ARLINGTON, Texas – Ramon Vazquez made three errors, including one that let the go-ahead run score. He atoned in a hurry.
Vazquez’s two-run double in the bottom of the ninth lifted the Rangers to an 11-10 victory over the Seattle Mariners after Texas had wasted a seven-run lead after three innings.
“It’s awesome. I was glad to do something to end the game. It would have been a tough one leaving this game if we would have lost,” Vazquez said.
Texas trailed 10-9 in the bottom of the ninth. But Marlon Byrd and Chris Davis singled off Seattle closer J.J. Putz (2-4).
Byrd was forced at third on Gerald Laird’s groundout while attempting to bunt, but Vazquez’s double to right-center drove in Davis and Laird to end a game featuring 21 runs, 33 hits and a season-high five errors by Texas.
“Sometimes you don’t do it in the field, but if you can come away with a win it makes it worth it,” Byrd said.
In the top of the ninth, Jamie Burke’s RBI single tied it for the Mariners, and pinch-runner Jarrod Washburn crossed the plate with the go-ahead run on a throwing error by Vazquez at third base.
Texas closer C.J. Wilson (1-2) allowed a single to Jose Lopez leading off the ninth and hit Kenji Johjima with a pitch. Johjima limped to the bench and Washburn, a pitcher, came on to run.
Washburn wasn’t wearing a uniform top, spikes or a belt while he was sitting on the bench, and he had to retreat to the clubhouse for shoes and a jersey. He borrowed a belt from manager Jim Riggleman, and ran onto the field.
Miguel Cairo’s sacrifice bunt advanced the runners to second and third. Burke hit a slow grounder to Vazquez, who threw wildly to first as Lopez and Washburn both scored.
Byrd homered and drove in four runs for the Rangers.
Mariners right fielder Ichiro Suzuki got his 3,000th professional hit between the major leagues and Japan with a first-inning single. Ichiro went 2 for 5 to raise his average to .298.
Ichiro hit a soft liner to left-center on the game’s first pitch from Luis Mendoza and added an RBI single in the sixth.
Ichiro has 1,723 hits in 1,224 games during his eight seasons with the Mariners and had 1,278 hits over 951 games in nine seasons with the Orix Blue Wave of Japan’s Pacific League.
Speaking through an interpreter, Ichiro said after the game that he disputes those who downplay his milestone because more than 1,200 of his hits came in Japan.
“If you look at it, my pace of getting hits in the United States is actually quicker than in Japan,” he said. “So I guess if people want to say those kinds of things, one thing I’d like for them to look at is that statistic.”
Vazquez, Laird, Milton Bradley and Josh Hamilton all had three hits for the Rangers, who compensated for the five errors with 18 hits.
Mendoza allowed six runs –five earned –and nine hits in 5 1/3 innings to the lowest-scoring team in the American League.
All-Star shortstop Michael Young was in the Rangers’ lineup despite a small fracture in his right ring finger and went 0 for 4. He was hurt in the first inning of Monday night’s game and was expected to miss at least a week, but he took batting practice and fielded ground balls before hitting second in the Texas lineup.
Lopez homered and had three hits for the Mariners. Rookie Bryan LaHair had his second career homer in two games.
The Rangers took a 2-0 lead in the second against starter Carlos Silva on Byrd’s RBI double and Laird’s run-scoring single. David Murphy’s RBI groundout got the scoring started in the third, and Byrd’s three-run blast – his sixth – stretched Texas’ advantage to 6-0.
Silva allowed six runs and seven hits in 21/3 innings before he was replaced by Roy Corcoran.
Vazquez greeted Corcoran with an RBI single to make it 7-0, capping a five-run third.
Seattle came back with a three-run fourth, all scoring with two outs. Jaime Burke’s infield single drove in the first run and the second crossed when Vazquez committed a throwing error on the play. Yuniesky Betancourt followed with an RBI single to make it 7-3.
Texas’ offense kept up the pressure, getting an RBI double from Bradley in the fourth and a run-scoring single from Vazquez in the fifth to stretch the lead to 9-3.
Ichiro’s RBI single highlighted a three-run sixth that made it 9-6 and Lopez and LaHair led off the Seattle seventh with consecutive homers off Jamey Wright.
Texas’ pitching, last in the majors with a 5.26 ERA, continues to struggle.
“We just put some pitches in the wrong place and we didn’t make some plays we should have made,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said. “They kept coming. We just couldn’t stop their bats.”
Washington used Ryan Roberts in the eighth as a pinch hitter for Bradley, who left with a strained left quad sustained while grounding out in the fifth. Bradley is listed as day-to-day. … The Rangers placed former All-Star third baseman Hank Blalock on the 15-day disabled list prior to the game with right shoulder inflammation, his third different physical problem this season. Blalock received an injection and is expected to be shut down for 10-14 days. … Lopez extended his hitting streak to 16 games. … Seattle got back-to-back homers for the first time this season.
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