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Blalock's walk-off double in 11th sinks Mariners, keeps Rangers rolling

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- Hank Blalock feasts on fastballs, and that's what the Texas Rangers slugger got with the game on the line from Seattle Mariners closer Brandon Morrow.

Blalock's two-run double in the 11th inning rallied the streaking Rangers to a 6-5 victory against the Mariners on Wednesday night.

Wladimir Balentien's RBI double in the top of the 11th had given the Mariners a 5-4 lead.

In the bottom half, Michael Young led off with a single off Morrow (0-2). Josh Hamilton walked and one out later, Blalock's line drive one-hopped off the wall in right-center chasing home both runners as teammates streamed out of the dugout in celebration.

"It was great to get that hit off Morrow. The guy's got some of the best stuff in the league," Blalock said. "I was looking for a fastball I could jump on. We did a great job to grind it out for the win."

C.J. Wilson (2-2) pitched two innings for the Rangers, who won for the ninth time in their past 11 games.

Young's throwing error in the 11th provided an opening for the Mariners to score the go-ahead run, but Young got a chance to redeem himself in the bottom of the inning.

"I didn't give one thought to it," Young said. "I was getting ready to have a good at-bat. If I start thinking about something that happened earlier in the ballgame, good or bad, I'm not giving it my best effort."

Adrian Beltre, Kenji Johjima and Russell Branyan hit home runs for the Mariners, who have lost eight of their past nine.

Beltre and Johjima's home runs staked Seattle to a 3-0 lead before Chris Davis' fourth-inning RBI single got the Rangers on the board, and Hamilton tied it at 3 with his two-run shot in the fifth.

Hamilton connected for the second time in as many nights after returning from a 13-game stint on the disabled list due to a pulled ribcage muscle.

Branyan's solo shot with two outs in the sixth put Seattle back in front, but rookie Elvis Andrus' RBI triple with two outs in the sixth tied the game at 4.

He also came up with a spectacular defensive play with a runner on first and two outs in the eighth, ranging behind second base to glove Franklin Gutierrez's sharp ground ball and throwing out Gutierrez at first.

Mariners starter Jarrod Washburn allowed four runs and seven hits in six innings, striking out five and walking four.

Washburn kept the Mariners in the game against a lineup that leads the majors in home runs on a night when the wind was blowing hard to right field.

"They're a very good hitting ballclub, especially with the wind howling out like that," Washburn said.

Texas starter Brandon McCarthy left after seven innings, allowing four runs and five hits. He struck out seven and walked one.

In an effort to energize his lineup, Seattle manager Don Wakamatsu made two changes, giving Ronny Cedeno his third start of the season at shortstop in place of slumping Yuniesky Betancourt, and giving Balentien his 10th start in left field for Endy Chavez.

Seattle had scored two runs or fewer in five of its previous seven games and a total of 16 runs in that seven-game span. The Mariners entered the game with a team batting average of .256, third from the bottom in the AL.

"It was nice to see the power production," Wakamatsu said. "The guys played hard all night. I'm proud of them."

Notes

  • Rangers closer Frank Francisco remained sidelined and won't be available until at least Friday due to biceps tendinitis.
  • Wakamatsu had a pregame talk with Betancourt, who's in a 2-for-18 slide. "Historically his lack of patience at the plate is something we've talked about," Wakamatsu said. "As a coaching staff, we can't hit for him." Betancourt has two walks in 120 plate appearances.
  • Seattle DH Mike Sweeney is still out with lower back spasms.
  • Mariners LHP Ryan Rowland-Smith is scheduled for another bullpen session on Thursday, and then will be sent to extended spring training. Rowland-Smith has been on the 15-day DL since April 15 with left triceps tendinitis.
 
