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Seattle at Texas

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Seattle (2-4) «1000000034121
Texas (2-3)000021000370

Mariners use three-run ninth to top Rangers, end skid

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Franklin Gutierrez saved the Seattle Mariners with his bat and then with his glove.

Gutierrez drove in the go-ahead run to cap a three-run ninth inning and then made a leaping catch against the wall in right-center field as the Mariners ended a four-game skid with a 4-3 victory over the Texas Rangers on Saturday.

Gutierrez's spectacular grab came with one out in the ninth when he ranged into the gap to rob Elvis Andrus of extra bases.

"It was a tough catch, definitely," said Gutierrez, who extended his hitting streak to 11 games, dating to last season. "He hit it good. The ball was pretty much over the fence so I knew I had to take a chance to jump and see if I could catch the ball. It was big at that time because if I don't catch the ball, it's a [inside-the-park homer] and they tie the game."

Right fielder Ichiro Suzuki was impressed.

"It's a very tricky park in that corner so it's a tough play," Suzuki said through an interpreter. "It happens in an instant. You can only make that play in an instant. He's desperate to catch that ball."

Seattle's comeback came against closer Frank Francisco, who blew his second-straight save opportunity. Francisco (0-2) allowed three runs and three hits while retiring only one batter.

"I'm missing a lot in the middle" of the plate, Francisco said. "I wish it would be the opposite, but I have to deal with it."

Texas manager Ron Washington was noncommittal when asked if Francisco had lost his job.

"Stay tuned," he replied.

Suzuki, Ken Griffey Jr. and Gutierrez had consecutive RBI singles in the ninth for Seattle.

Casey Kotchman led off with a single, Rob Johnson walked and Jack Wilson sacrificed the runners to second and third. Suzuki singled up the middle to make it 3-2 and Ken Griffey Jr.'s pinch-hit single to center drove in Johnson to tie it at 3 and chase Francisco. Gutierrez followed with a single between third and short off Darren O'Day to give the Mariners the lead.

The timely hitting was something the Mariners had been searching for since last winning on opening day. Seattle got four hits in the ninth against the Texas bullpen, and out-hit the Rangers 12-7.

"We had the right guys up in the right situation," Seattle manager Don Wakamatsu said. "We put some better at-bats together today."

Gutierrez did his part, going 3 for 5, while Wilson and Suzuki each had a pair of hits.

"It was very important, this victory," Gutierrez said. "We've been having a tough time scoring runs. So it was very special that we won. We've got to keep doing it and do it better."

Mark Lowe (1-1) walked two in a scoreless eighth, and David Aardsma worked the ninth for his second save.

The late-inning meltdown spoiled Nelson Cruz's fourth homer in five games and six strong innings from Matt Harrison.

Cruz homered off Seattle starter Felix Hernandez, lining a 3-1 pitch into the left field seats to give Texas a 3-1 lead in the fifth. Cruz is 8 for 18 and came into the game tied for the AL lead with seven RBI.

"It's a tough thing; it should have been a win today," Cruz said. "It's really disappointing, but that's baseball. Anything can happen."

Harrison, meanwhile, settled down after a shaky start. The left-hander struck out four and scattered six hits, allowing an earned run in his first start since last June. He retired the final eight batters he faced before giving way to Dustin Nippert.

Hernandez allowed three runs -- two earned -- and seven hits with five strikeouts and a walk over seven innings.

Six of the first 12 batters Harrison faced reached base. But Harrison, coming off season-ending surgery last June for thoracic outlet syndrome, retired Suzuki on a swinging bunt back to the mound with runners at second and third in the second and then struck out Suzuki to end the fourth with runners at first and second.

