ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) Christian Yelich kept coming up to bat in big situations. And the young leadoff hitter kept coming through for the Miami Marlins.
Yelich set career highs with four hits and four RBIs, including the go-ahead two-run single in the seventh inning, as the Marlins beat the Texas Rangers 8-5 on Tuesday night for their record-tying 13th consecutive interleague victory.
”Oh really, that’s awesome, I guess,” Yelich said about the streak, after first asking what it was. ”I guess we just like playing (AL teams) and play well against them.”
The 13-game interleague winning streak matched the major league record shared by the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays, who both reached that mark in 2004. The Marlins, 8-0 vs. American League teams this season, wrap up their quick two-game set in Texas on Wednesday.
”It’s one of those baseball things you probably can’t figure out,” Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. ”I’m sure there’s probably somebody a lot smarter than me that can figure it out, but we just go out there and try to win a ball game.”
Yelich’s single in the seventh inning sent home two unearned runs and put the Marlins ahead to stay, after the Rangers had taken the lead with a four-run sixth.
There was also his tiebreaking two-run double in the fourth and the hustling double in the sixth when he scored on Casey McGehee’s two-out hit.
”That was a great play, a big momentum-builder for us,” Redmond said. ”Anytime you can press the issue with base runners, you put pressure on them and it fires the guys up.”
Bryan Morris (5-0), the third Marlins pitcher, struck out two in 1 1-3 scoreless innings. Steve Cishek worked a perfect ninth with two strikeouts for his 15th save in 16 chances.
Texas right-hander Jason Frasor (1-1) was responsible for the two unearned runs while facing four batters.
Miami took advantage of second baseman Rougned Odor’s fielding error on a potential double play in the seventh when Yelich’s two-out single made it 6-5.
”In the end, we didn’t play the defense we were capable of playing. That hurt us,” manager Ron Washington said. ”We fought hard to get back into that game but we shot ourselves in the foot.”
Garrett Jones drove in two runs for the Marlins, including his RBI double in the eighth right after the Rangers committed two errors on one play, when Giancarlo Stanton went from first to third on a ball hit to left and then scored on the miscues.
Texas went ahead 5-4 after their sixth-inning outburst capped off when Brad Snyder, called up from Triple-A Round Rock earlier Tuesday, scored from second base when Odor beat out a slow chopper for an infield single.
Marlins starter Tom Koehler struck out seven through five innings, but the right-hander then allowed the first four batters to reach in the sixth, including a bases-loaded walk to Snyder, before Robinson Chirinos had his second sacrifice fly of the game.
Yelich doubled off the base of the wall in center field for a 3-1 lead in the fourth off Colby Lewis, after Justin Bour had a single and Jeff Mathis drew a walk to start the inning.
Mathis might have been out at the plate if shortstop Elvis Andrus’ relay throw hadn’t been cut off near the mound by Snyder, who was playing first base in the major leagues for the first time. An outfielder before playing his last two Triple-A games at first base, Snyder came up when Mitch Moreland (left ankle) was put on the 15-day disabled list.
NOTES: The Rangers are 15-19 at home, including 2-6 on this homestand after coming off their longest trip of the season with a 7-4 record. … Miami had 14 hits and left 13 runners on base. … Texas has a majors-high 13 players on the DL. … Rangers 3B Adrian Beltre had multiple hits for the seventh time in eight games.