Rangers 6, Mariners 5

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SEATTLE (AP)—Gary Matthews was asked if he could remember a team with more power than his Texas Rangers team.

“Yeah, last year’s team,” he said.

Matthews hit a two-out home run in the ninth inning Saturday, leading the Rangers over the Seattle Mariners 6-5 for their fourth straight victory.

Texas finished third in the AL with 227 home runs in 2004, but this year’s version may be even better.

The Rangers, who lead the majors with 133 home runs, also got a three-run shot from Michael Young in the second and a solo shot from David Dellucci—his third homer in three games—in the fourth.

“We’ve got a lot of spots in the order that can really hurt you, but we have our moments, too,” Rangers manager Buck Showalter said. “We’ve been doing a good job of taking advantage of what mistakes are made.”

Matthews hit a line drive shot on a 1-1 sinker from J.J. Putz into the first row of the right-field seats.

“That was as hard a ball as I’ve seen hit this year,” Showalter said.

Putz said it was a poor pitch.

“That was just a dumb pitch to throw at that point,” he said. “Nobody on or in scoring position and he’s looking to try and jerk one.”

Adrian Beltre had his first two-homer game since joining the Mariners, but struck out against rookie Kameron Loe (2-1) with the game tied and two men on to end the seventh. Beltre had departed before the media arrived in the clubhouse.

“It was a two-seamer in,” Loe said of the strikeout pitch to Beltre. “I went after him with fastballs, trying to make him hit it on the ground. I ended up getting ahead of him with a chance to throw a dirty one.”

Francisco Cordero pitched the ninth for his 19th save in 23 opportunities.

Seattle matched a season high with its seventh straight loss.

Dellucci homered for a 5-4 lead, but Beltre answered with a solo shot into the left-field bullpen in the fifth. It was his first multihomer game since Sept. 21 for the Dodgers against San Diego.

In 12 games since returning from a tight left hamstring, Beltre is hitting .360 (18-for-50) with three home runs and nine RBIs, raising his average 20 points to .264

Mariners starter Joel Pineiro needed 30 pitches, including three 3-2 counts, just to get out of the first inning. The Rangers scored only once, on Hank Blalock’s single through the right side just past the diving Richie Sexson. Kevin Mench left the bases loaded when he swung through a 3-2 outside fastball.

C.J. Wilson, in his third major league start, also struggled in the first. He threw 26 pitches and walked three, including Raul Ibanez with the bases loaded.

Rod Barajas began the Rangers’ three-run second with a one-out walk. Dellucci singled and Young followed with a homer on the first pitch for a 4-1 lead.

The Mariners tied it in the third. Ichiro Suzuki singled and scored on Randy Winn’s double off the left-center wall. Beltre followed with a two-run shot to right.

The Rangers’ bullpen allowed just two hits in seven innings. John Wasdin, who took over for Wilson in the third, went 4 2-3 innings, allowing two hits while striking out five.

“The key to the game for them today was Wasdin,” Mariners second baseman Bret Boone said. “He came in early and shut us down for at least four innings. He pitched great.

“We came up one short. When things are going this way it seems like you come up one short when you play a good game.”

Notes

This was the 38th game in which the Rangers have had multiple home runs. … The Mariners play just seven times at home over a 26-game period from June 24 through July 24. … Kenny Rogers, suspended Friday for 20 days after a confrontation with a cameraman, will start Sunday for the Rangers while he’s appealing. Wasdin, who would have started in Rogers’ place, worked in relief Saturday. … Pineiro is 5-0 in seven games against the Rangers.

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