ARLINGTON, Texas — Franklin Gutierrez drove in the go-ahead run to cap a three-run ninth inning, and the Seattle Mariners ended a four-game skid with a 4-3 victory over the Texas Rangers on Saturday.
Frank Francisco (0-2) blew his second save opportunity in three days, allowing three runs and three hits while retiring only one batter.
Ichiro Suzuki, Ken Griffey Jr. and Gutierrez had consecutive RBI singles in the ninth for Seattle.
Casey Kotchman led off with a single, Rob Johnson walked and Jack Wilson sacrificed the runners to second and third. Suzuki singled to make it 3-2 and Ken Griffey Jr.’s pinch-hit single to center drove in Johnson to tie it at 3 and chase Francisco.
Gutierrez followed with a single off Darren O’Day to give the Mariners the lead.
Mark Lowe (1-1) walked two in a scoreless eighth, and David Aardsma worked the ninth for his second save.
Gutierrez also made a leaping catch against the wall in right-center field in the ninth to save an extra-base hit by Elvis Andrus.
Nelson Cruz homered for the fourth time in five games and Matt Harrison pitched six solid innings for Texas.
Cruz homered off Seattle starter Felix Hernandez, lining a 3-1 pitch into the left field seats to give Texas a 3-1 lead. Cruz is 8 for 18 and came into the game tied for the A.L. lead with seven RBIs.
Harrison, meanwhile, settled down after a shaky start. The right-hander struck out four and scattered six hits, allowing an earned run in his first start of the season. He retired the final eight batters he faced before giving way to Dustin Nippert.
Hernandez allowed three runs — two earned — and seven hits with five strikeouts and a walk over seven innings.
Seattle scored a run in the first on Harrison’s wild pitch and could have had more but Gutierrez was thrown out at home by Josh Hamilton on Jose Lopez’s single to shallow left field.
Texas took a 2-1 lead in the fifth.
Joaquin Arias, who had three hits, led off with a single and Taylor Teagarden was hit by a pitch. Elvis Andrus bunted both runners over before Julio Borbon grounded to second against a drawn-in infield. Chone Figgins’ throw home was up the third-base line for an error, and both runners crossed the plate.
Borbon was credited with an RBI on the fielder’s choice and the second run scored on Figgins’ error.
Six of the first 12 batters Harrison faced reached base. But Harrison, coming off season-ending surgery last June for thoracic outlet syndrome, retired Suzuki on a swinging bunt back to the mound with runners at second and third in the second and then struck out Suzuki to end the fourth with runners at first and second.