SEATTLE (AP) -- Adam Eaton has started just 10 games in his
injury-riddled season for Texas but he's still quite aware and
appreciative of what shortstop Michael Young has done all year for
Young had three hits and drove in two, including the go-ahead
run in the ninth inning, to help the Rangers beat the Seattle
Mariners 4-2 on Sunday, ending their three-game losing streak.
Young also was involved in all four of the double plays turned,
three of them behind Eaton.
"He was just being Michael Young," said Eaton, who allowed two
runs and eight hits in his six innings of a no-decision. "He had
all kinds of defensive help for me today. There's a reason why he
was the All-Star MVP and why he's been our MVP the full year."
Young, who leads the majors with 193 hits, is seven away from
his fourth straight 200-hit season. The sixth-year shortstop, who
won the league batting title last season, is hitting .313.
"Mikey had a great day, offensively and defensively," manager
Buck Showalter said. "Nobody takes for granted what he does. He
had three or four above-average plays at shortstop today."
Young, for his part, said his regret is that club has not had
Eaton healthy and available all season. Eaton, acquired in a trade
with San Diego during the off-season, missed much of a season after
undergoing finger surgery. He returned July 25.
"We know what Adam is capable of doing. He's had a great
career," Young said. "We certainly missed him over the first
half. Hopefully, he can come back healthy next year and be a big
part of our rotation."
Showalter added that Eaton has pitched well enough since his
return "that we understand what we lost. He's a strike-thrower. He
keeps us in the ball game. You can see why he was coveted."
Eaton was sharp for the first five innings, but struggled in the
sixth. Ichiro Suzuki led off with a double, moved to third on Chris
Snelling's bunt and scored on Yuniesky Betancourt's RBI single to
tie the game at 1-1.
The Mariners continued to threaten after Ibanez's single moved
Betancourt to third with one out. But Richie Sexson bounced into a
6-4-3 double play.
"That was huge there in the sixth," Eaton said of the double
play, started by Young. "I just wish I could have left after seven
with the lead instead of being tied up."
Young put the Rangers ahead again 2-1 in the seventh with a
double into the left-field corner that scored Matthews all the way
from first. But Ben Broussard, who came to Seattle July 26 in a
trade with Cleveland, responded with a solo shot off Eaton in the
seventh, his career-high 20th home run. Broussard, whose home run
attempt barely drifted foul in his previous at-bat, hit the foul
pole for his seventh home run for the Mariners.
"The 20-club. I like it. I've always been hovering around it so
it's nice to finally get there," Broussard said. "I tried to keep
it simple. He [Eaton] was pitching well today. I was just
aggressive and it worked out."
In the ninth after one out, reliever Jon Huber (1-1) walked
Gerald Laird then Gary Matthews Jr. singled to left. Both moved up
on a passed ball by catcher Rene Rivera. Then on a 0-2 pitch from
Huber, Young reached out to poke the ball through the left side.
The Rangers added another run when Matthews scored on a double-play
"It's tough in that situation, especially against a guy I don't
know. I was in survival mode, just trying to make some contact,"
Young said. "I'm not in position to take my best hacks there. The
ball was up in the zone. The infield was in. Anything can happen
there. I hit it off the end of my bat and it squeezed through the
C.J. Wilson (2-2) picked up the victory for the Rangers. Akinori
Otsuka worked the ninth for his 32nd save in 35 chances. Otsuka
didn't expect to even be used as he stayed up all night with a
severe headache. He struggled, allowing a pair of one-out singles,
but the game ended on the Rangers' fourth double play turned - with
Young providing the relay assist to first.
The loss ended the Mariners four-game win streak
Right-hander Francisco Cruceta made his first big-league
appearance since Sept. 26, 2004 when he was with Cleveland. He took
over for Hernandez with two outs in the sixth. It was his third
Major League outing. ... Betancourt's RBI single in the sixth
extended his hitting streak to 10 games.