A much-needed breakout for Fielder

June 12th, 2016

SEATTLE -- Rangers manager Jeff Banister was hit with a barrage of Yu Darvish questions after a 2-1 victory over the Mariners in 11 innings on Saturday night. Banister answered a few patiently, explaining Darvish's situation, and then started to get irritated.

He was tired of talking about an injury and wanted someone to ask him about another huge win for the Rangers.

"That was a ballgame," Banister said. "Exciting on all fronts. There was so much good that went on in that ballgame."

The Rangers have played more than their fair share of thrillers this season and the manager did have a point. This one was special as they were one strike away from a 1-0 loss when Prince Fielder tied it up with a two-out home run in the top of the ninth off of Mariners closer Steve Cishek.

The Rangers then won it in the 11th on a leadoff home run by Rougned Odor.

"It's about a great team win on the road against a club that plays hard and plays us tough," Banister said. "These guys continue to show great resiliency. They stay in the moment and they stay in the game."

Rangers starter Colby Lewis helped set up the late-inning heroics by holding the Mariners to one run in eight innings. He allowed three hits, did not walk a batter and struck out three.

"Masterful performance by a veteran pitcher," Banister said.

"Super-pumped," Lewis said. "I was really excited, not only for the situation but our team. That was what we needed as a team. We needed this game, especially after dropping the first one (on Friday) night."

The Rangers drop this one if Fielder didn't crush a 3-2 sinker from Cishek in the ninth. Fielder had his bat raised in triumphant as he watched the ball sail into the right-field seats.

"I always feel good when I help the team win," Fielder said. "I was just glad we got the win. We're playing good baseball."

Fielder was 3-for-5 on the night and is 8-for-23 with two home runs in his last five games.

"That was something we needed from him," Banister said. "What a great effort from him. We know in this clubhouse what he means to this team."

The Rangers also played good defense, especially in the 11th when reliever Sam Dyson came on to save it for winning pitcher Matt Bush. Dyson ran into trouble when he hit Norichika Aoki with a pitch to start the inning.

Shawn O'Malley tried to bunt him to second but first baseman Mitch Moreland made a nice play to get a force at second. The Mariners challenged the call but it was confirmed by replay.

Robinson Cano followed with a high pop to shallow center where Ian Desmond raced in and made a diving catch to take away a single. Nelson Cruz then beat out an infield single but Dyson retired Kyle Seager on a fly to deep right to end the game. Dyson is now 7-for-7 in save opportunities since becoming the Rangers closer.

"There was so much in that game to talk about," Banister said. "What these guys did tonight was exceptional."