of many Seattle starters who are in a funk heading down the stretch. Veterans Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma are losing some of their command, while youngsters James Paxton and Taijuan Walker have been unable to sustain any kind of consistency.

Walker, who is scheduled to start Thursday's series finale, has been particularly bad as of late. He only got two outs in his last start, so it wouldn't be a big surprised to the Texas offense continue to rip through its final two games in Seattle.

Texas has virtually wrapped up the division but is still trying to hold off Cleveland and whatever team wins the AL East for homefield advantage. The Rangers currently have the best record in the American League heading into Wednesday night's game in Seattle.