ARLINGTON, Texas — Down 0-2 with two outs in the ninth against Texas closer Joe Nathan, Seattle’s Kyle Seager couldn’t afford to be choosy.
Throwing caution to the wind, he took a pitch that was nearly in the dirt down the right field line for a game-winning RBI double in the Mariners’ 4-3 win over the Rangers on Saturday.
“We have other hitters here, but when the game’s on the line like that, it’s Kyle Seager,” Mariners acting manager Robby Thompson said. “He went down and got the ball. He’s a great grinder and battler.”
The Mariners took two of three from AL West-leading Texas. They scored three runs in 7 1-3 innings against Rangers ace Yu Darvish in the series finale.
Seager took a leadoff four-pitch walk and scored the go-ahead run in the eighth, and that two-out RBI double off Nathan won the game for the Mariners in the ninth.
Until an eighth inning, go-ahead home run against Texas on Friday, Seager had been 0 for 21, but he finished the weekend against Texas going 4 for 9 with a walk, two home runs, two doubles and four RBIs.
“I got ahead of Seager and made a pitch,” Nathan said. “He hit a pitch that was probably going to be in the dirt if he didn’t scoop it out of the ground before it got there. Hats off to him. Again he found a way to find the outfield grass when he needed it on a pitch that out of my hand felt pretty good. I’ll take my chance with those.”
Nathan (3-2) took over to begin the ninth with the score 3-all. Endy Chavez led off with a single, Humberto Quintero laid down a sacrifice bunt and Nick Franklin drew a two-out walk before Seager’s go-ahead hit.
Yoervis Medina (4-3) got the win and Danny Farquhar earned his seventh save in 10 tries. Starter Erasmo Ramirez had a solid outing, pitching seven innings and giving up two runs, one earned while taking the no-decision.
The Mariners won for only the eighth time in 21 games. Each team scored single runs in the fifth, sixth and eighth innings before Seattle won it. The Mariners lead-off man reached base in each of the last five innings.
“The leadoff guy — it’s his job (to get on base),” said Michael Saunders, who got hits his first three at-bats, all against Darvish. “We were doing that job today. Then we came up with clutch hits, especially with two outs.”
Saunders had a leadoff single and then scored in the fifth, and he had an RBI double in the sixth that scored Franklin
Darvish was coming off a start in which he struck out a career-high 15 and took a no-hit bid into the eighth inning against Houston.
The two-time All-Star from Japan struck out seven, raising his major league-leading total to 214.
“In many games I have trouble with my command in any inning I throw, but today it happened after the sixth inning,” Darvish said through a translator. Darvish retired 12 of the first 14 batters he faced and gave up five of his seven hits and all four of his walks after the fourth. Darvish left after throwing 120 pitches. He walked four after walking a total of four in his previous three August starts.
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