SEATTLE – The Seattle Mariners had several heartbreaking losses during their eight-game losing streak.
They ended it with an uplifting win in their last at-bat.
Jason Bay hit a two-out RBI single in the 13th inning, lifting the Mariners to a 4-3 victory Sunday over the Texas Rangers.
“It feels great. Not just for me but for everybody. That was a big sigh of relief for a lot of people,” Bay said.
The Mariners had been on the losing end of three walkoff victories by the Cleveland Indians in four games and were facing an extra-inning loss after A.J. Pierzynski had given the Rangers a 3-2 lead in the top of the 11th inning with an RBI single.
But Raul Ibanez hit a solo home run off Rangers closer Joe Nathan to keep the game going and Bay came through in the 13th after he was denied a chance to win it in the 11th, when David Murphy leaped above the fence in left-center field to catch Bay’s drive.
Yoervis Medina (1-0) worked out of a jam in the 13th inning to keep the game tied.
Kendrys Morales doubled and advanced to third on a groundout by Carlos Triunfel. Bay didn’t miss his second opportunity as he singled to left off Rangers reliever Michael Kirkman (0-1) to score Morales from third and hand the Mariners a much-needed victory.
The Mariners had moved within a game of .500 after taking two of three from the New York Yankees. Then three losses in the last inning in Cleveland started the eight-game skid.
“We’ve got a good group of guys out there. They’re grinding. They’re fighting. They’re not giving into it. A lot of breaks have gone against us this week,” Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. “We’ve got guys that are working to try to get to where they need to get to help us win ballgames. We’ve got a lot going on out there right now but a great win for us.”
Jurickson Profar hit a leadoff home run off Mariners starter Hisashi Iwakuma. Texas scored again in the second after hits by Nelson Cruz and Mitch Moreland put runners in scoring positions. Leonys Martin drove in Cruz on a sacrifice fly to give the Rangers a 2-0 lead.
The Mariners left a pair of runners stranded in both the fourth and fifth innings before finally breaking through against Nick Tepesch in the sixth. Kyle Seager doubled down the right-field line and Morales homered to knot the game at 2.
Tepesch went 5 2/3 innings for Texas, allowing just five hits and two runs. He walked one and struck out six.
The Rangers fumbled an opportunity to possibly retake the lead in the seventh inning. After a leadoff double from Adrian Beltre, Cruz struck out swinging at a ball in the dirt. Beltre was caught between second and third base as the ball bounced away from Mariners catcher Jesus Sucre. Cruz tried to take first base on the play but collided with Sucre and was ruled out. Sucre then ran down Beltre and he was called out for running out of the baseline.
“Any time you lose – especially when you go to extra innings – it’s difficult, but they took it from us,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said. “We had our chance. They took it back and they finally took it from us.”
Pierzynski delivered a pinch-hit RBI single in the 11th inning off Seattle Mariners reliever Oliver Perez to give the Rangers a 3-2 lead.
Ibanez homered off Nathan into the right field seats to even the game at 3-all in the bottom half. It was the first blown save of the year for Nathan. He had been 9 for 9 in save opportunities this season.
“If you throw it into the zone, then he is pretty good at hitting it,” Nathan said. “He doesn’t miss it too often when you put it there.”
Iwakuma had another strong outing for Seattle. He allowed two runs and two hits over eight innings. He struck out eight.
Profar is the youngest player to hit a leadoff homerun (20 years, 95 days) since Lou Klimchock (18 years, 348 days) of the Kansas City Athletics homered on Sept. 28, 1958, against the Chicago White Sox. … Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak is day to day after straining an oblique Saturday night. Morales started in his place. Michael Morse also is expected to see some time at first base in Smoak’s absence.