Cruz hits 2 homers, game-winner as Seattle stuns Texas in 9th
SEATTLE -- The Mariners rallied with two runs in the bottom of the ninth against Rangers closer Neftali Feliz in an 11-10 victory on Sunday afternoon at Safeco Field.
Nelson Cruz delivered the big hit with a two-out single through the left side for his fifth RBI of the day after hitting a solo home run in the first and a three-run shot in the third.
"It was a great win," Cruz said. "I think we need this one. [I was looking for] something that I can put in play. I strike out three times with runners on … When it mattered the most, I get the hit."
The Mariners' winning rally started with a leadoff single by Brad Miller. Logan Morrison flied out to center but Seth Smith walked, putting runners on first and second for the top of the Mariners' lineup. Austin Jackson tied the game with a line-drive single to right and moved Smith to third. Rickie Weeks then flied out to shallow center, keeping Smith at third. Robinson Cano was then walked intentionally to bring up Cruz, who delivered the game-winning single. More >
"I was just trying to keep the ball low," Feliz said. "He's a good hitter. That ball was low. He made good contact."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Cruz continues to crush: The Major League-leading home run hitter sure knows how to get them in bunches. Cruz hit a pair of home runs in his first two at-bats Sunday to up his total to eight on the season. The second was a towering blast to left, giving him his second two-homer game this season and 15th of his career. More >
Martin bunt sparks offense: The Rangers' seven-run third inning started with a leadoff bunt single by Leonys Martin. The Rangers sent 11 batters to the plate in that inning. Of the first seven hitters, only two hit the ball out of the infield. But they wore down Mariners starter James Paxton and then Jake Smolinski, the eighth hitter in the inning, hit a two-run home run.
Mariners' eighth-inning rally makes it close: The Rangers' bullpen, holding a 10-6 lead, let the Mariners back into the game in the eighth. Tanner Scheppers walked three of four batters to load the bases. Keone Kela walked Cano with one out to force in a run. That forced manager Jeff Banister to bring in closer Feliz, who struck out Cruz. Kyle Seager's two-run single made it 10-9 but Feliz got Dustin Ackley on a fly to center to end the inning. More >
"I didn't have it today," Scheppers said. "Unfortunately I put my team in a bad situation."
Bass gives Rangers chance: Rangers reliever Anthony Bass gave the Rangers 3 2/3 scoreless innings in relief. Bass took over for starter Ross Detwiler, who allowed five runs in 2 1/3 innings. Bass was in line for the victory until the Mariners rallied in the end. More >
"We just fought back. So pumped. Great series win, great come-from-behind win. Glad we finished it off right there." -- Mariners shortstop Miller on the walk-off win
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Rangers' seven-run third was their biggest one-inning rally at Safeco Field since 2008. It's only the second time since the beginning of the 2014 season they've scored seven runs in an inning and the first time on the road since April 24, 2013, at Anaheim.
MORELAND COMES BACK
Mitch Moreland still has a sore elbow but showed he can be an effective pinch-hitter off the bench. He did so in a three-run sixth inning. He pinch-hit for Adam Rosales after the Mariners brought in right-hander Carson Smith and smacked a run-scoring single up the middle. Moreland will likely be the Rangers' key pinch-hitter during the two-game series in Arizona on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Rangers: Nick Martinez will go for his third straight win when he pitches against the D-backs at 8:40 p.m. CT on Tuesday at Chase Field. Martinez has allowed one unearned run in 14 innings over his first two starts and will be facing the D-backs for the first time.
Mariners: Hisashi Iwakuma will attempt to win his first game of the season when he takes the mound for his third start of the year Monday against the Astros at 7:10 p.m. PT at Safeco Field. Iwakuma has allowed four earned runs in each of his first two starts.
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