July 4, 2013 in Sports

Seager powers Mariners past Rangers

Homer in 10th completes Seattle’s comeback win
Schuyler Dixon Associated Press
 
Associated Press photo

Seattle starting pitcher Felix Hernandez went seven innings, striking out seven.
(Full-size photo)(All photos)

ARLINGTON, Texas – Kyle Seager loves playing at Texas. Not so much for the rest of the Seattle Mariners.

This time, everyone is having a nice time in the Lone Star State.

Seager hit a two-run homer in the 10th inning, and the Mariners won consecutive games at Rangers Ballpark for the first time in more than a year with a 4-2 victory on Wednesday night.

Seager was mired in a 1-for-19 skid coming into the series, but he has five hits in the first two games against the Rangers, who dropped to 30-14 at home against Seattle since 2009. The third baseman is a .361 hitter with four homers and 11 RBIs in 20 career games at Texas.

Michael Saunders walked on a full-count pitch with two out before Seager connected against Robbie Ross (4-2) for his third hit of the game. Seager’s 12th homer landed in the first row of seats in right field.

“I knew I hit it pretty good, but it didn’t really get too high for me,” Seager said. “I was hoping. Let’s put it that way.”

Charlie Furbush (2-4) pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings for the win, and Tom Wilhelmsen was perfect in the 10th for his 17th save in 22 chances.

The Mariners last won two straight in Texas on May 29-30, 2012, when they took the last two of a three-game series. Seattle will go for its first sweep in Texas since 2002 on Thursday night.

“It’s always good to win within your division,” manager Eric Wedge said. “It’s always better to do that on the road within your division. The guys have done a nice job the last couple of nights.”

David Murphy and Ian Kinsler homered in the fifth inning against Felix Hernandez, giving Texas a 2-1 lead. The leadoff shot by Murphy ended a four-game streak without a homer for the Rangers, their longest in more than two years.

It also was the first homer for Murphy since June 9, and his first RBI since June 11.

Kinsler, who spent nearly a month on the disabled list with a rib fracture, sent the 11th pitch of his at-bat against Hernandez deep to left for his first homer since May 8.

“They’re pretty tough,” Hernandez said. “Those two homers, I just fell behind against Murphy … and Kinsler put in a great at-bat. I just missed my location and he hit it out of the ballpark.”

The Mariners pulled even with a run in the sixth, ending Derek Holland’s night with a 37-pitch inning that included three straight full counts.

The last of the three full counts came against Mike Zunino, who battled back from an 0-2 count for a tying infield single on a hopper that Adrian Beltre couldn’t handle behind the bag at third.

Raul Ibanez and Kendrys Morales opened the inning with singles, and Justin Smoak walked with one out, also after falling behind 0-2. Dustin Ackley struck out on a full count before Zunino’s hit brought home Ibanez.

“It was frustrating on my part,” Holland said. “I was 0-2 and I let that get away from me. That’s upsetting to me. I had him put away and I let him get away.”

Texas center fielder Leonys Martin went 0 for 4 to end the longest active hitting streak in the majors at 15 games.

The Rangers fell to 0-3 in extra innings at home and were held to two runs for the second straight game.

“I think my offense last night got shut down by (Joe) Saunders,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said. “I think today it was pitching again. There’s nothing wrong with my offense. We’ll just continue to battle and see where it goes.”

Holland gave up a leadoff home run to Jason Bay on the fourth pitch of the game.

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