SEATTLE -- Texas' offense exploded for eight runs and eight hits in the 11th inning as the Rangers beat the Mariners, 11-3, in the second game of a three-game series Saturday afternoon at Safeco Field.
"This time of the year, where we are in the standings, we feel like we have to win," said Josh Hamilton, who had the go-ahead hit in the 11th. "But we expect to go out and put ourselves in position to win. That's all you can do."
The Rangers scored three runs in the fourth inning to take an early lead and end Seattle starter Mike Montgomery's afternoon. The 26-year-old lefty struggled to find the strike zone, walking four hitters for the third time in his last four starts and throwing just 43 of his 82 pitches for strikes.
Seattle then tagged Texas' Martin Perez for three runs on four hits to tie the game, 3-3, in the fourth, but the lefty otherwise pitched well, holding the Mariners scoreless for the other five innings of his six-inning, five-strikeout performance.
Seattle's Seth Smith reached second with no outs in the 10th on an error by Rangers outfielder Ryan Strausborger, but the Mariners couldn't push the run across, as Jesus Montero struck out with the bases loaded to end the inning.
"We should've won the ballgame, we just didn't get it done," said Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon. "We failed to get the bunt down [to move Smith over] and the rest is history."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Fielder snaps hitless streak:Prince Fielder has been in a slump lately but he snapped an 0-for-10 skid with an RBI double in the fourth. He later scored on a single by Hamilton. Fielder entered the game hitting .208 in his last 11 games. He also had a home run in the 11th to cap the big inning.
"I don't know that I'm struggling," Fielder said. "I'm good."
Cruz keeps cruising: Nelson Cruz led off the Mariners' big fourth inning with a double, making this his eighth straight game with an extra-base hit and extending his hit streak to 18 games. Robinson Cano followed with a bloop single to center and Montero laced a sharp single to left to cut the deficit to 3-1. After both Cano and Montero advanced on a passed ball, Mark Trumbo hit a sacrifice fly to right-center to score Cano and Brad Miller hit an infield single to drive in Montero.
Rangers run ragged: The Rangers had three baserunners thrown out in the game. Chris Gimenez was thrown out in the third trying to score from second on a Delino DeShields infield single. DeShields was thrown out in the seventh trying to stretch a single into a double. In the ninth, Rougned Odor was thrown out trying to steal on a swing-and-miss by Gimenez.
Tense 10th: The Rangers, in a 3-3 game, committed closer Shawn Tolleson to the bottom of the 10th and he found himself in a predicament right away. Smith led off the inning with a fly ball to left and Strausborger dropped it for a two-base error. Tolleson came back to strike out Mike Zunino and Kyle Seager. That brought up Cruz with Cano on deck. The Rangers intentionally walked both to load the bases so Tolleson could pitch to Montero, who struck out to end the threat. More >
"It just goes to show you this is a game of results," McClendon said. "They walked the bases loaded and they got away with it. That's the way it goes."
"Bad outing. I'm very disappointed." -- McClendon, on Montgomery's outing
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Seattle's loss was its 20th loss this season in an opponent's final at-bat, highest in the American League.
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
With two outs in the second inning and Adrian Beltre on first, Mariners catcher Jesus Sucre attempted to catch Beltre napping, throwing over to first after an 0-1 pitch from Montgomery. Beltre dove back toward the bag and was initially called safe by first-base umpire Lance Barrett. McClendon challenged the safe call, which was later overturned for the third out of the inning.
McClendon was successful in his second challenge of the game an inning later. With two outs in the third inning, DeShields grounded a ball up the middle and reached on an infield single. Gimenez tried to score from second on the play and was initially called safe at home by home-plate umpire Dan Iassogna. McClendon challenged and the safe call was overturned, taking the Rangers' first run off the board.
The Rangers haven't had any luck with replay challenges in Seattle. They challenged a play in the bottom of the seventh, a simple pickoff of Brad Miller at first base by Sam Dyson. Miller was called safe, the Rangers challenged and it was ruled the call would stand.
WHAT'S NEXT Rangers: Right-hander Colby Lewis pitches against the Mariners at 3:10 p.m. CT on Sunday at Safeco Field. Lewis has won four straight starts since the All-Star break with a 4.33 ERA. He lost his only start to the Mariners earlier this season.
Mariners: Felix Hernandez (13-6, 3.13 ERA) looks for his 14th win against the Rangers at 1:10 p.m. PT. Hernandez has lasted six or more innings in nine consecutive starts, but has yielded 23 hits over his last two starts, including 11 hits in 6 2/3 innings in an 8-7 win over the Rockies on Monday .