ARLINGTON, Texas – The Texas Rangers put an end to all kinds of troubling trends in rallying for a 5-4 victory over Seattle Thursday night.
Third baseman Adrian Beltre, who hadn’t homered in 22 games, snapped that in a big way by keeping the Rangers afloat with a pair of solo homers.
Mitch Moreland, who had gone a week without an RBI, delivered a clutch one in the seventh inning. And in that seventh inning that featured a leadoff homer from Beltre and the Moreland single, the Rangers scored four times. It’s the most they’ve scored in an inning since they tallied four on June 26 at New York and the five runs are also the most the club has scored in a game since that 8-5 win over New York.
The Rangers needed all those things to happen to avoid being swept by the Mariners in Arlington for the first time in 12 years.
“To put together a little bit of an opportunity there in the seventh inning and try to build something, it ended up working out for us,” said Moreland, whose game-tying single came against Seattle left-hander Charlie Furbush. “It was a big win for us, a good one to try and salvage a game in the series there to get back on track.”
It wasn’t an easy path for the Rangers to get back on track.
Texas trailed 3-1 going into the bottom of the seventh and had a total of three hits to show for their night against Hisashi Iwakuma. But Beltre brought some life back into a sellout crowd of 46,476 with his second homer of the night and 362nd of his career, which moved him past Joe DiMaggio on the all-time list.
The second Beltre homer seemed to ignite the offense as A.J. Pierzynski followed with a single, Lance Berkman walked and then Moreland tied the game with a looping single to center. Elvis Andrus then added a sacrifice fly to give Texas a lead. Two batters later Ian Kinsler made it a 5-3 game, capping an inning in which the Rangers sent seven hitters to the plate and had four hits.
An inning like that was a welcome sight.
“I don’t think we’re trying too hard, it’s just not happening,” Beltre said of the lack of the big inning. “We’re not expected to do it the whole year. We’ve been back and forth. For a couple of weeks we’ve been good and for a couple of weeks we’ve been bad. It’s going to be up and down, but I don’t think anyone is pressing about it, stressing about it.”
Beltre went 3 for 4 while snapping a 22 game homerless drought, his longest since he joined the Rangers.
The Rangers were on the verge of needing more than one big inning on several occasions Thursday. Martin Perez pitched into the sixth inning but allowed eight hits and walked two. Neal Cotts didn’t retire any of the three batters he faced and was tagged for two runs.
Seattle had 14 hits on the night but was just 1 for 12 with runners in scoring position and left 13 runners on base. Those are the kind of numbers the Rangers can relate too, but not Thursday as Texas had just eight hits and took advantage of two of the three chances it had with runners in scoring position.
Texas did get some big pitches performances from Jason Frasor, who lowered his ERA to 2.82 by bailing Perez out of trouble in the sixth inning. Josh Lindblom, the fourth Texas pitcher of the night, picked up his first win since last August and Joe Nathan closed out the Mariners in the ninth for his 28th save in 29 chances.
A late rally and six pitchers just to get a win isn’t the way it’s normally drawn up, but the Rangers will gladly take it.