Notes
  • Washington said C Matt Treanor will get his first start for the Rangers on Sunday. Treanor, acquired in a trade with Milwaukee at the end of spring training, became the No. 2 catcher behind Teagarden when Jarrod Saltalamacchia went on the 15-day DL earlier this week.
  • Texas 2B Ian Kinsler took another step in his rehab from a sprained right ankle on Saturday when he worked on his defense with infield coach Dave Anderson. Kinsler missed the last three weeks of spring training and opened the season on the 15-day DL. There is no timetable for his return.
  • Manager Don Wakamatsu said LHP Cliff Lee will throw a 45-pitch bullpen session on Sunday in his recovery from a strained abdominal muscle
 
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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Franklin Gutierrez proudly displays the ball after making a leaping catch in the ninth to save a hit. (AP)
Franklin Gutierrez proudly displays the ball after making a leaping catch in the ninth to save a hit. (AP)

Players of the Game
Seattle

F. Gutierrez
AB 5
R 0
H 3
HR 0
RBI 1
Texas

J. Arias
AB 3
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 0
 
Seattle Mariners
Ichiro Suzuki, RF5121014 .292
Chone Figgins, 2B4110012 .190
   a- Ken Griffey Jr., PH1011000 .250
    Matt Tuiasosopo, PR-2B0000000 .400
Franklin Gutierrez, CF5031002 .435
Jose Lopez, 3B5010003 .208
Milton Bradley, LF4000022 .048
Mike Sweeney, DH3000020 .143
Casey Kotchman, 1B3110101 .222
Rob Johnson, C3110101 .250
Jack Wilson, SS3020002 .250
Totals36412326  
a-singled for Figgins in the 9th
Batting
2B - Rob Johnson (1, Harrison)
SH - Jack Wilson (1)
RBI - Ichiro Suzuki (1), Ken Griffey Jr. (1), Franklin Gutierrez (2)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - J. Lopez-Figgins-Kotchman
E - Chone Figgins (1, Throwing)
Seattle Mariners
Felix Hernandez 7732151 3.29
Mark Lowe (W,1-1) 1000200 3.38
David Aardsma (S,2) 1000020 0.00
HBP - Teagarden (by Felix Hernandez)
WP - Felix Hernandez (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Felix Hernandez 110-74, Mark Lowe 20-9, David Aardsma 20-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Felix Hernandez 9-6
Batters Faced - Felix Hernandez 29, Mark Lowe 5, David Aardsma 3
Texas Rangers
Julio Borbon, CF5011012 .048
Michael Young, 3B4000003 .167
Josh Hamilton, LF2010210 .154
Vladimir Guerrero, DH4000023 .474
Nelson Cruz, RF4111001 .444
Chris Davis, 1B3000111 .143
Joaquin Arias, 2B3130000 .455
    Andres Blanco, 2B1000002 .000
Taylor Teagarden, C2100012 .000
   a- David Murphy, PH1000010 .200
Elvis Andrus, SS3010000 .176
Totals3237237  
a-struck out for Teagarden in the 9th
Batting
3B - Josh Hamilton (1, Hernandez)
HR - Nelson Cruz (4, Hernandez)
SH - Elvis Andrus (1)
RBI - Julio Borbon (2), Nelson Cruz (8)
2-OUT RBI - Nelson Cruz (1)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Josh Hamilton 1
DP - Young-Davis
Texas Rangers
Matt Harrison 6611140 1.50
Dustin Nippert (H,1) 1200010 7.36
Neftali Feliz (H,2) 1000010 3.86
Frank Francisco (BS,2; L,1-2) 0.1333100 27.00
Darren O'Day 0.2100000 0.00
HBP - Sweeney (by Matt Harrison)
WP - Matt Harrison (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Matt Harrison 109-67, Dustin Nippert 15-10, Neftali Feliz 10-6, Frank Francisco 15-9, Darren O'Day 8-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Matt Harrison 8-5, Neftali Feliz 1-1, Frank Francisco 1-0, Darren O'Day 1-0
Batters Faced - Matt Harrison 25, Dustin Nippert 5, Neftali Feliz 3, Frank Francisco 5, Darren O'Day 2
Game Information
Attendance - 26861
Game Time - 2:53
Temperature - 73
Umpires - Home - Ed Rapuano, First Base - Todd Tichenor, Second Base - Ron Kulpa, Third Base - Lance Barksdale