SEATTLE (AP) -- Jose Lopez came through on his third chance to
drive in the game-winning run.
After grounding out to end both the ninth and 11th innings,
Lopez singled with the bases loaded in the 13th to lift the Seattle
Mariners to a 3-2 victory over the Texas Rangers on Saturday night.
"Throw me a strike," Lopez about the situation he knew Rangers
reliever Josh Rupe was facing in the 13th inning. "I'll have a
chance to put the ball in play."
John Rheinecker (4-6) walked Raul Ibanez and Eduardo Perez to
lead off the inning. Oswaldo Navarro, making his major league debut
after being recalled from Tacoma the previous day, sacrificed
against Rupe to move the runners to second and third.
"I was a little nervous, especially in that situation,"
Navarro said. "But I knew I could bunt. 'It's my game. I can do
Kenji Johjima then walked on a 3-2 pitch to load the bases,
before Lopez's drive on a 2-1 pitch bounced into the Mariners'
bullpen with the Texas outfield drawn in to end the 4 hour,
"He was patient at the plate and made Rupe get the ball up and
ended up getting the base hit," Seattle manager Mike Hargrove
The Mariners won their fourth straight and handed the Rangers
their third straight loss. Seattle trails third-place Texas by
three games in the AL West.
Seattle, which is 4-8 against Texas this season, has won 12 of
17 games after an 11-game losing streak.
Right-hander Emiliano Fruto (1-1), who allowed one hit in 2 2-3
innings, picked up his first major-league win. He had one strikeout
and no walks in his first appearance since July 31. Fruto was
recalled from Triple-A Tacoma on Sept. 1.
Gary Matthews homered on a 3-2 pitch with two outs in the top of
the ninth off Seattle closer J.J. Putz, who had blown only five
saves in 37 chances. It was only the fourth home run Putz has
allowed in 68 1-3 innings.
"He got beat throwing a 98 mile-per-hour fastball," Hargrove
said. "I'll take that but I don't like to see it happen."
Richie Sexson's towering shot off the right-center field wall
off Texas reliever Joaquin Benoit with one out in the ninth just
missed being his third game-ending homer of the season by 2 feet.
Benoit intentionally walked Ben Broussard before getting the final
two outs of the inning.
From there, it was a battle of bullpens as the teams combined to
use 15 pitchers total -- Rupe being the eighth for Texas.
"We got some good innings out of a young bullpen, but we just
needed more hits," Texas manager Buck Showalter said.
"Those guys have been great all season long," Seattle starter
Jarrod Washburn said about the bullpen. "And tonight was no
Washburn allowed one run on six hits in six innings. The
left-hander, who has received run support of three runs or fewer in
17 starts, struck out five and walked two.
"It's just a matter of going out and making pitches and not
getting myself in trouble," Washburn said.
Texas starter Robinson Tejeda allowed one earned run on four
hits in 6 2/3 innings. The right-hander had seven strikeouts and
"He's been a lot more in command in his last two starts,"
Showalter said. "I thought he had his best breaking ball of the
The Rangers went ahead 1-0 in the top of the sixth. Mark
DeRosa's double to the right-center field wall scored Carlos Lee,
who had reached base on an infield single. DeRosa slid in just
before the relay from second baseman Jose Lopez reached catcher
Chris Snelling's sacrifice bunt scored Bloomquist after Tejeda's
throw to first baseman Mark Teixera bounced in the dirt and skipped
down the first-base line. Suzuki scored when Betancourt grounded
into a double play to make it 2-1.
Betancourt, 15-for-45 (.333 average), is the only Mariners
player with a minimum of 25 plate appearances that is hitting above
.300 against Texas this season. Betancourt has a nine-game hitting
streak. ... Suzuki had three singles. ... Seattle has won 12 of its
last 14 games at Safeco Field. ... Texas, which won both of its
12-inning games -- against Baltimore on May 3 and at the Los Angeles
Angels on Aug. 3 -- played its longest game of the season. ... Fruto
was the losing pitcher in a 7-6 loss during a 14-inning game July
15 at Toronto.