Thursday, July 4, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Rangers 5, Mariners 4
By Todd Wills
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Adrian Beltre had two home runs and the Texas Rangers rallied from a two-run deficit to avoid a sweep, pulling off a July 4 comeback with a 5-4 victory over the Seattle Mariners.
Beltre hits two HRs: Beltre had his 24th career multi-home-run game, giving the Rangers a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second with a 447-foot shot to center field. He did it again in the seventh inning after the Rangers had fallen behind 3-1, igniting a four-run inning with a 425-foot home run, again to center field. Beltre's second homer gave him 362 for his career, slipping him past New York Yankees Hall of Famer Joe DiMaggio for 75th place on the all-time list. Next up on that list is teammate Lance Berkman, who has 366 career home runs.
According to ESPN Stats & Information, Beltre's second-inning home run is the second-longest home run Beltre has hit in the past eight seasons (the longest was a 454-foot shot on April 25, 2012). It's the second longest home run the Texas Rangers have hit in 2013 (Nelson Cruz hit one 450 feet off Aaron Harang on April 21).
Rangers offense awakes: Trailing 3-1 in the bottom of the seventh and with three hits off Mariners starter Hisashi Iwakuma, the Rangers finally came alive. Beltre started the rally with his second homer of the night, a 425-foot shot over the center-field fence. Catcher A.J. Pierzynski, 1-for-19 on the homestand, kept things going with a single to right field. Lance Berkman followed with a walk. Mitch Moreland greeted Mariners reliever Charlie Furbush with a seeing-eye single up the middle to tie the game at 3-3. Elvis Andrus gave the Rangers a 4-3 lead with a sacrifice fly with speedy pinch runner Engel Beltre scoring on the line drive to shallow left field. Ian Kinsler added an RBI single with one out for a 5-3 lead.
Perez scatters runners: Martin Perez didn't cruise through the Seattle lineup like he did against St. Louis and Cincinnati, but he did work out of trouble, allowing an unearned run in 5 1/3 innings. Perez allowed eight hits and walked two and multiple runners on base in four different innings. It took an error by Kinsler to give the Mariners their only run against him. With runners at first and second, Perez appeared to get a double-play ball by Endy Chavez. Instead of going to second base, Kinsler tagged Justin Smoak between first and second -- it appeared to a phantom tag -- and then threw wildly to first base, allowing Kyle Seager to scored to tie the game at 1-1.
Ibanez gets Cotts: Mariners' 41-year-old outfielder Raul Ibanez came into the series red hot, and he stayed that way. He hit his 21st home run of the season to give Seattle a 3-1 lead in the top of the seventh, this one off reliever Neal Cotts, who had 11 scoreless innings before Thursday night. Cotts didn't retire any of the four batters he faced, allowing a single, walk and double in addition to Ibanez's homer.
Lindblom comes through: The Rangers brought up Josh Lindblom on Tuesday to pitch out of the bullpen, and he produced a strong effort in his first relief appearance of the season. With runners at second and third and one out in the top of the seventh, Lindblom struck out switch-hitter Justin Smoak and got the left-handed hitting Chavez to line out to center field to end the inning, keeping the Mariners' lead at 3-1.
Up next: The Rangers open a three-game series with Houston on Friday night, the Astros' first trip to Arlington this season. Rangers rookie right-hander Nick Tepesch (3-6, 4..71) takes on Astros right-hander Lucas Harrell (5-8, 4.59) at 7:05 p.m. Friday on Ch. 21 and ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and 1540-AM. On Saturday, right-hander Yu Darvish faces left-hander Dallas Keuchel (4-5, 4.64) at 6:15 p.m. on FOX and ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and 1540-AM. In the series finale on Sunday, right-hander Justin Grimm (7-6, 5.84) faces left-hander Erik Bedard (3-4, 4.59) at 2:05 p.m. on Fox Sports Southwest and ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and 1540-AM.