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Star-Telegram.com

Rangers pull out win in 9th as bullpen comes through again

Posted Tuesday, Aug. 09, 2011

By Jeff Wilson

jwilson@star-telegram.com

ARLINGTON -- Ian Kinsler had no idea that the team chasing his Texas Rangers had pulled out a victory Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium.

Kinsler was too busy concentrating on trying to bring the Rangers out of a three-run hole against Seattle.

The same goes for Mike Adams, who in the span of 10 days has seen his demeanor transformed so dramatically that he comes to the ballpark expecting to win every night.

They were two of the key players in the Rangers' latest come-from-behind victory, this one after trailing by three runs with three innings to go after starter Alexi Ogando faltered early.

Kinsler hit a two-run homer in the seventh inning and scored the winning run on Josh Hamilton's single in the ninth, and Adams and four other relievers allowed only three hits in 6 1/3 innings as the Rangers stormed past the Mariners for a 7-6 victory.

The victory allowed the Rangers to maintain their 1 1/2-game lead in the American League West over Los Angeles, which got a two-run homer off Mariano Rivera to beat New York.

It's too early to watch the scoreboard, said Kinsler. If the Rangers keep winning, the postseason race will take care of itself.

"If we continue to win, it's going to be very difficult for them to catch us," Kinsler said. "We just want to concentrate on ourselves and make sure we're winning games."

The Rangers rallied from three runs down to win for the third time on this homestand. They trailed 6-3 after Seattle tagged Ogando for eight hits in 2 2/3 innings, and Michael Pineda had settled into a groove after struggling early on.

The game got interesting again as soon as Pineda exited. Josh Lueke, one of the four players the Rangers packaged last summer to get Cliff Lee, walked Mitch Moreland to start the seventh and surrendered Kinsler's 17th homer of the season two batters later.

Nelson Cruz walked with one out in the eighth and was credited with a stolen base with two outs even though the Mariners had a shot at picking him off.

Yorvit Torrealba drove Cruz home with a double that cleared Ichiro Suzuki as he back-pedaled toward the right-field wall.

"He was playing Torre cheap," manager Ron Washington said of Suzuki, a 10-time Gold Glove winner. "He was playing very shallow right field, and he got beat."

After Neftali Feliz tossed a scoreless inning, Kinsler opened the ninth with a four-pitch walk and went to second on a bunt hit by Endy Chavez. Hamilton lined the second pitch he saw from Aaron Laffey into left-center field, and Kinsler scored easily.

The rally helped make Ogando's brief start an afterthought.

He was activated from the paternity-leave list earlier Tuesday and had spent a few days in the Dominican Republic. The trip, which included a bullpen session, wore him out some, but he returned Monday and said that was enough time to rest.

The problem was the location of his pitches.

"I was leaving everything in the middle of the plate," Ogando said. "I can't have good results with that."

A five-man relief effort, which started with 2 1/3 innings from Yoshinori Tateyama, enabled the Rangers' comeback. Mark Lowe and Darren Oliver bridged the middle innings to Adams and Feliz (2-3) as only two Mariners got as far as second.

"We're a good ballclub and making that playoff push," said Adams, who struck out the side in the eighth. "It puts that little extra motivation in you and makes it easy to come to the ballpark. Every time I come to the ballpark now, I expect to win."

Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760

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