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Slow start dooms Yovani Gallardo, Rangers versus Mariners

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Mariners end losing skid

The Mariners snap their two-game losing streak with a 3-1 win over the Rangers.

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Issuing walks to the first two Seattle Mariners hitters spoiled an otherwise solid outing by Texas Rangers right-hander Yovani Gallardo.

Seattle pounced with two first-inning runs and that was enough against a punchless Texas attack for a 3-1 victory Monday night at Globe Life Park.

“You don’t want to start off the game walking the first two guys,’’ Gallardo said. “I was just trying to do too much. I was trying to be too fine with it instead of putting it in the strike zone.’’

Seven Mariners batted in the first and Gallardo needed 35 pitches before regrouping in the dugout. His defense did not help much. Second baseman Rougned Odor juggled a transfer after gloving what should have been a double-play grounder. Texas got only one out. Seattle got its second run on an off-target throw by shortstop Elvis Andrus intended for Gallardo covering first.

“Against the first two hitters, Yovani couldn’t find a rhythm,’’ manager Jeff Banister said. “We didn’t handle the baseball the way we should. We had a chance to turn a double play, we threw one away and a fly ball to right field looked like it was catchable.

“We want to handle the baseball,'' the manager continued. "We’ll reinforce that we’re here to play defense. We don’t want to give more than three outs to anybody. We’ll be out there working on it.’’

After the stressful first inning, Gallardo was able to settle down, allowing just one run in the next five frames. In six innings, he permitted only three hits.

“That’s my job, to keep it right there,’’ Gallardo said.

Texas failed in its seventh attempt to win consecutive games.

“We’ve got to find a way to get multiple wins,’’ Gallardo said. “The guys are working hard.’’

Some clutch hitting would help. The Rangers went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position. Even the hit was dubious. Mitch Moreland was credited with a single when his bouncer struck base runner Adrian Beltre, ruled out on the play.

“We’re grinding it out, but obviously not getting the results we want,’’ said Banister.

Right fielder Shin-Soo Choo’s average after an 0-for-4 on Monday dropped to .096, lowest in the majors among players with at least 40 at-bats. He has only five hits for the season.

“It’s a tough stretch for him,’’ Banister said.

The Rangers, without a series win this season, will host Seattle at 7:05 p.m. Tuesday.