ARLINGTON, Texas (AP)—Adam Jones was surprised when Mariners manager Mike Hargrove called on him to hit in a big spot for Seattle.
He ended up making the most of his opportunity.
Jones had a pinch-hit, two-run single with two outs in the 10th inning to help the Mariners beat the Texas Rangers 9-7 Tuesday night.
Jones was hitting .205 and he hadn’t played since last Wednesday. He thought he might enter the game in the 10th as a pinch runner, but he wasn’t expecting Hargrove to send him in to pinch hit.
“Yeah, I was surprised,” Jones said. “Usually if he calls me it’s to run. But he came and told me to get loose. I’m thinking I’m going to run for somebody, and he’s like, ‘You’re batting.”’
Seattle stranded 16 baserunners in the game, but scored two runs in the ninth to tie it. Richie Sexson walked with one out in the 10th against C.J. Wilson (2-3). Sexson went to second on Mike Morse’s pinch-hit single before he was replaced by pinch-runner Jose Lopez, who advanced along with Morse on a groundout.
Jones went up looking for a first-pitch fastball from Joaquin Benoit, the eighth Texas pitcher, and that’s exactly what he got, lining a single up the middle to plate both runs.
“For a guy who hasn’t had an at-bat in a while, to come up there against a guy like Benoit, who’s got really good stuff, it was a huge hit for him and a huge hit for us,” said Willie Bloomquist, who had a career-high five hits.
Mark Teixeira, Hank Blalock and Ian Kinsler homered in a four-run third inning for the Rangers, who had a three-game winning streak end. Gary Matthews Jr. went 3-for-5 and led off the first with a homer for Texas.
Rangers closer Akinori Otsuka started the ninth with a 7-5 lead, but he sparked the Mariners’ rally when he committed a three-base error, throwing wildly to first on a leadoff comeback grounder by pinch-hitter Greg Dobbs.
Bloomquist’s two-out RBI single drove in Dobbs. Bloomquist stole second and Suzuki singled to tie it at 7 and hand Otsuka his fourth blown save in 36 chances.
“If I got the first batter out, it would have been different, but I made a mistake,” Otsuka said through a translator. “It put us in a tough situation.”
Otsuka has battled Suzuki in their native Japan as well as the U.S., and he tried to pitch carefully to him.
“I know how great Ichiro is with runners in scoring position,” Otsuka said.
Matthews hit his 19th homer in the first inning and Blalock added an RBI single to give Texas a 2-1 lead.
Seattle tied it at 2 in the second on Suzuki’s RBI single. Suzuki stole second later in the inning to extend his AL single-season record to 34 straight successful steal attempts. It was his 40th stolen base overall.
Mariners starter Jarrod Washburn took himself out of the game in the third inning with a strained right calf after allowing Teixeira’s 28th homer and Mark DeRosa’s double. Washburn gave up three runs and four hits in 2 1-3 innings.
“When I threw that pitch, it felt like someone stabbed me with a knife,” Washburn said of his last throw. “At first I felt I ripped my Achilles’. That’s what I was thinking it was.”
Blalock greeted reliever Cesar Jimenez with a two-run shot—his 16th—and Kinsler followed with his 13th to make it 6-2.
DeRosa’s double gave the Rangers four players with 40 or more two-base hits, making them the first team since 1932 and the third in major league history to accomplish the feat. Michael Young, Matthews and Teixeira had already reached the 40-doubles mark.
Seattle scored twice in the fourth with the help of another stolen base by Suzuki, his 35th in a row.
Rangers rookie starter Edinson Volquez had a 6-2 lead, but gave up consecutive singles to start the fifth and was taken out by manager Buck Showalter.
“With a 6-2 lead, obviously (Volquez) didn’t do a good job economizing his pitches,” Showalter said. “Hopefully he’ll get a little more consistency.”
Texas C Rod Barajas, out since Sept. 9 due to back problems, returned to the lineup. … Matthews extended his career-best hitting streak to 13 games with his second leadoff homer of the season. … Teixeira has 19 homers since the All-Star break. … Washburn will be re-examined by team medical personnel on Wednesday and is listed as day to day.