Rangers 10, Mariners 4
Young had a two-run homer and got three hits, somewhat tempering festivities to honor Seattle’s retiring designated hitter and helping the Texas Rangers beat the Mariners 10-4 on Saturday night.
Afterward, Young directed most of his comments toward Martinez.
“We were all taken aback by the things that Edgar has accomplished,” said Young, who played at DH. “He is an unbelievable player, the best right-handed hitter I’ve played against. The fans really gave him a show. He’s given them one for the last 18 years.”
The sellout crowd of 45,817 got a special treat when Martinez started the ninth inning at third base. It was a preconceived plan to get him a final ovation and he left after one pitch, with Willie Bloomquist taking the field.
“It felt very strange,” Martinez said. “It was mentioned to me a while ago. I said, `I don’t know if I should stay out there too long.”’
It was Martinez’s first appearance at third since July 2, 1997. Fans chanted “Edgar! Edgar! Edgar!” after Martinez disappeared into the dugout, then cheered wildly when he came out for a curtain call.
“It seemed like an appropriate way to honor ‘Gar,” catcher Dan Wilson said. “It’s going to be a strange day when you walk into the clubhouse and Edgar is not down there at the end.”
Martinez didn’t have a good day at the plate, going hitless with a walk in three at-bats. He grounded out three times but scored standing from second, tying it at 2-2 in the fourth on Jolbert Cabrera’s RBI single.
Kenny Rogers (18-9), the Rangers’ 39-year-old lefty, won his career-high 18th game. He was solid pitching into the sixth, allowing three runs on seven hits with four strikeouts and one walk.
“Kenny just keeps competing,” Texas manager Buck Showalter said. “It’s hard to put one guy responsible for what we did this year … but he’s a guy who we couldn’t have gotten to where we are without him.”
The Rangers won their 88th game, matching the team’s 1998 total for the fourth-highest in club history. Texas had 16 hits, marking just the fifth time in 16 games that the Rangers had at least 10.
Jamie Moyer (7-13) pitched five innings for Seattle, allowing six runs on eight hits with six strikeouts and a walk. Moyer, a 21-game winner last season, hasn’t lost this many since going 9-15 for the Chicago Cubs in 1988.
Baseball commissioner Bud Selig was in town and “Edgar” was scratched across the top of the infield. Martinez got big ovations every time he batted, and the crowd rose when he took the field in the ninth.
Early on, fans seemed poised for a second straight night of fun at Safeco Field.
On Friday, Ichiro Suzuki broke George Sisler’s 84-year-old record of 257 hits in a season. Suzuki boosted his total to 260 hits with a fifth-inning single, going 1-for-5. He leads the majors with a .371 average.
Young drove in four runs on three hits. He trails Suzuki by a wide margin, but Young’s 215 hits rank second in the AL and are the most in Rangers history. He’s hit safely in 14 of the last 18 games.
“I can’t even fathom 260 hits,” Young said.
Texas used four straight hits with two outs in the fifth to take a 6-2 lead. Mark Teixeira hit a two-RBI double while Young and Mench added RBI doubles, and Moyer didn’t return for the sixth.
“He would probably say he got some pitches where he didn’t want them, and he made some pretty good pitches, too,” Wilson said, speaking for Moyer. “That’s a very good hitting team.”
The Rangers led 2-0 after Young’s two-run homer in the fourth, the 44th homer allowed this season by Moyer. That moved the Seattle lefty into fifth place for the most in history.
Sisler’s relatives received a standing ovation during pregame ceremonies to recognize Suzuki’s record. Selig was booed. … Suzuki appeared to lean for a catch as he ran forward in the seventh, but Chad Allen was awarded a hit by umpire Derryl Cousins. … Bert Blyleven allowed a major league-record 50 HRs in 1986. … Rogers was with Texas when he set his previous high of 17 wins, in 1995. … Cabrera and Raul Ibanez each went 3-for-4.