Rangers 8, Mariners 2
Young hit a three-run double and then scored on an errant relay throw, and the Rangers won 8-2 Thursday night to move a game ahead of Seattle and out of last place in the AL West.
“Pitch to the really good left-hander ahead of me with runners on second and third and less than two outs, or bring in the guy from the bullpen who’s a really good sinker-slider guy and shoot for the double play,” Young said. “I would have done the same thing.”
With Young standing on deck with one out in the seventh, Mariners starter Joel Pineiro (7-10) intentionally walked leadoff hitter Gary Matthews Jr. to load the bases. Julio Mateo then took over on the mound.
“If Mateo throws the ball the way he can, we have a good chance to get out of the inning,” manager Mike Hargrove said.
Instead, Young hit a double into the left-field corner.
“Mike takes the emotion of the at-bat, like he’s playing whiffle ball in the back yard,” Rangers manager Buck Showalter said.
Young had already grounded into a team-high 22 double plays. But the three-time All-Star is also 7-for-9 with 18 RBIs when the bases are loaded this season, and 26-for-65 (.400) in his career.
Matthews ran through third-base coach Steve Smith’s stop sign, prompting shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt’s errant double-clutch throw that got past catcher Kenji Johjima and went into a camera well. That allowed Young to score as well.
An inning earlier, Mark Teixeira’s three-run double put the Rangers ahead 3-2, and extended his on-base streak to 34 games.
Adam Eaton (2-2), who threw only 18 pitches in his start Sunday before being ejected, went six innings in only his fourth start for the Rangers since coming off the disabled list. He allowed four hits, including a pair of solo homers.
“I felt in control, throwing a bunch of strikes,” said Eaton, who threw 56 of 77 pitches for strikes. “I had a few mistakes here and there, but I felt good.”
Adam Jones hit his first career homer on an 0-2 pitch in the third after Eaton had retired the first eight batters. Ben Broussard snapped an 0-for-13 streak with his 15th homer in the fifth, putting the Mariners up 2-0.
Eaton began the season on the DL after surgery to repair a torn tendon in the middle finger of his pitching hand. On Sunday at the Los Angeles Angels, Eaton was ejected when, right after allowing a three-run homer to Garret Anderson, he threw a pitch behind Juan Rivera.
After Thursday night’s game, Eaton said he was fined by Major League Baseball for that incident, but didn’t yet know the amount. There will not be any kind of suspension.
The Rangers and Mariners started their four-game weekend series tied at the bottom of the division, but still well in postseason contention. Seattle is only six games behind AL West-leading Oakland, and Texas is five games back.
“We are a group that knows what we are capable of, and if we put it all together, we can be very good,” Young said. “If we pitch, hit and field, we can be dangerous. We just want to give ourselves a chance to make this something pretty special.”
The Rangers haven’t been to the playoffs since winning the AL West in 1999.
Texas hit five home runs Wednesday in a 14-0 victory at Oakland that wrapped up a 10-game roadtrip and ended a four-game losing streak.
The Rangers were to five singles by Pineiro until Teixeira doubled off the right-field wall. Carlos Lee scored the third run on that play with a nifty slide around the tag of Johjima, slapping the back of the plate with his hand.
Pineiro allowed six runs and eight hits in his 6 1-3 innings.
The Rangers got their another run in the seventh when Sean Green hit Matt Stairs with a pitch with the bases loaded. That came a batter after Teixeira was called out after being hit by Mark DeRosa’s infield single—sending Lee back to third base after he’d already crossed the plate.
Teixeira on-base streak of 34 games is the AL’s longest streak. In 28 games since the All-Star break, Teixeira has 27 walks and only 10 strikeouts. He had 43 walks and 71 strikeouts in the 88 games before that.
The temperature was 102 degrees when the game started. It was still 95 degrees when the game ended in the mid-90s when the game ended at 9:32 p.m. local time. … The Mariners have lost 11 of the last 14 games in the series.