Suzuki had two more hits to move within eight of George Sisler’s major league season record, and Randy Winn’s infield single in the ninth helped the Mariners end the Texas Rangers’ five-game winning streak with an 8-7 victory Friday night.
“The last two years, we’ve been in (the Rangers’) situation when we struggled and didn’t make it, so it’s nice to beat teams in that situation,” Suzuki said. “We can play for that now and enjoy it.”
Suzuki, 2-for-4, singled in the third and sixth innings, had a sacrifice fly in the fourth and was intentionally walked in the ninth. He moved past Ty Cobb and into sole possession of seventh place on the all-time list with 249. Sisler had 257 hits in 1920.
With the game tied at 7, Francisco Cordero (3-3) came in to start the ninth. Scott Spiezio and Dan Wilson had one-out singles to put runners on first and third. Pinch-hitter Edgar Martinez struck out, then manager Buck Showalter had Cordero intentionally walk Suzuki to load the bases.
Winn followed by beating out an infield chopper that bounced over Cordero’s head to drive in pinch-runner Willie Bloomquist with the go-ahead run.
Cordero had no chance to make a play, and by the time second baseman Eric Young fielded the ball and threw to first, Winn was easily safe.
“They hit it to a place where there was nobody,” Cordero said. “He can run and that beat us. I’ll come back and do my job tomorrow if I get the chance.”
Seattle manager Bob Melvin wasn’t surprised Showalter walked Suzuki in that situation.
“He’s not going to let the best hitter in the game beat him,” Melvin said. “That’s why I have Randy hitting behind him. I didn’t blame him for doing it. I’ve seen him walk Barry Bonds with the bases loaded and walk in a run. He’s going to do what he knows gives him the best shot.”
Said Suzuki: “In a one-run game, a tight game like that, it’s happened to me before. It wasn’t automatic, but it wasn’t a surprise.”
Seattle’s Raul Ibanez had three hits in three official at-bats, giving him nine straight hits to set the club record. Suzuki had eight in a row earlier this week.
The Mariners, who handed Anaheim two losses heading into the Texas series, are trying to avoid their first 100-loss season since 1983. They have 94 losses with nine games left.
“We want to finish strong as we can,” Seattle’s Bret Boone said. “Then we can look back and saw we played it out to the end. We didn’t mail it in.”
Seattle was helped by Eric Young’s fielding error in a three-run third inning, leading to two unearned runs.
Dan Wilson opened the inning with a single and was safe at second when Jose Lopez’s grounder trickled out of Young’s glove for an error. Suzuki’s infield single loaded the bases and Winn drove in Wilson with a single.
In the third, Texas tied it at 3 on Blalock’s RBI double and Michael Young’s run-scoring single.
Seattle added two runs in the fourth on Lopez’s RBI double and Suzuki’s sacrifice fly.
But Texas rallied for the second time to take a 6-5 lead with a three-run fourth on two-out RBI singles by Rod Barajas, Eric Young and Blalock.
Madritsch allowed six runs and eight hits in 3 2-3 innings, while Benoit gave up five runs and six hits in 4 1-3 innings.
With the game tied at 6, Suzuki scored the go-ahead run in the sixth when he singled off John Wasdin, moved to second on Winn’s single, went to third on a passed ball and scored on Cabrera’s sacrifice fly.
Jordan’s two-out solo homer in the seventh tied it at 7.
Cobb had 248 hits in 1911. … Madritsch had his first career appearance against Texas. … Seattle had lost seven straight in Arlington, six this season. … Ibanez reached base 11 straight times to match a club record.