Shouse gets first win in 112 career games

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Alfonso Soriano was just trying to put
the ball in play. Instead, he knocked the 552nd pitch over the
fence to end the longest major league game of the season.

Soriano's two-run homer in the 18th inning Thursday gave the
Texas Rangers a 9-7 victory over the Seattle Mariners.

"It was important to win this game," Soriano said. "It's an
amazing win."

The Rangers overcame an early 5-1 deficit and tied the game at 7
on Mark Teixeira's RBI single in the ninth. They also got 11 2-3
scoreless innings from their last six relievers.

"They gave us opportunity after opportunity going out there and
putting up zeros on the board," said catcher Rod Barajas, who hit
two solo homers. "It took us a while to finally capitalize on what
they were doing."

It was the longest big league game since the St. Louis Cardinals
won 7-6 in 20 innings at Florida on April 27, 2003. It matched the
longest game in Rangers history, but Seattle has twice played
20-inning games.

Soriano hit his 10th homer of the season to left off Jamie Moyer
(6-3). Hank Blalock led off the 18th with a single, his third hit
in nine at-bats.

The game lasted 5 hours, 47 minutes -- 43 minutes longer than the
first two games of the series combined.

"When you lose a game like this, it takes something out of
you," Mariners manager Bob Melvin said.

The comeback had the opposite effect on the Rangers.

"Wins like that are a huge boost to the morale," said Brian
Shouse (1-0), who got two outs for his first win in 112 career

Texas, which also swept Seattle in a three-game series in April,
extended the majors' longest winning streak to six games. It is
also the longest of the season for the AL West leader.

Moyer, who had been scheduled to start Friday against San Diego,
took over in the 15th. His first relief appearance after 251
straight starts since June 27, 1996, came after J.J. Putz pitched
four innings. It was Moyer's first loss in relief since April 1990,
with Texas.

The Rangers tied the game in the ninth when Brad Fullmer hit a
one-out double off closer Eddie Guardado and scored on the single
by Teixeira, who was later thrown out trying to score winning run.

"It's one of those days it just didn't work," said Guardado,
who had saves in 14 of 17 previous chances. "Look what it cost us
with Jamie coming in and all of that."

Freddy Garcia (4-6) will pitch Friday against San Diego. The
Rangers also changed their scheduled starter, moving Kenny Rogers
(9-2) up to Friday against Houston instead of John Wasdin because
of the depleted bullpen.

In the ninth, second baseman Jolbert Cabrera backhanded a
grounder by Gary Matthews Jr., who beat the throw to first while
Teixeira kept running from second.

Pat Borders, the 41-year-old catcher, caught the throw from John
Olerud away from the plate, then made a full turn to apply the tag
on the sliding Teixeira.

Both teams used eight pitchers. There were 129 official at-bats
in the game, including nine each by Cabrera (one hit) and Blalock.

Matthews had four of Texas' season-high 23 hits. The only
position player without a hit was Herbert Perry, who was 0-for-3
after coming in as a pinch-hitter in the 10th.

Moyer escaped a bases-loaded jam in the 15th, starting an
inning-ending double play on Blalock's comebacker.

Seattle, which had 12 hits, also got a runner to third with one
out in the 15th, but Randy Winn struck out against Ron Mahay, who
pitched three innings.

Mariners starter Joel Pineiro left in the seventh with a 7-5
lead but was denied his third straight win. He was 0-7 in nine
starts before beating Montreal and Pittsburgh.

The Mariners took a 4-0 lead with two outs in the second, when
Borders drew a bases-loaded walk from Joaquin Benoit and Ichiro
Suzuki followed with a triple to right-center.

Edgar Martinez homered in the third for a 5-1 lead. Olerud had a
sacrifice fly in the fifth, and Rich Aurilia an RBI single in the

The only extra-base hits allowed by Pineiro came with two outs
in the sixth when Barajas homered and No. 9 hitter Jason Conti
doubled. Michael Young followed with his second RBI single to get
the Rangers to 6-5.

Barajas led off the eighth with his 12th homer, and one out
later, Young hit a deep fly ball to center that Hiram Bocachica
caught at the wall with a leap.

With two on in the second, Bocachica sprinted to the wall and
was in an awkward position when he jumped for Blalock's drive. The
ball deflected off the heel of his glove, bounced off his chest and
he caught it with his bare hand while coming down.

That came right after Young's RBI single, his 100th hit, for the
first Texas run.

Game notes
It was Seattle's fourth game of at least 13 innings this
season. ... Martinez tied a Seattle record with five walks, three
in extra innings. ... Barajas has played 36 games in Texas. He had
just 11 homers in 211 games over five seasons with Arizona.