Kinsler homers, Rangers take advantage of miscues to beat Mariners 5-3
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP)—Adrian Beltre and the Seattle Mariners have not done much wrong lately. But when the Mariners stumbled defensively and at the plate, the Texas Rangers jumped on those rare mistakes.
Ian Kinsler hit a three-run homer, and the Texas Rangers took advantage of two Beltre errors to beat the Seattle Mariners 5-3 on Saturday night.
The Mariners lost for the second time in nine games, but stayed within a game of the Los Angeles for the AL West lead. The Angels lost 9-2 to the Blue Jays.
Seattle is hitting .332 in August and had scored 51 runs over its past seven games. But the Mariners struggled with runners in scoring position, going just 2-of-15.
“This was not one of our typical games,” Seattle manager John McLaren said.
Kinsler’s homer in the fifth tied the game at 3, one pitch after Beltre made a throwing error on a play that would have ended the inning. Then in the seventh, Travis Metcalf singled and Kinsler hit a dribbler to Beltre at third. His throw ended up in right field, allowing Metcalf to score and make it 4-3.
Kinsler, who had three hits, made it all the way to third on Beltre’s miscue. Gerald Laird drove him in with a nice squeeze bunt on a pitch from Seattle reliever Rick White (0-1) that appeared headed toward Laird’s face.
“They made some mistakes and we capitalized,” Texas manager Ron Washington said. “We kept the right attitude and ended up getting the win.”
“This was the game we haven’t quite had the last two days,” Texas left fielder Jason Botts said. “When the momentum was there, we were able to build on it.”
The Mariners had won 19 of 26 since a seven-game losing streak, and still lead the wild-card standings by two games over the New York Yankees.
Beltre has been a big reason the Mariners have stayed in the playoff hunt. He’s 18-of-40 his last nine games.
In addition to his throwing errors, Beltre grounded into a double play to end the game.
Beltre did not make himself available to reporters after the game.
“He’s been so good at third that you rarely see that,” Seattle first baseman Richie Sexson said. “Everyone is entitled to a bad throw. Unfortunately they made us pay for it.”
Frank Francisco got the final out in the seventh—with some help from Botts.
The Mariners had a chance to take the lead when Kenji Johjima singled with runners on first and second, but Botts made a perfect one-hop throw from left field to nail Jose Guillen at the plate and keep the score tied at 3.
“I was happy I didn’t try to do too much there,” Botts said. “I just wanted to make a good throw.”
Beltre, Jose Vidro and Sexson had RBIs for Seattle.
Ichiro Suzuki did not play for the first time this season Saturday. He was resting while the Mariners continued a stretch of 44 games in 45 days.
Seattle starter Horacio Ramirez gave up three runs—none earned—in 5 2-3 innings. He walked three and struck out two.
One of Ramirez’ few bad pitches came on Kinsler’s home run. This came on the first pitch Kinsler saw after Beltre’s first error of the game.
“I made a mistake at the wrong time,” Ramirez said.
Sexson had a sacrifice fly to put Seattle on the board in the second, Vidro had an RBI double in the third and Beltre had an RBI single in the fifth.
Texas starter Jamey Wright gave up three runs and seven hits in five innings. He struck out three and walked two.
Beltre extended his hitting streak to nine games. … Kinsler came into the game in a 3-of-30 slump over his last seven games.
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