Walk to Ichiro finishes big day, and Rangers


SEATTLE (AP) -- It doesn't always take a hit from Ichiro Suzuki
to deliver a Seattle victory.

Suzuki went 3-for-4 with three walks, the last coming with the
bases loaded with two outs in the bottom of the 11th inning as the
Mariners beat the Texas Rangers 6-5 Monday night.

''That base-on-balls was a relief, to Ichiro,'' Seattle manager
Lou Piniella said. ''It's good to win a ballgame.''

The Mariners loaded the bases with one out against Danny Kolb
(3-4) and Rich Rodriguez relieved. Pinch-hitter Jose Offerman
struck out looking, but Suzuki walked on four pitches to end it.

Suzuki made a quick exit from the Mariners dressing room, saying
only that he didn't deserve credit for the victory.

After closer Kazuhiro Sasaki blew a 5-3 lead in the ninth, the
Mariners came back to win their second consecutive game following a
season-high six-game losing streak.

Seattle remained eight games behind for the American League wild-card spot.
Oakland and Anaheim are ahead of the Mariners.

''We didn't get anything yet,'' said Shigeotshi Hasegawa (7-1),
who pitched two scoreless innings for the victory. ''After we do
that, we'll talk about it.''

Texas stranded 16 runners, a season-high, walked a season-high
13 and lost its fourth in a row.

''Walks have hurt us all year,'' Rangers manager Jerry Narron
said. ''You look at the stat sheet and see our bases on balls and
compare that to the guys at the top of our division. We're going to
have to get our guys to start pounding the strike zone.''

Mike Lamb drew a leadoff walk in the Texas ninth and Rafael
Palmeiro singled with one out for his third hit. Todd Greene hit an
run-scoring double and after an intentional walk loaded the bases, rookie
Hank Blalock had a sacrifice fly that made it 5-all.

''I was trying to put something in play to get the tying run,''
Blalock said. ''I was able to get the sacrifice. I was just trying
to get locked in and get the ball out of the infield.''

Rangers catcher Ivan Rodriguez was ejected in the second for
arguing a called third strike, then returned to the field to
protest and confronted umpire Mark Carlson.

''He didn't like that strike three called,'' Piniella said. ''I
haven't seen him animated like that in a long time.''

Seattle starter Freddy Garcia took a 4-0 lead into the sixth
before giving up singles to Palmeiro, Greene and Carl Everett that
loaded the bases with no outs.

After Garcia struck out Blalock, Michael Young hit a sacrifice
fly and pinch-hitter Herbert Perry had a run-scoring single.

Doug Creek relieved and hit Kevin Mench in the foot and walked
Lamb, cutting the lead to 4-3.

The Mariners turned to Jeff Nelson to face major league home run
leader Alex Rodriguez with the bases loaded. Nelson got Rodriguez
to chase a bad outside pitch for a strikeout that ended the threat
and brought the crowd of 42,635 to its feet.

Seattle started fast, scoring three runs in the first off Colby
Lewis. Mike Cameron lined a two-out, two-run single and Carlos
Guillen added a run-scoring single.

The Mariners made it 4-0 in the fourth. Guillen was hit by a
pitch and later scored on Jeff Cirillo's single up the middle.

John Olerud drew a bases-loaded walk in the Seattle eighth for a
5-3 lead.

Game notes
Suzuki's two infield hits raised his season total to 51. He
also drew his 25th intentional walk, tying the team record set by
Ken Griffey Jr. in 1993. ... The roof was closed when heavy rains
began in the fourth. ... Palmeiro extended his hitting streak to 11
games. ... In Seattle's 4-3 defeat last week at Texas, Garcia matched
a career-high with 12 strikeouts.