Pierzynski homers as Rangers beat Mariners 8-3
When August started, Travis Blackley was a reliever on the worst
team in the majors. Now he’s starting for the AL West leaders.
Blackley pitched six effective innings and A.J. Pierzynski hit a
three-run homer, leading the Texas Rangers to an 8-3 victory over
the Seattle Mariners on Monday night.
It was Blackley’s first win since he was acquired in a trade
with Houston on Aug. 14.
”It’s a good feeling,” Blackley said. ”I’m really excited
about the rest of the way.”
Alex Rios had two hits and two RBIs as the Rangers picked up
their fifth win in seven games. Elvis Andrus celebrated his 25th
birthday with three hits and an RBI.
It was more than enough run support for Blackley (2-1), who
allowed three runs and five hits in his second start of the
”With all the injuries we’ve had, especially pitching injuries,
anyone we can get that can come in and give us six innings and a
quality start and give us a chance, that’s an added bonus,”
Pierzynski said. ”We’ve had a bunch of guys step in kind of from
out of nowhere and done some good things for us.”
Kyle Seager hit his 20th home run of the season for the
Mariners, who have lost four in a row.
It was Blackley’s longest outing since Oct. 2, 2012, after
making 42 relief appearances for Houston this season. He had a
similar experience last year, when he joined Oakland mid-season and
made 15 starts for the A’s during their playoff run.
”Coming back here with another chase and another go at the
postseason, a little older and I’ve been through it – it’s really
not as hard when you’ve got this team behind you,” Blackley said.
”They play so well and they score a lot of runs most of the
Blackley was designated for assignment by Houston on Aug. 9. He
was sent to Triple-A Round Rock after the trade, but he came up
when right-hander Alexi Ogando went on the disabled list.
”I don’t know what the Astros were thinking, I think they just
wanted to try out young guys. I wasn’t having the best season in
that role, but it was a blessing in disguise,” Blackley said. ”I
wanted to start all year and they didn’t have a spot for me to do
that, and a spot opened up here, picked me up and I’m trying to run
It was a much different night for Seattle starter Joe Saunders
(10-13), who turned in another sluggish outing. The left-hander
allowed seven runs and nine hits in seven innings to fall to 1-5
with a 7.71 ERA in his last seven starts.
”It was one of those weird nights where I thought I pitched
better than the results,” Saunders said. ”I’ve just been having
some bad luck.”
The Rangers led 4-3 before Pierzynski hit a drive to right after
Adrian Beltre was intentionally walked with two out and a runner on
second in the seventh. It was Pierzynski’s 15th homer in his first
season with Texas.
Mitch Moreland added his 19th homer in the eighth, giving the
Rangers an 8-3 lead.
Saunders got off to a slow start, and the Rangers took
advantage. Saunders hit Craig Gentry leading off the game and
Andrus followed with a single. The runners moved up on Ian
Kinsler’s sacrifice before Beltre was walked intentionally to load
After Pierzynski bounced into a fielder’s choice, Rios singled
to center to lift Texas to a 2-0 lead.
The Mariners rallied in the third on Brad Miller’s tying two-run
single. Seager hit a drive to right with one out in the fourth, but
that was all for Seattle.
NOTES: Before the game, the Mariners activated OF Franklin
Gutierrez from the disabled list and designated RHP Aaron Harang
for assignment. … Rangers OF Leonys Martin (sprained right ankle)
was out of the lineup for the second straight game.