Gonzalez hit a three-run homer—his first in almost a month—and Texas used a five-run fourth inning to rally past the Seattle Mariners 7-3.
With the Mariners ahead 3-0 in the fourth, the Rangers got an extra out when Seattle failed to turn a double play.
Michael Young singled to open the inning and was forced at second on Hank Blalock’s groundball to second baseman Bret Boone. Shortstop Mark McLemore’s relay to first was high, however, and Alex Rodriguez followed with a run-scoring triple.
“That’s how the game changes,” McLemore said. “We’d face Alex with nobody on and maybe we pitch him differently. It cost us.”
After Rafael Palmeiro walked, Gonzalez hit Freddy Garcia’s first pitch over the center field fence to put the Rangers ahead 4-3. The homer the 424th of his career and 19th of the season, and it was his first since June 8.
Gonzalez hadn’t homered at home since May 7.
Todd Green completed the scoring in the fourth with an RBI double.
Rodriguez, who added a double in the fifth, is 10-for-24 against the Mariners this season.
“Juan’s blow was big for us, but I think Alex’s hit was also huge to start us off,” said Rangers manager Buck Showalter.
“R.A. was the key tonight, the way he shut them down,” Palmeiro said. “It gave us a boost and some confidence that we could keep the game in check and perhaps add to our lead.”
The Rangers have called up Dickey from the minors twice this season, most recently on Monday, and he has two straight scoreless relief appearances.
“It’s satisfying because it’s fun to win,” Dickey said. “It’s fun to be in a competitive situation.”
Young and Palmeiro hit sacrifice flies in the seventh to stretch Texas’ lead to 7-3, and Ugueth Urbina got two outs for his American League-leading 24th save in 28 chances.
Santos allowed three runs, four hits and five walks, and wasn’t around to collect his first win as a Ranger. After a walk to Edgar Martinez leading off the fifth, Showalter brought in Dickey.
Garcia (9-7) had won his previous six decisions, and he got off to a strong start, limiting Texas to one hit over the first three innings.
He ended up allowing seven runs and nine hits over 6 1-3 innings, however, and failed to join Jamie Moyer and Gil Meche as double-digit winners for Seattle. Garcia, whose previous defeat was on May 21, struck out seven and walked one.
“I just had one bad inning and you lose the game,” Garcia said.
The Mariners scored twice in the first on Edgar Martinez’s RBI single and Ben Davis’ sacrifice fly.
Seattle made it 3-0 in the third on Randy Winn’s run-scoring single.
The loss on the road was a rare one for Seattle. The Mariners’ 30-14 road record is the best in the majors.
“We usually hit the ball well in this park,” said Mariners manager Bob Melvin. “It looked like we were going to score a bunch of runs but their bullpen shut us down the rest of the way.”
Gonzalez and Rodriguez were unavailable for comment, having left the Rangers’ clubhouse minutes after the game ended to avoid heavy traffic from fans who waited to view a postgame fireworks display. … Mariners 1B John Olerud missed his fourth straight game due to a strained right hamstring. Olerud is listed as day-to-day. …The Rangers opened a nine-game homestand. … Santos was seeking his first victory for Texas in seven appearances. … The crowd of 49,530 was the fourth-largest in the history of The Ballpark. … Ichiro Suzuki was 2-for-4 for Seattle and is 8-for-17 over his last fivegames.