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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Josh Hamilton scores the winning run, much to the delight of Marlon Byrd (left) and Michael Young.  (AP)
Josh Hamilton scores the winning run, much to the delight of Marlon Byrd (left) and Michael Young. (AP)

Players of the Game
Texas

H. Blalock
AB 6
R 0
H 1
HR 0
RBI 2
Seattle

K. Johjima
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
 

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Seattle Mariners
Ichiro Suzuki, RF5010011 .308
Jose Lopez, 2B3000100 .242
Ken Griffey Jr., DH5000022 .212
Adrian Beltre, 3B5211011 .226
Russell Branyan, 1B4121010 .286
Wladimir Balentien, LF5111011 .296
Kenji Johjima, C4122101 .273
Franklin Gutierrez, CF4000122 .260
Ronny Cedeno, SS4010022 .152
Totals39585310  
Batting
2B - Wladimir Balentien (5, Wilson)
HR - Adrian Beltre (2, McCarthy), Russell Branyan (8, McCarthy), Kenji Johjima (2, McCarthy)
SH - Jose Lopez (2), Russell Branyan (1)
RBI - Adrian Beltre (15), Russell Branyan (16), Wladimir Balentien (4), Kenji Johjima 2 (9)
2-OUT RBI - Russell Branyan (5), Kenji Johjima 2 (3)
SB - Kenji Johjima (1, 2nd base off McCarthy/Saltalamacchia), Ronny Cedeno (1, 2nd base off Wilson/Saltalamacchia)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
PB - Kenji Johjima (1)
E - Jose Lopez (5, Dropped line drive), Sean White (1, Throwing)
Seattle Mariners
Jarrod Washburn 6744451 3.11
David Aardsma 1.1100220 1.72
Sean White 1.2000120 2.93
Garrett Olson 1100010 2.57
Brandon Morrow (BS,1; L,0-2) 0.1222100 6.75
Pitches-Strikes - Jarrod Washburn 110-66, David Aardsma 33-18, Sean White 23-13, Garrett Olson 22-14, Brandon Morrow 16-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jarrod Washburn 6-6, Sean White 2-2
Batters Faced - Jarrod Washburn 28, David Aardsma 7, Sean White 7, Garrett Olson 4, Brandon Morrow 4
Texas Rangers
Ian Kinsler, 2B3100302 .319
Michael Young, 3B6120005 .344
Josh Hamilton, CF3312320 .243
Andruw Jones, RF6010014 .300
Hank Blalock, DH6012024 .252
Marlon Byrd, LF4110113 .302
Chris Davis, 1B5011021 .230
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C4020114 .272
Elvis Andrus, SS4021004 .281
   a- Nelson Cruz, PH1000011 .270
    Omar Vizquel, SS0000000 .371
Totals426116810  
a-struck out for Andrus in the 10th
Batting
2B - Michael Young (13, Aardsma), Andruw Jones (7, Washburn), Hank Blalock (6, Morrow)
3B - Elvis Andrus (3, Washburn)
HR - Josh Hamilton (4, Washburn)
RBI - Josh Hamilton 2 (14), Hank Blalock 2 (23), Chris Davis (18), Elvis Andrus (8)
2-OUT RBI - Elvis Andrus (4)
SB - Michael Young (3, 2nd base off Morrow/Johjima)
CS - Jarrod Saltalamacchia (1, 2nd base by Washburn/Johjima)
Team LOB - 13
Fielding
DP - Wilson-Andrus-Davis
E - Michael Young (3, Throwing)
Texas Rangers
Brandon McCarthy 7544173 5.92
Eddie Guardado 0.2100010 6.75
Darren O'Day 1.1000120 0.84
C.J. Wilson (W,2-2) 2210100 4.20
Pitches-Strikes - Brandon McCarthy 105-66, Eddie Guardado 9-6, Darren O'Day 23-13, C.J. Wilson 25-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brandon McCarthy 7-7, Eddie Guardado 1-0, Darren O'Day 1-1, C.J. Wilson 5-1
Batters Faced - Brandon McCarthy 27, Eddie Guardado 3, Darren O'Day 5, C.J. Wilson 9
Game Information
Attendance - 25865
Game Time - 3:29
Temperature - 89
Umpires - Home - Marvin Hudson, First Base - John Hirschbeck, Second Base - Wally Bell, Third Base - Marty Foster