“Yeah, it’s easier when you’re out there,” said Ibanez, the Mariners’ regular left fielder last season. “But at the same time, it’s a big-league ballgame. So you’ve got to stay is the game and watch what’s going on and take it serious. So that’s what I’m trying to do.”
New manager Mike Hargrove broke the bad news to Ibanez, 32, that he would be spending the majority of his time at DH this season after Martinez following an 18-year career spent entirely with Seattle.
“I gave him plenty of time to work on it in spring training,” Hargrove said. “But I think if you ask any player the same thing that given his druthers, he’d rather play in the field and hit. But he’s done a good job so far as DH.”
Texas wasted leads of 2-0, 4-3 and 6-5, and Seattle 3-2 and 5-4 advantages before going ahead for good.
After the Rangers went ahead in the top of the eighth against J.J. Putz (1-0) on run-scoring errors by first baseman Richie Sexson and shortstop Wilson Valdez, Bret Boone doubled off Nick Regilio (0-1) leading off the bottom half and Ibanez homered for a 7-6 lead. Bloomquist, in his first at-bat of the season, singled with the bases loaded off R.A. Dickey.
Ibanez, who had 16 homers and 62 RBIs in the Mariners’ 99-loss 2004 season, was just trying to move Boone to third when he connected on a 1-1 pitch and hit it 392 feet to center.
“When I hit it, I was just hoping it would get him over to third, then I thought maybe in the gap and then it went out of the park,” he said.
Hargrove said Ibanez’s homer turned a bad loss into a good win.
“The eighth got a little ugly with those two walks and two errors,” he said. “Those things don’t make people happy.”
Eddie Guardado pitched the ninth for his first save since last July 22. He missed the final two months of last season because a torn rotator cuff and a left knee injury.
Richard Hidalgo’s two-run double put Texas ahead in the first, but Seattle went ahead in the sixth on Ichiro Suzuki’s RBI single and rookie Jeremy Reed’s two-run double that ended his 0-for-13 drought to start off the season.
Run-scoring singles by Adrian Gonzalez off Ron Villone and Kevin Mench against Julio Mateo put Texas back on top 4-3 in the sixth. Adrian Beltre then hit a two-run single off Doug Brocail to give Seattle a 5-4 lead in the seventh.
The Rangers are without two key relievers, Carlos Almanzar and Frank Francisco, from a team that was in the AL West race most of last season. Almanzar was placed on the bereavement list Sunday after his mother died in the Dominican Republic and Cordero is on the disabled list with right elbow inflammation.
“To look at it as a given that Frankie or Carlos are going to be back in whatever form, we have to develop and see if we get somebody else to step forward,” Rangers manager Buck Showalter said.
Regilio, a rookie, took all the blame for the defeat.
“I tried to get three outs and I didn’t get it done, bottom line,” he said.
Mariners SS Pokey Reese is having his World Series ring mailed to him by the Boston Red Sox. Reese hasn’t played for the Mariners this season because he’s on he 15-day DL with a strained right shoulder. Reese said the Red Sox invited him to get his World Series ring at Fenway Park on Monday, but he didn’t want to make the flight. … Putz got his first major-league victory. … For the fourth game in a row, Suzuki had two hits. He also received two intentional walks.