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Wilkerson powers grand slam in big third inning for Rangers

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
  •  

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Brad Wilkerson thought he had a sacrifice fly. But the ball kept carrying with the help of wind blowing out to right field. All of a sudden, Wilkerson had a lot more than an RBI.

Wilkerson's fourth career grand slam highlighted a six-run third inning and the Rangers beat Seattle 6-4 on Tuesday night, the Mariners' season-high sixth straight loss.

"I hit it pretty good, but it was a little high up in the air," Wilkerson said. "Where I hit it, it can carry in this ballpark. I thought I'd get at least a sac fly out of it. I was pleased when I got four RBI instead of one."

Seattle had taken a 3-0 lead against Rangers starter Kevin Millwood before Texas sent 11 hitters to the plate against Gil Meche (4-4) in a third inning that included a two-run homer by Michael Young.

The Rangers needed the big inning to overcome an otherwise sloppy effort that included four errors, two wild pitches and a passed ball.

"It was a strange game, a lot of things that don't usually happen in a ballgame happened, to say the least," Rangers manager Buck Showalter said.

Millwood (6-3) allowed four runs and nine hits over six innings. He threw 116 pitches, striking out four and walking one.

In his seven home starts this season, Millwood is 2-3 with a 7.23 ERA. He is 4-0 with a 2.31 ERA in five road starts.

"I've got to feel like I'm going to get better here," Millwood said. "Maybe I need just a little better luck. I don't feel like I gave up a lot of hard hits. They were bloopers and seeing-eye singles. It was a frustrating night."

Akinori Otsuka got three outs for his ninth save in 10 chances for the Rangers, who won for the fifth time in six games.

Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki led off the first with a single. He scored from third on Gerald Laird's passed ball, and Carl Everett then added an RBI single.

The Mariners made it 3-0 in the third with the help of a bizarre play. Willie Bloomquist doubled with one out, and with Everett batting, Bloomquist moved to third on a wild pitch by Millwood.

The ball kicked into foul territory to the right of the batter's box where Laird retrieved it. Laird's throw to third glanced off the top of the bat of Everett, who had remained in the batter's box, and the ball sailed wildly into left field for an error as Bloomquist scored.

The Rangers pulled within 3-2 in the third when Ian Kinsler doubled and Young hit his third homer.

Texas loaded the bases on singles by Mark Teixeira and Hank Blalock and a walk to Mark DeRosa. Wilkerson followed with his towering drive just over the right field wall for his 10th homer of the season and a 6-3 lead.

"That was a big inning," Wilkerson said. "(Millwood) was struggling and we weren't making plays behind him. We really siezed control of the game after that."

Meche allowed six runs and nine hits in 5 1/3 innings. He struck out four and walked five.

Of all of his 114 pitches, the one Meche regretted the most was the changeup to Wilkerson with the bases loaded.

"It hung over the plate," Meche said.

Seattle made it 6-4 in the sixth when Everett scored from second on second baseman Kinsler's two-out throwing error.

Suzuki led off the ninth with a single, went to second on a groundout, and Otsuka walked Bloomquist. But Everett struck out to end the game.

The Mariners are 8-17 on the road, having lost 12 of their last 14.

"Nobody likes what we're going through right now," Mariners manager Mike Hargrove said. "It's not a fun time. It's the exact opposite of what we do at home. But we have to keep working hard, which I think we're doing."

Notes

  • Suzuki played in his 293rd consecutive game, tying Edgar Martinez's franchise record.
  • Mariners LF Raul Ibanez was ejected in the first inning for arguing a checked-swing third strike. Ibanez was thrown out of a game for the first time in his career. "I lost it," Ibanez said. "That's as angry as I've ever been on a baseball field. It was the first time but I deserved it. I regret the language that I used. There are kids in the stands.".
  • With Wilkerson's homer, 14 of Texas' last 15 runs have come via the long ball.
  • Texas has four grand slams this season.
 
Copyright 2014 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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Brad Wilkerson takes off after hitting a grand slam. The Rangers have four grand slams this season. (AP)
Brad Wilkerson takes off after hitting a grand slam. The Rangers have four grand slams this season. (AP)

Players of the Game
Texas

B. Wilkerson
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 4
Seattle

C. Everett
AB 5
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 1
 

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Seattle Mariners
Ichiro Suzuki, RF4120102 .326
Adrian Beltre, 3B4110101 .222
Jose Lopez, 2B5000011 .279
Raul Ibanez, LF-DH1000012 .263
    Willie Bloomquist, LF3110112 .295
Carl Everett, DH5131014 .259
Roberto Petagine, 1B3000023 .190
   a- Richie Sexson, PH-1B1000012 .205
Kenji Johjima, C4020001 .276
Jeremy Reed, CF4020002 .227
Yuniesky Betancourt, SS4000002 .277
Totals3841113722 
a-struck out for Petagine in the 7th
Batting
2B - Willie Bloomquist (2, Millwood)
RBI - Carl Everett (24)
2-OUT RBI - Carl Everett (6)
CS - Jeremy Reed (3, 2nd base by Cordero/Laird)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
DP - Petagine-Betancourt, Beltre-J. Lopez-Petagine
Seattle Mariners
Gil Meche (L,4-4) 5.1966542 4.87
George Sherrill 1.2000020 2.20
Rafael Soriano 1100000 2.48
Pitches-Strikes - Gil Meche 114-64, George Sherrill 13-9, Rafael Soriano 14-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Gil Meche 5-6, George Sherrill 2-0
Batters Faced - Gil Meche 29, George Sherrill 4, Rafael Soriano 4
Texas Rangers
Gary Matthews Jr., CF4000104 .298
Michael Young, SS4132000 .318
Mark Teixeira, 1B4110012 .289
Hank Blalock, 3B3110100 .316
Mark DeRosa, RF3110112 .313
Brad Wilkerson, LF4114021 .262
Gerald Laird, C3010100 .327
Jason Botts, DH4010022 .417
Ian Kinsler, 2B3110101 .390
Totals3261065612 
Batting
2B - Michael Young (18, Meche), Ian Kinsler (3, Meche)
HR - Michael Young (3, Meche), Brad Wilkerson (10, Meche)
RBI - Michael Young 2 (33), Brad Wilkerson 4 (24)
SB - Gerald Laird (2, 2nd base off Meche/Johjima)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Kinsler-Young-Teixeira
PB - Gerald Laird (2)
E - Scott Feldman (1, Misplayed grounder), Ian Kinsler (2, Wild throw), Gerald Laird (1, Wild throw), Gary Matthews Jr. (2, Misplayed grounder)
Texas Rangers
Kevin Millwood (W,6-3) 6943140 4.85
Scott Feldman (H,3) 0.1000100 5.14
Ron Mahay (H,3) 0.1000000 1.20
Francisco Cordero (H,7) 1.1100010 6.39
Akinori Otsuka (S,9) 1100120 2.22
WP - Kevin Millwood 2 (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Kevin Millwood 115-79, Scott Feldman 12-6, Ron Mahay 5-2, Francisco Cordero 8-7, Akinori Otsuka 24-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kevin Millwood 8-6, Scott Feldman 1-1, Francisco Cordero 2-0, Akinori Otsuka 1-0
Batters Faced - Kevin Millwood 28, Scott Feldman 3, Ron Mahay 1, Francisco Cordero 4, Akinori Otsuka 5
Game Information
Attendance - 18084
Game Time - 3:06
Temperature - 88
Umpires - Home - Paul Nauert, First Base - Charlie Reliford, Second Base - Larry Vanover, Third Base - Greg Gibson