Texas Rangers' Mitch Moreland scores on a bases-loaded walk to Robinson Chirinos by the Seattle Mariners in the fifth inning of a baseball game on Saturday, April 26, 2014, in Seattle.
SEATTLE (AP) — After three more years in the minors and another lost season to Tommy John surgery, Aaron Poreda wondered if he would ever get a chance to win another major league game.
He got an answer for that question on Saturday night.
Poreda pitched two scoreless innings to get the win when the Texas Rangers held off the Seattle Mariners for a 6-3 victory Saturday night.
Mitch Moreland drove in Prince Fielder with a tiebreaking sacrifice fly in the eighth, and Texas added two more runs in the ninth.
It was Poreda’s first victory since June 25, 2009, for the Chicago White Sox against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
"It’s amazing just to be back," Poreda said. "It’s amazing to be put in the opportunity to get a win."
Poreda (1-0) allowed one hit, struck out two and issued an intentional walk. With two runners on in the seventh inning, Poreda struck out Kyle Seager with a slider to keep the game tied at 3.
"He threw strikes, had a good changeup working," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "It helped us tremendously that he gave us those two innings."
Texas added two more runs in the ninth against Joe Beimel. Leonys Martin scored on a wild pitch and Fielder singled in Elvis Andrus to give Texas a 6-3 cushion.
Joakim Soria pitched a scoreless ninth for his sixth save in six chances.
Poreda is getting more work due in part to Pedro Figueroa landing on the disabled list with left elbow inflammation. But Poreda thinks there is room in the bullpen for both left-handers when Figueroa returns. He also isn’t planning to wait another five years to get his next victory.
"I have a lot higher expectations and goals than just one win. This is just the start of a great season," Poreda said.
In the leadoff spot for the first time this season, Michael Saunders homered off Colby Lewis to give the Mariners an early 1-0 lead. Seager led off the second with another homer and then scored on Mike Zunino’s sacrifice fly in the fourth.
The Rangers appeared to be in trouble, down 3-0 with Felix Hernandez on the mound for Seattle. But Texas managed to run up Hernandez’s pitch count and broke through for three runs in the fifth inning.
Singles from Moreland, Donnie Murphy and Martin loaded the bases with no outs. Robinson Chirinos drew a walk on four pitches to push Moreland across for the Rangers’ first run. Michael Choice singled in another run and Andrus’ sacrifice fly tied it at 3.
"They were swinging at the first pitch and I was making a mistake staying in the middle of the plate and they were able to put a good swing on it," Hernandez said. "Three straight hits and after that, I don’t even remember the last time I walked somebody on four straight pitches with the bases loaded."
Hernandez allowed five hits in six innings. He struck out four and walked three. Charlie Furbush (0-2) got the loss.
NOTES: Texas is expected to activate LHP Matt Harrison from the 15-day disabled to start Sunday’s series finale. Harrison hasn’t appeared in a game since April 6, 2013. Harrison was the opening-day starter for Texas last season but only made two starts before landing on the disabled list in need of surgeries to his back and torso. He won 18 games for the Rangers in 2012. RHP Brandon Maurer (0-0, 2.08 ERA) will start for Seattle … It was Saunders’ third career leadoff homer. … Seager is batting .360 (9 for 25) with three homers and seven RBIs in his last seven starts. He’s raised his average from .170 to .213 over that span.