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September 29, 2010 at 3:04 PM

UPDATED WITH QUOTES — Rangers 6, Mariners 5: M’s toss away game in final two innings

Not everyday you see a game end on a strikeout — at least, a strikeout by the winning team. But that’s just what happened today as Nelson Cruz went down swinging with a runner on first base and two out.
The ball got away from catcher Guillermo Quiroz as Cruz took off for first on the wild pitch. Quiroz made a throw to first, but the ball went soaring down the right field line. Ichiro picked the ball up and made an offline throw home as the runner, Mitch Moreland. came all the way around to end the game.
Like I said, that doesn’t happen every day. Oh my. No, Cruz does not get an RBI.
“I can’t remember ever losing the ballgame that way,” Mariners manager Daren Brown said. “But I just saw it.”


Brown said these types of things are going to happen as the team breaks in new players the rest of this season and likely next year as well.
“We’ve seen the good and sometimes you’re going to see the bad with young kids,” he said.
Cortes had retired his first six MLB hitters faced since Friday, but simply could not find his release point. He threw nine straight balls, walked in a run, allowed an RBI single to Julio Borbon and then a tying run on a wild pitch.
“I didn’t spot my fastball for strikes today,” Cortes said. “And because of that, I got into trouble in a few situations.”
Cortes eventually recovered and should have been out of the ninth inning. But the two-out walk to Moreland hurt him as did the third strike pitch to Cruz that was in the dirt and well wide of the plate.
“There’s a first time for everything, I guess,” he said.
Yes, indeed.
Jason Vargas was pleased to end his season on a positive note. Vargas finally admitted he hasn’t been the same since about mid-August in Cleveland. He attributed that to throwing a career-high 192 2/3 innings.
“Physically, I felt fine,” he said. “It’s just a lot of innings. It’s the most innings I’ve ever thrown when I’ve been on the same team – minor league or major league – for a full season.”
He added that: “For me, it’s a matter of learning when to back off a bit” whether between starts or during games.
Still, like I said, he’s pleased with his season.
“I think I proved I can pitch in this league,” said Vargas, who finishes 9-12 with a 3.78 ERA. “And it’s not a question mark whether I can go out there every four or five days.”

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