Safe to say, the Mariners needed this game badly and managed to pull it out late, 4-3 in 13 innings over the Texas Rangers. They did it with the help of some stellar pitching by Hisashi Iwakuma, who went eight innings and allowed just the two runs while striking out eight. After some early struggles, Iwakuma hit his stride by about the third inning and never looked back.
Then, in the 13th inning, Jason Bay lined a first-pitch, broken bat single to left field for the walkoff win.
The Mariners got a clutch, tying home run from Kendrys Morales in the sixth inning, a two-run blast off Nick Tepesch. Then, after the Rangers scored a run in the 11th, Raul Ibanez came through with a tying solo homer in the bottom of the frame off Joe Nathan. That’s the first blown save by Nathan that year and he nearly lost it as well when Bay hit a drive to the left field wall that was caught by a leaping David Murphy.
Both teams scrapped on into the 13th, where Yoervis Medina got out of a jam with a runner on third and one out. In the bottom of the frame, Morales launched a one-out double to right center off Michael Kirkman. The Rangers made a pitching change from there, calling on right-hander Ross Wolf to face Carlos Triunfel, who grounded out, sending Morales to third.
Bay came up next and laced the first pitch he saw into left field for the victory, snapping this losing streak at eight.
The way this game was going, the emotional stakes for the Mariners kept getting ratcheted up exponentially with each extra inning that passed on by. To lose a game like this, given the context of what’s happened the past week and a half, would have been devastating at this point.
The Mariners did more than end an eight-game losing streak by salvaging the finale of this series. They also just completed the toughest part of their schedule, a grueling marathon stretch over the first two months against largely top contenders. Not only was the travel part of that a back-and-forth jaunt across the country several times, but the past week-and-a-half alone saw the Mariners face three first place clubs in the Yankees, Indians and Rangers, as well as an Angels club that is red hot and has won eight in a row.
Now, it gets a little easier.
The Mariners right now are eight games under .500, but play their next seven games against the Padres and Twins, two teams with losing records. If they want to build a steady climb back towards .500, this is the time to do it.
Comments | More in postgame | Topics: jason bay; raul ianez; kendrys morales; yoervis medina