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Ninth-inning long balls give Rangers stunning win over Mariners

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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SEATTLE -- Credit the Texas Rangers' potent lineup with a save for their beleaguered bullpen.

Hank Blalock and Richard Hidalgo each hit two-run homers off Eddie Guardado in the ninth inning Saturday to salvage a 7-6 victory over the Seattle Mariners.

The Rangers went into the eighth leading 3-2 behind Pedro Astacio's strong debut, but the bullpen gave up four runs and wasted its third straight save opportunity and fourth of the season.

"Fortunately, guys came up with big hits in the ninth inning," said Michael Young, who singled and scored on Hidalgo's go-ahead homer.

With one out in the ninth, Alfonso Soriano reached on a fielding error by Bret Boone and Blalock followed with his homer. Young then singled, and after an out, Hidalgo homered to give Texas a 7-6 lead.

"I'm glad we took advantage of the situation. It might be the only time in the rest of his career that we see Bret Boone make an error like that," Young said. "He's the best defensive second baseman in the game."

Hidalgo's homer came in swirling winds and rain as the Safeco Field roof was in the process of being closed. He pumped his fist as he rounded the bases.

"I knew we went ahead by one run. I just got so excited," Hidalgo said. "I thought it was going to hit the wall. It's a long way out there. I'm glad it got out."

Only one of the four runs allowed by Guardado (0-1) was earned.

"Everybody is going to have outings that aren't as good as others," Mariners manager Mike Hargrove said. "He hung a split to hidalgo that he hit out. Those things happen and it's never fun when it does happen."

Guardado agreed.

"Basically, I got rocked. Plain and simple" Guardado said. "I let the team down. They battled back and I didn't do my job."

Francisco Cordero earned his first save of the season but it wasn't easy. He struck out the first two batters before walking Ichiro Suzuki. Jeremy Reed followed with a single to make it first and third for Adrian Beltre, who had three hits and two RBI.

But Cordero got Beltre to fly out to center on the first pitch.

Astacio shut down Seattle for seven innings, allowing two runs and six hits. Rangers reliever Brian Shouse couldn't hold the lead, though.

Wilson Valdez led off the eighth inning with a single and Suzuki followed with a hit. Reed then attempted to sacrifice the runners over. Shouse fielded the bunt and threw to first, but the throw to Soriano, who was covering, was in the baseline and was knocked loose when he and Reed collided. Valdez scored to tie it 3-all.

Beltre then singled through a drawn-in infield to make it 4-3, and Boone added a two-run single.

"We dug ourselves out of a hole with a big ninth inning," said Rangers manager Buck Showalter. "We weren't down. He had to keep grinding. We've been in all our games and we're confident we can come through in the end."

Doug Brocail (1-0) pitched an inning for the win.

"This lineup can give you some runs in a hurry," Brocail said. "They've done it so many times."

Sandy Alomar Jr. had three hits and drove in three runs for Texas.

Alomar had a two-run single in the fourth and an RBI in the sixth, both off Mariners starter Jamie Moyer. For his career, Alomar is hitting .385 (10-for-26) against Seattle's 42-year-old lefty.

Astacio retired the first nine Mariners batters before Suzuki doubled to open the bottom of the fourth. He scored on a one-out single by Beltre that cut Texas' lead to 2-1.

Astacio has struggled since having shoulder surgery in 2003. Last season with Boston he only made five appearances, including one start. He allowed 10 runs in 8 2/3 innings (10.38 ERA). Astacio was activated before the game.

The majority of Astacio's career has been in the National League, but with Alomar behind the plate he had some help.

"Sandy has been in the league for a long time, and he knows a lot otraight multihit games.

Notes

  • To make room on the roster for Astacio, who opened the season the 15-day disabled list, Texas optioned RHP Nick Regilio to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
  • Suzuki has five straight multihit games.
 
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Richard Hidalgo rounds the bases after blasting the decisive homer off Eddie Guardado.  (AP)
Richard Hidalgo rounds the bases after blasting the decisive homer off Eddie Guardado. (AP)

Players of the Game
Seattle

A. Beltre
AB 5
R 2
H 3
HR 0
RBI 2
Texas

R. Hidalgo
AB 5
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
 

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Texas Rangers
Alfonso Soriano, 2B5110014 .240
Hank Blalock, 3B4112113 .200
Michael Young, SS3110202 .273
Mark Teixeira, 1B5000036 .125
Richard Hidalgo, RF5112013 .368
Kevin Mench, LF4000100 .235
Chad Allen, DH4220000 .250
Gary Matthews Jr., CF3110100 .200
Sandy Alomar Jr., C4033000 .750
Totals3771075618 
Batting
2B - Alfonso Soriano (2, Moyer), Gary Matthews Jr. (1, Moyer)
HR - Hank Blalock (1, Guardado), Richard Hidalgo (2, Guardado)
RBI - Hank Blalock 2 (2), Richard Hidalgo 2 (6), Sandy Alomar Jr. 3 (3)
2-OUT RBI - Richard Hidalgo 2 (6), Sandy Alomar Jr. 2 (2)
CS - Kevin Mench (1, 2nd base by Hasegawa/Wilson)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Young-Soriano-Teixeira
E - Brian Shouse (1, Wild throw)
Texas Rangers
Pedro Astacio 7622070 2.57
Brian Shouse (BS,1)0232000 10.13
Doug Brocail (W,1-0) 1211000 3.38
Francisco Cordero (S,1) 1100120 3.86
Pitches-Strikes - Pedro Astacio 101-65, Brian Shouse 7-6, Doug Brocail 17-14, Francisco Cordero 20-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Pedro Astacio 9-4, Brian Shouse 1-0, Doug Brocail 3-0
Batters Faced - Pedro Astacio 26, Brian Shouse 3, Doug Brocail 5, Francisco Cordero 5
Seattle Mariners
Ichiro Suzuki, RF4220101 .526
Jeremy Reed, CF4010002 .111
Adrian Beltre, 3B5232002 .381
Richie Sexson, 1B4100013 .211
Bret Boone, 2B4012001 .278
Raul Ibanez, DH4010021 .222
Randy Winn, LF4011021 .313
Miguel Olivo, C2000010 .083
   a- Scott Spiezio, PH1000012 .000
    Dan Wilson, C1000010 .000
Wilson Valdez, SS3120000 .200
   b- Greg Dobbs, PH1000010 .333
Totals3761151913 
a-struck out for Olivo in the 7th
b-struck out for Valdez in the 9th
Batting
2B - Ichiro Suzuki (1, Astacio)
SH - Jeremy Reed (1)
RBI - Adrian Beltre 2 (6), Bret Boone 2 (3), Randy Winn (1)
2-OUT RBI - Randy Winn (1)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
E - Bret Boone (2, Misplayed grounder)
Seattle Mariners
Jamie Moyer 5.1733450 2.45
Shigetoshi Hasegawa 2.2000100 1.80
Eddie Guardado (BS,1; L,0-1) 1341012 3.00
WP - Jamie Moyer (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Jamie Moyer 110-63, Shigetoshi Hasegawa 30-16, Eddie Guardado 30-23
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jamie Moyer 5-6, Shigetoshi Hasegawa 6-1, Eddie Guardado 2-1
Batters Faced - Jamie Moyer 27, Shigetoshi Hasegawa 8, Eddie Guardado 7
Game Information
Attendance - 31501
Game Time - 3:09
Temperature - 53
Umpires - Home - Ed Hickox, First Base - Larry Young, Second Base - Field Culbreth, Third Base - Marvin Hudson