For the second straight day, the Rangers entered the ninth with a tied game, and left with a win as they defeated the Seattle Mariners 4-3.
In the ninth, Luis Sardinas hit a single off Fernando Rodney, and then advanced to second on a fielder’s choice by Rougned Odor. A single from Leonys Martin scored Sardinas, and the Rangers got their third consecutive win.
The Mariners were the first on the board in the fifth, when back to back singles from John Buck and Kyle Seager were followed by a sac-fly from Stefan Romero that allowed Buck to score.
The Rangers responded in the sixth, where they scored all three of their runs. Shin-Soo Choo lead off with a single, and then scored on a RBI double from Adrian Beltre. Robinson Chirinos came up big with a two-run blast, and the Rangers took a 3-1 lead, a pivotal moment of the game.
“I knew when I hit it that it was out” said Chirinos. “I was a little worried because it was close to the foul pole, but thank God it stayed fair.”
Later that inning, a controversial call allowed the Mariners to tack another run on the board. Robinson Cano and Jesus Montero singles were followed up with another RBI single, this time from Buck, scoring Cano. It was a close call at the plate, and the Rangers challenge the call but in the end, lost the challenge.
There were three other reviews during the game, that only extended an already long matchup. The Mariners challenged a call in the first, that Martin was safe at second base, and won the challenge, so Martin was out. Later that inning, there had to be a review because the umpires lost track of the pitch count.
In the seventh, the Rangers challenged a call that Elvis Andrus was out at first, after being caught amidst a run down. After a lengthy review, the call was reversed, Andrus was ruled safe, and the Mariners’ fans had an uproar.
The Mariners tied it up in the seventh, as singles from Willie Bloomquist and James Jones were followed by an error from Luis Sardinas that allowed Connor Gillespie to load the bases. A single from Cano scored Bloomquist, and tied the game until Martin’s game winning single.
It was a quality start for Joe Saunders, who has continued to improve since returning from the disabled list. Saunders has proven he has the ability to work his way out of difficult situations, and left the game with a no decision.
“He know how to pitch around trouble” said manager Ron Washington. “He got us through six, and we pulled it off."
Shawn Tolleson gave up the tying run, as Neal Cotts earned the win, Jason Frasor gave a shutout performance, and Joakim Soria earned another save.
With the game tied in the ninth, the Rangers have only lost one game this year. This team is starting to be known for their fighting spirit, as they continue to win amidst a boatful of problems.
“They don’t quit” said Washington. “They go nine innings and they continue to play baseball. No matter what, they play baseball.”
The Rangers look to win the series against Seattle Sunday, with Nick Martinez on the mound. Game time is slated for 3:10 p.m. CT.