Martin’s single pushes Rangers past Mariners 4-3
SEATTLE (AP) With two strikes on him and two outs in the ninth inning of a tie game, Leonys Martin kept his plan simple.
”Try to see the ball and put the ball in play,” he said.
Martin slapped a single just past the glove of a diving Kyle Seager at third base, scoring Luis Sardinas from second with the go-ahead run and the Rangers held on for a 4-3 win over Seattle on Saturday night, extending the Mariners’ losing streak to five games.
Luis Sardinas singled off Fernando Rodney (1-3) with one out in the ninth and moved to second on a groundout. Martin, who reached base three times as manager Ron Washington’s latest test in the leadoff spot, followed with the game-winning hit, which scored Sardinas without a play at the plate.
”If you put the ball in play, good things can happen, and it did for us tonight,” Washington said. ”They don’t quit. They play nine innings and they continue to play baseball no matter what happens out there. No matter what happens out there, they continue to play baseball.”
Despite allowing an inherited runner to score after allowing a bases-loaded RBI single to Robinson Cano in the seventh, Neal Cotts (2-3) limited the damage and earned the win with 1 2-3 innings of four-strikeout relief. Joakim Soria pitched a perfect ninth for his 15th save in 16 chances.
The late run spoiled a win for Texas starter Joe Saunders, who was in line for his first victory of the season in his fourth start after coming off the disabled list. Saunders allowed two runs in six innings.
”For me, it’s about getting deeper into games,” Saunders said. ”I felt like I had good stuff tonight, could’ve been better. So it’s still, in my mind, a little bit of a work in progress. But made some good strides tonight.”
The Rangers had to rally early in the game after falling behind 1-0 in the fifth. Shin-Soo Choo singled off reliever Danny Farquhar to open the sixth and scored when Adrian Beltre followed with a double into the left-field corner, tying the game. After a pair of strikeouts, Robinson Chirinos put Texas ahead with a two-run home run to left field.
Farquhar came on for Erasmo Ramirez, who had skirted danger in five scoreless innings. Ramirez allowed just three hits, but struggled with his command and walked four. The right-hander allowed seven baserunners and threw 89 pitches.
The Mariners took the lead in the fifth when Stefen Romero hit a sacrifice fly to left to score John Buck from third. Buck led off the frame with a single and moved to third when Seager followed with a base hit. The run snapped a 13-inning scoreless streak for the Mariners.
Seattle added a run in the sixth when Buck scored Cano from second with a single. The call at the plate was confirmed after a review.
The Mariners were not able to capitalize on opportunities, though, and multiple runners stranded in the three separate innings.
”We’ve lost some tough games here at home,” Willie Bloomquist said. ”We’re playing hard, just not coming up with that big hit when we need it.”
NOTES: Sunday’s series finale will feature Mariners RHP Hisashi Iwakuma and Rangers RHP Nick Martinez. … The umpires reviewed four calls: two in the first, one in the sixth and one in the seventh. Leonys Martin was originally called safe in an attempt to steal second, but it was overturned. A 2-2 count to Adrian Beltre was also reviewed, and upheld. A ruling that Robinson Cano was safe at home in the sixth was confirmed. Elvis Andrus was originally called out at first in the seventh after being involved in a rundown, but the call was reversed. … Seattle’s Jesus Montero, a former top prospect, made his first appearance since being suspended 50 games for his connection to the Biogenesis performance-enhancing drug investigation last year. Montero, who was recalled from Triple-A Tacoma on Thursday, collected a single in three at-bats as the designated hitter.