SEATTLE (AP) -- Esteban German had not faced a pitch in a game
since being called up to the Rangers two weeks ago.
It took him just two pitches in his first at-bat to deliver
Texas a victory.
German hit a go-ahead RBI double against the left-field wall in
the 11th inning as the Rangers rallied to beat the Seattle Mariners
3-2 Tuesday night.
Mark Teixeira had reached on a one-out hard single off the glove
of second baseman Jose Lopez. German, who entered as a pinch runner
in the ninth, followed with a shot over the head of left fielder
Raul Ibanez on a 1-0 pitch from Julio Mateo (3-5). Teixeira easily
beat the relay to the plate.
"I was so excited about that," said German, who said he might
have had close to 1,000 batting practice swings this month to keep
him ready when called. "He threw me a fastball. I was waiting for
that pitch. I hit it good."
It was worth the wait. German got a fair amount of clubhouse
abuse from his teammates when the media swarmed around the
little-used infielder. He had appeared in just three previous
games, all as a pinch runner. It was his first big league hit since
Sept. 14, 2004, for Oakland -- against Texas.
Seattle rookie Felix Hernandez was one out from his first major
league complete game when he allowed the Rangers to tie it at 2.
Kevin Mench, who had been in a 3-of-26 slide, hit a two-out single
to left to score German, who was running for Hank Blalock, from
"You give up four hits in eight innings and have 95 pitches and
the lead, if I had the ball in my hand and throwing the ball the
way he was, I'd rather finish it off," Mariners manager Mike
Hargrove said of his reasons for letting Hernandez try to finish.
"I made the decision. I think it was the right decision for a
lot of reasons."
Hernandez allowed five hits, two runs, struck out seven and
walked four in his nine innings. After the first, he did not allow
a runner past first base until the ninth.
In his previous outing against Texas on Sept. 16, the Rangers
handed Hernandez the worst defeat of his young career. He was
knocked out after three innings, allowing eight hits and five runs
in a 5-3 loss.
"It was really important to me," Hernandez said. "It would
have been my first major league complete game. It didn't happen and
I'm upset that the team lost."
Texas shortstop Michael Young went 2-for-5 and extended his
hitting streak to a career-high 23 games, third-longest in Rangers
history. He has raised his average from .323 to a league-leading
.334 by hitting .398 (37-of-93) during the streak.
Young's two hits gave him a league-leading 217, breaking his own
club record of 216 set last season.
"I don't think anybody takes for granted how hard it is to do
what he's doing," Rangers manager Buck Showalter said. "He's
consistent in all walks of life. He loves to win, he loves to
compete, he loves to prepare."
Young said that his goal was not to beat his own records "but
to stay healthy and be consistent. This year I've been able to do
Texas starter Kameron Loe, hit in the head by a line drive by
Vladimir Guerrero in his last outing, went 6 2/3 innings, allowing
six hits and two runs. He had two strikeouts and issued a
season-high five walks -- two of which were intentional to Suzuki.
Teixeira gave Texas 1-0 lead in the first with a run-scoring
groundout, his 139th RBI that extended his record for most RBI by
a switch-hitter in major league history.
The Mariners tied it in the fourth when Reed hit a ground-rule
double and scored on left fielder Jason Botts' error on Ibanez's
Lopez, who had a career-high four hits, opened the Mariners'
fifth with a single and eventually scored on Reed's RBI groundout.
The Rangers, at 78-79, are trying to avoid their fifth
losing season in the past six years. ... Young's 23-game hit streak
is the longest for the Rangers since Gabe Kapler had a 28-game
streak in 2000. ... Suzuki, who is four hits from a fifth straight
200-hit season, was given three intentional walks and has 23 this
season. ... Showalter was ejected in the eighth inning by first
base umpire Tim Timmons for protesting a call.