Rangers 9, Mariners 7, 18 innings
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP)—Alfonso Soriano was just trying to put the ball in play. Instead, he knocked the 552nd pitch over the fence to end the longest major league game of the season.
“It was important to win this game,” Soriano said. “It’s an amazing win.”
The Rangers overcame an early 5-1 deficit and tied the game at 7 on Mark Teixeira’s RBI single in the ninth. They also got 11 2-3 scoreless innings from their last six relievers.
“They gave us opportunity after opportunity going out there and putting up zeros on the board,” said catcher Rod Barajas, who hit two solo homers. “It took us a while to finally capitalize on what they were doing.”
It was the longest big league game since the St. Louis Cardinals won 7-6 in 20 innings at Florida on April 27, 2003. It matched the longest game in Rangers history, but Seattle has twice played 20-inning games.
The game lasted 5 hours, 47 minutes—43 minutes longer than the first two games of the series combined.
“When you lose a game like this, it takes something out of you,” Mariners manager Bob Melvin said.
The comeback had the opposite effect on the Rangers.
“Wins like that are a huge boost to the morale,” said Brian Shouse (1-0), who got two outs for his first win in 112 career games.
Texas, which also swept Seattle in a three-game series in April, extended the majors’ longest winning streak to six games. It is also the longest of the season for the AL West leader.
Moyer, who had been scheduled to start Friday against San Diego, took over in the 15th. His first relief appearance after 251 straight starts since June 27, 1996, came after J.J. Putz pitched four innings. It was Moyer’s first loss in relief since April 1990, with Texas.
“It’s one of those days it just didn’t work,” said Guardado, who had saves in 14 of 17 previous chances. “Look what it cost us with Jamie coming in and all of that.”
Freddy Garcia (4-6) will pitch Friday against San Diego. The Rangers also changed their scheduled starter, moving Kenny Rogers (9-2) up to Friday against Houston instead of John Wasdin because of the depleted bullpen.
Both teams used eight pitchers. There were 129 official at-bats in the game, including nine each by Cabrera (one hit) and Blalock.
Matthews had four of Texas’ season-high 23 hits. The only position player without a hit was Herbert Perry, who was 0-for-3 after coming in as a pinch-hitter in the 10th.
Moyer escaped a bases-loaded jam in the 15th, starting an inning-ending double play on Blalock’s comebacker.
Mariners starter Joel Pineiro left in the seventh with a 7-5 lead but was denied his third straight win. He was 0-7 in nine starts before beating Montreal and Pittsburgh.
The only extra-base hits allowed by Pineiro came with two outs in the sixth when Barajas homered and No. 9 hitter Jason Conti doubled. Michael Young followed with his second RBI single to get the Rangers to 6-5.
Barajas led off the eighth with his 12th homer, and one out later, Young hit a deep fly ball to center that Hiram Bocachica caught at the wall with a leap.
With two on in the second, Bocachica sprinted to the wall and was in an awkward position when he jumped for Blalock’s drive. The ball deflected off the heel of his glove, bounced off his chest and he caught it with his bare hand while coming down.
That came right after Young’s RBI single, his 100th hit, for the first Texasrun.
It was Seattle’s fourth game of at least 13 innings this season. … Martinez tied a Seattle record with five walks, three in extra innings. … Barajas has played 36 games in Texas. He had just 11 homers in 211 games overfive seasons with Arizona.
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