Jonah Heim hits stroll off dwelling run once more vs. Mariners

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ARLINGTON – Are the Rangers getting a déjà vu? They did that this weekend.

Texas rookie catcher Jonah Heim played hero Saturday night, defeating a walk-off homer in the 10th inning against the Mariners.

After a 1v3 start on Sunday, this time as a designated hitter, Heim’s walk-off magic continued when he joined the Rangers for a 405-foot walk-off solo homer 4-3 victory over the Mariners at Globe Life Field.

“I could tell from his behavior on the first swing that he wasn’t afraid,” said Rangers manager Chris Woodward. “That’s the only thing that stands out about Jonah. He’s feeling pretty good in the batter’s box right now and has made some nice turns beforehand. It’s pretty cool to do it again with two hits against a pretty tough pitcher. I think he certainly had that in mind with the swings that I watched. ”

It’s the first time the Rangers have won four games in a row against the Royals and A’s since the end of June. It’s also the first time Texas has won a streak since that three-game sweep over Kansas City June 25-27.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Heim is the first player to have walk-off homers in back-to-back games since Albert Pujols with the Cardinals June 4-5, 2011. He is also the first player in Rangers history / Senators franchise and the first MLB rookie to do the feat.

The Rangers were 3-1 behind, heading into the end of the ninth inning. Then there was knock after knock. Nathaniel Lowe hit the road with a lead-off single. Andy Ibáñez then drove a game-defining two-run homer directly over the left field wall in preparation for Heim’s historic explosion.

Ibáñez said the adrenaline rushed through his veins as he circled the bases and he was confident that Heim could finish the game right behind him.

Heim added that once Ibáñez met that homer, he knew the Rangers had all the momentum. He just wanted to get down to earth somehow. Hitting the ball out of the yard again, he said, was the icing on the cake.

“It’s unbelievable what we did there in the ninth [Lowe] get in and Andy meet a great homer just to give me the chance to do it all over again, ”said Heim. “It’s amazing how this team fights to the end. We’re only here to play hard and try to win some games. It’s really fun to be a part of it. “

In the first few games after the trade deadline, the Rangers showed off the field battle that Woodward had been hoping for for weeks.

Woodward believes that after trading with the three integral players they made into Joey Gallo, Kyle Gibson and Ian Kennedy, the remaining boys can relax and team up.

“Ultimately, nobody likes to see our family – Joey and Gibby and Kennedy – leave,” Ibáñez said. “We all felt like family, but at the end of the day we have to move on. We have to close this door and move forward. That’s the mentality we have right now. ”

Woodward insisted that despite a positive weekend, it wasn’t perfect. He felt there were opportunities to jump in front of Seattle early in the game. Boys have to learn to win games before the finals.

But this weekend was definitely a step in the right direction.

“The deadline is over and the guys know they are here,” said Woodward. “They know they will play, they will get opportunities. Of course, they still have to earn these opportunities. Just because you’re here doesn’t mean you will be playing for sure. But at the same time it should calm her down a bit and say, ‘Hey, we’re going to roll with the group we have here.’ ”