SEATTLE (AP) — When August started, Travis Blackley was a reliever on the worst team in the majors. Now he's starting for the AL West leaders.
Blackley pitched six effective innings and A.J. Pierzynski hit a three-run homer, leading the Texas Rangers to an 8-3 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Monday night.
It was Blackley's first win since he was acquired in a trade with Houston on Aug. 14.
"It's a good feeling," Blackley said. "I'm really excited about the rest of the way."
Alex Rios had two hits and two RBIs as the Rangers picked up their fifth win in seven games. Elvis Andrus celebrated his 25th birthday with three hits and an RBI.
It was more than enough run support for Blackley (2-1), who allowed three runs and five hits in his second start of the season.
"With all the injuries we've had, especially pitching injuries, anyone we can get that can come in and give us six innings and a quality start and give us a chance, that's an added bonus," Pierzynski said. "We've had a bunch of guys step in kind of from out of nowhere and done some good things for us."
Kyle Seager hit his 20th home run of the season for the Mariners, who have lost four in a row.
It was Blackley's longest outing since Oct. 2, 2012, after making 42 relief appearances for Houston this season. He had a similar experience last year, when he joined Oakland mid-season and made 15 starts for the A's during their playoff run.
"Coming back here with another chase and another go at the postseason, a little older and I've been through it — it's really not as hard when you've got this team behind you," Blackley said. "They play so well and they score a lot of runs most of the time."
Blackley was designated for assignment by Houston on Aug. 9. He was sent to Triple-A Round Rock after the trade, but he came up when right-hander Alexi Ogando went on the disabled list.
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