Morales homers twice to lead M’s past Rangers
ARLINGTON, Texas — Kendrys Morales homered twice and tied a career high with six RBIs to lead the Seattle Mariners past the Texas Rangers 9-2 on Tuesday night.
Morales had a solo home run in the first and a three-run shot in the fifth off rookie Justin Grimm. The switch-hitter added a two-run single in the sixth to help Seattle win for the first time at Texas this season.
Joe Saunders (6-8) won for the first time in eight regular-season starts at Rangers Ballpark. The left-hander allowed two runs — one earned — and struck out five in 6 2-3 innings.
Seattle’s Raul Ibanez, who hit 10 homers in June, had a solo shot for his 20th homer of the season.
Grimm (7-6) gave up six runs and seven hits in four innings. He was chased in favor of Ross Wolf after Morales hit his second homer.
Grimm retired the first two batters of the game before Ibanez lined a 2-1 pitch over the fence in the right.
Three pitches later, Morales followed with a solo drive to make it 2-0.
Texas’ Leonys Martin dropped down a bunt single leading off the third to extend his hitting streak to 15 games, the longest active run in the American League.
Martin scored two batters later on Elvis Andrus’ single.
After Dustin Ackley had a run-scoring double in the fourth to push the lead to 3-1, the Mariners scored three runs in the fifth.
Nick Franklin led off with a single and Ibanez reached on Ian Kinsler’s error at second base to set the stage for Morales.
He hit the first pitch from Grimm into the seats in right, extending Seattle’s lead to 6-1.
It was the 10th multihomer game of Morales’ career and first since last Aug. 8 against Oakland.
Morales, who went 3 for 5, capped his big game with a two-run single in the sixth to make it 8-1.
This was the fourth time Morales had six RBIs in a game. He last drove in six against Texas on July 30, 2012.
Saunders, who won the 2012 AL wild-card game at Rangers Ballpark with Baltimore, came in 0-7 with a 9.91 ERA in the regular season at Texas.
Saunders got double-play grounders to end the fifth and sixth. After he recorded the first two outs of the seventh, Andrus and Nelson Cruz had consecutive singles to chase Saunders.
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