Rangers-Mariners: Walk-Off Home Run Wins It For Texas
Over the past couple of weeks, the Texas Rangers have been winning games mainly due to their quality pitching. Five games ago, Vicente Padilla beat Erik Bedard 2-0.
Monday night's game was a little more offensive, and not because the two teams were fighting. Ten innings, 25 runs, 27 hits, 408 pitches, and four hours and nine minutes of baseball led to a 13-12 Rangers victory.
The Rangers spotted the Mariners five runs in the top of the first inning. Rangers pitchers have surrendered nine runs in the last two first innings. Both times, however, the Rangers have fought their way back.
Michael Young's RBI single in the first and German Duran sacrifice fly in the second started the comeback.
The Rangers took the lead back in the third inning. Josh Hamilton and Milton Bradley hit back-to-back homers to start the inning. Rangers TV announcer Tom Grieve estimated Hamilton's home run traveled 475 feet.
Still with no outs, Chris Shelton's RBI single tied the game and then Duran hit into a double play, scoring the go-ahead run.
The pace of the game seemed to slow down, as a sixth-inning RBI double from Yuniesky Betancourt tied the game for Seattle.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, the Rangers looked to take the lead for good with a four-run inning. With the bases loaded and two outs, Young grounded to second baseman Jose Lopez, but his fielding error allowed all runners to be safe.
Next, Hamilton hit a two RBI single. Frank Catalanotto, pinch-hitting for Bradley, singled to center to score Young.
Wladimir Balentien, the Mariners' rookie outfielder, cut the Seattle deficit in half with a two-run home run in the eighth inning.
The Rangers again had the bases loaded and two outs in the eighth inning. Mariners relievers Mark Lowe and Arthur Rhodes walked Young and Hamilton back-to-back, allowing the Rangers to open their lead back to 12-8.
However, Rangers closer C.J. Wilson couldn't finish out the ninth. Raul Ibanez' RBI double cut the lead to three, leading to a Kenji Johjima two out, 0-2, three-run homer that just cleared the left field wall.
The Rangers would finally end the game when utility infielder Ramon Vazquez (pictured above) took a Brandon Morrow pitch into deep right field, sending the Rangers to a 19-21 record. Texas is 4.5 games out of first place in the AL West.
The two teams combined for seven unearned runs. Thirteen of the 29 total hits in the game went for extra bases. Rangers hitters were patient enough to walk 13 times, while Seattle walked only once.
The Rangers and Mariners will play again on Tuesday night at 7:05 Central Time. Kason Gabbard and Felix Hernandez will battle. The last time these two faced each other, a bench-clearing brawl occurred.
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