SEATTLE (AP)—Credit the Texas Rangers’ potent lineup with a save for their beleaguered bullpen.
The Rangers went into the eighth leading 3-2 behind Pedro Astacio’s strong debut, but the bullpen gave up four runs and wasted its third straight save opportunity and fourth of the season.
“Fortunately, guys came up with big hits in the ninth inning,” said Michael Young, who singled and scored on Hidalgo’s go-ahead homer.
With one out in the ninth, Alfonso Soriano reached on a fielding error by Bret Boone and Blalock followed with his homer. Young then singled, and after an out, Hidalgo homered to give Texas a 7-6 lead.
“I’m glad we took advantage of the situation. It might be the only time in the rest of his career that we see Bret Boone make an error like that,” Young said. “He’s the best defensive second baseman in the game.”
Hidalgo’s homer came in swirling winds and rain as the Safeco Field roof was in the process of being closed. He pumped his fist as he rounded the bases.
“I knew we went ahead by one run. I just got so excited,” Hidalgo said. “I thought it was going to hit the wall. It’s a long way out there. I’m glad it got out.”
Only one of the four runs allowed by Guardado (0-1) was earned.
“Everybody is going to have outings that aren’t as good as others,” Mariners manager Mike Hargrove said. “He hung a split to Hidalgo that he hit out. Those things happen and it’s never fun when it does happen.”
“Basically, I got rocked. Plain and simple,” Guardado said. “I let the team down. They battled back and I didn’t do my job.”
Francisco Cordero earned his first save of the season but it wasn’t easy. He struck out the first two batters before walking Ichiro Suzuki. Jeremy Reed followed with a single to make it first and third for Adrian Beltre, who had three hits and two RBIs.
But Cordero got Beltre to fly out to center on the first pitch.
Astacio shut down Seattle for seven innings, allowing two runs and six hits. Rangers reliever Brian Shouse couldn’t hold the lead, though.
Wilson Valdez led off the eighth inning with a single and Suzuki followed with a hit. Reed then attempted to sacrifice the runners over. Shouse fielded the bunt and threw to first, but the throw to Soriano, who was covering, was in the baseline and was knocked loose when he and Reed collided. Valdez scored to tie it 3-all.
Beltre then singled through a drawn-in infield to make it 4-3, and Boone added a two-run single.
“We dug ourselves out of a hole with a big ninth inning,” said Rangers manager Buck Showalter. “We weren’t down. He had to keep grinding. We’ve been in all our games and we’re confident we can come through in the end.”
Doug Brocail (1-0) pitched an inning for the win.
“This lineup can give you some runs in a hurry,” Brocail said. “They’ve done it so many times.”
Sandy Alomar Jr. had three hits and drove in three runs for Texas.
Alomar had a two-run single in the fourth and an RBI in the sixth, both off Mariners starter Jamie Moyer. For his career, Alomar is hitting .385 (10-for-26) against Seattle’s 42-year-old lefty.
Astacio retired the first nine Mariners batters before Suzuki doubled to open the bottom of the fourth. He scored on a one-out single by Beltre that cut Texas’ lead to 2-1.
Astacio has struggled since having shoulder surgery in 2003. Last season with Boston he only made five appearances, including one start. He allowed 10 runs in 8 2-3 innings (10.38 ERA). Astacio was activated before the game.
The majority of Astacio’s career has been in the National League, but with Alomar behind the plate he had some help.
“Sandy has been in the league for a long time, and he knows a lot of the hitters,” Astacio said.
Moyer, trying to bounce back from last season when he went 7-13 with a 5.21 ERA, gave up seven hits and three runs over 5 1-3 innings. He walked four and struck out five.
To make room on the roster for Astacio, who opened the season the 15-day disabled list, Texas optioned RHP Nick Regilio to Triple-A Oklahoma City. … Suzuki has five straight multihit games.