Final

Series: Game 3 of 4

Texas leads 3-0 (as of 9/17)

Game 1: Thursday, September 15
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Game 2: Friday, September 16
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Game 3: Saturday, September 17
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Game 4: Sunday, September 18
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Mariners 6

(64-84, 27-46 away)

Rangers 7

(74-75, 43-34 home)

8:05 PM ET, September 17, 2005

Globe Life Park in Arlington, Arlington, Texas 

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SEA 320000010 6 11 0
TEX 020110012 7 16 1

W: B. Shouse (3-2)

L: E. Guardado (2-3)

Blalock sends fans home happy with game-ending hit

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Hank Blalock and the Texas Rangers figure they still have a lot to play for in the final month of the season.

Blalock's RBI double with one out in the bottom of the ninth lifted the Rangers to a 7-6 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Saturday night.

"Even though we're out of it, it's pretty exciting," Blalock said. "Any team gets excited over a come-from-behind win."

Seattle took a 6-5 lead into the ninth and had closer Eddie Guardado (2-3) on the mound, but pinch-hitter Mark DeRosa's leadoff homer tied it. Guardado had his fifth blown save of the season and second against the Rangers.

After Michael Young singled and Mark Teixeira struck out, Blalock hit a line drive to right-center for a double. Young raced to third and was waved home by third-base coach Steve Smith.

Right fielder Raul Ibanez fired to second baseman Jose Lopez, whose relay to catcher Yorvit Torrealba was high. A sliding Young dragged his hand on the plate before Torrealba could get the tag down and the Rangers had their fourth straight victory.

Young leaped in celebration as his teammates streamed out of the dugout after Texas' sixth walk-off win of the season.

"I was just trying to hit the ball hard and it got into the gap," Blalock said. "I was just trying to get a pitch I could drive to move (Young) along."

The Mariners didn't argue the call at the plate.

"I tagged him but he was safe," Torrealba said.

Guardado converted 27 consecutive save opportunities earlier in the season, but he hasn't been pleased with his results lately.

"That's what happens when you throw the ball right down the middle," Guardado said. "I've been struggling my last few outings. My location is off. I'm surprised Blalock didn't put it in the upper deck. I don't feel sorry for myself. I feel sorry for my teammates."

DeRosa's homer was the Rangers' 247th this season, breaking the club record of 246 set in 2001. Texas leads the majors in homers and has an AL-record 147 at home, two short of the major league home mark set by Colorado in 1996.

Brian Shouse (3-2) allowed one hit in 1 1-3 innings for the win.

Alfonso Soriano and rookie Jason Botts had three hits each for Texas.

Ichiro Suzuki had three hits despite a sore foot and Richie Sexson homered for the Mariners, who blew a five-run lead.

Suzuki wasn't in his customary position in right field after being hit on the right foot by a pitch on Friday night. But as the designated hitter he had enough speed for a triple and a bunt single.

Sexson's 37th homer in the eighth with the bases empty off Edison Volquez stretched Seattle's lead to 6-4. Sexson also tripled in the first.

Seattle's Yuniesky Betancourt had three hits, including a pair of doubles.

Suzuki scored the game's first run after leading off the game with a single off Kenny Rogers. Sexson's RBI triple and Lopez's run-scoring single extended Seattle's lead to 3-0 later in the first.

In the second, Torrealba hit a one-out double, Suzuki had a bunt single and both scored on Betancourt's double to make it 5-0.

Texas pulled within 5-2 in the bottom half on RBI singles by Kevin Mench and Botts. Botts had his first major league hit and RBI while playing in his second game.

Gary Matthews Jr.'s RBI groundout in the fourth and Teixeira's run-scoring single in the fifth made it 5-4.

After allowing seven hits in the first two innings, Rogers' sinker kicked in and he had seven straight groundball outs from the second into the fourth until Suzuki's two-out triple.

Rogers gave up five runs and eight hits in seven innings. He struck out four and didn't issue a walk.

Rod Barajas' RBI single in the eighth off J.J. Putz got Texas within 6-5.

Game notes


New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin was on hand for the Rangers' "Spirit of New Orleans" event. A total of 2,200 Hurricane Katrina evacuees received free transportation, tickets, food and entertainment that included a Dixieland jazz band. Nagin has moved his family to Dallas while their hometown is under repair. ... Lopez was back in the Seattle lineup after missing Friday night's game due to a sore wrist. ... Suzuki has started 145 of Seattle's 148 games in right field this season and has two starts at DH. ... Soriano had his 25th stolen base and has 14 straight successful steals. ... Young has a 15-game hitting streak, longest active in the AL.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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