And the singles kept coming and coming, except for a three-run
homer by Ibanez, as the Mariners ended a six-game losing streak
with a 14-5 victory over the Texas Rangers on Wednesday.
"We had a shark mentality," Ibanez said.
The Mariners set a season high for runs, scoring one more than
they did combined during the losing streak. Of their 18 hits, 17
were singles -- and many of those were grounders through the
Ibanez put the Mariners ahead to stay with an RBI single in the
first, and his eighth homer of the season came in a six-run third
that made it 7-0.
"Raul's three-run homer gave us a lift and from there we pecked
away and found some holes," manager Mike Hargrove said. "So much
of this game is confidence. We haven't had a lot of
confidence-building the last six, seven days."
During the game, the Rangers traded struggling designated hitter
Phil Nevin to the Chicago Cubs for utility player Jerry Hairston
Jr. Nevin was hitting .216 with nine homers and 31 RBI, with only
two hits (both home runs) his last 32 at-bats.
"I completely look forward to being in Chicago, but right now,
saying goodbye to these guys will be tough," Nevin said after the
game in front of his locker that had already been cleaned out.
"They honestly helped me out quite a bit."
The Cubs were desperately seeking a bopper to help replace
injured slugger Derrek Lee. Nevin, who has been splitting time with
rookie Jason Botts, was primarily a first baseman for San Diego
before being traded to Texas for pitcher Chan Ho Park last July.
Seattle had a 7-0 lead and 11 hits in 2 2/3 innings against
rookie left-hander John Koronka (4-3).
"Command was an issue for him," Texas manager Buck Showalter
said. "He left a lot of balls over the plate. And he paid the
price for it."
Ichiro Suzuki went 3-for-5 -- his major league-best 25th multihit
game -- with a walk and scored four times while playing in his
team-record 294th consecutive game for the Mariners, who finished
1-5 on their road trip. Edgar Martinez played in 293 straight from
Gary Matthews Jr. went 3-for-4, including his first career grand
slam -- and the second in less than 24 hours for the Rangers.
Felix Hernandez (4-6) faced the minimum 12 batters through the
first four innings, even after taking a ball off his right biceps
to start the third. Seattle's 20-year-old right-hander benefited
from a pair of double plays before running into trouble in the
fifth that set up Matthews' 433-foot shot into the second deck of
seats in right field.
Hernandez allowed seven hits over six innings. He struck out
four and walked one.
"I was uncomfortable after I got hit in the arm, but I tried to
stay relaxed and make my pitches," Hernandez said. "The offense
and defense really supported me."
Suzuki led off the game with a single, moved to third on Adrian
Beltre's hit and scored the first run on the hit by Ibanez, who
Tuesday night was ejected in the first inning for arguing a
check-swing third strike.
"One of the great things about this game is if things don't go
right, there's always tomorrow," Ibanez said.
Suzuki's AL-high 18th infield hit got Seattle going in the
third. Jose Lopez had an RBI single before Ibanez homered, then
Mike Morse and Yuniesky Betancourt had consecutive groundball hits
through the left side for RBI. Morse and Betancourt also drove in
runs in the eighth.
The Rangers didn't get a runner past first base until Kevin
Mench's one-out double in the fifth. He scored on a single by
D'Angelo Jimenez before Matthews homered to get the Rangers to 7-5.
Seattle had two on with two outs in the sixth when Richie Sexson
hit a grounder toward All-Star shortstop Michael Young. The ball
took a bad hop just as it was about to go into Young's glove, and
went into left for a two-run single.
"That swung the momentum back in our favor," Hargrove said.
Adrian Beltre added a two-run single in the seventh before Lopez
had a sacrifice fly.
Brad Wilkerson hit a grand slam Tuesday night for the
Rangers in a 6-4 victory. Texas has five grand slams this season --
all at home, one short of a team record. ... Texas is 15-16 at
home. ... Seattle finished 6-10 during its 16-day stretch without a
break. The Mariners are off Thursday before a seven-game homestand.