Montero, Mariners slip past Rangers
Seattle, WA (Sports Network) - Jesus Montero knocked in the tying run and scored on Dustin Ackley's go-ahead single in the sixth inning as the Seattle Mariners eked by the Texas Rangers, 4-3, in the finale of a four-game series.
Raul Ibanez went 2-for-4 with a solo homer, while Kyle Seager doubled twice, scored a run and knocked in another to help the Mariners earn a split.
Brandon Maurer (1-2) picked up his first win after a forgettable start to his big-league career. The 22-year-old righty had given up 12 runs over his first two starts, but allowed just three -- two earned -- on five hits over six frames Sunday.
Fellow rookie Nick Tepesch (1-1), coming off a win in his first outing, was touched for four runs on nine hits in 5 2/3 frames for the Rangers, who have alternated wins and losses over their last six games.
"Our offense definitely needs to get in gear sooner than later," Texas' David Murphy said.
Tepesch gave up Texas' 3-2 lead in the sixth, with Seager reaching on a one- out double and scoring on Montero's looping single to right. Montero smartly went to second on the throw home and came around when Ackley dribbled one through the middle.
"I was just looking to hit a ball up the middle," Ackley said. "I was just trying to stay on anything that (Tepesch) threw in there, just battle and fortunately I found a hole that time."
Texas had runners in scoring position the next two frames and failed to push them across. Stephen Pryor entered from the bullpen with a runner on second and struck out Elvis Andrus and Craig Gentry to end the seventh, and Oliver Perez stranded runners on the corners in the eighth by getting Geovany Soto on a flyout to right.
Tom Wilhelmsen threw a 1-2-3 ninth to pick up his fifth save of the year.
In the top half of the second, Texas' Mitch Moreland hit a hanging breaking ball to deep center field that was just out of Endy Chavez's reach, allowing Soto to score from first. Consecutive two-baggers from Justin Smoak and Seager in Seattle's half evened things.
Ibanez crushed his second home run of the season into the seats in right- center in the fourth, but Texas scored twice in the fifth despite getting a runner thrown out at the plate.
Leury Garcia, making his second career start, tripled with one away and was tagged out trying to score on Andrus' dribbler to second. After Gentry was hit by a pitch, Lance Berkman plated Andrus with a base hit through the right side, and Gentry scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch.
Ibanez has hit 68 home runs at Safeco Field, the most by any player ... Pryor has retired 22 of the 26 batters he has faced this season, but exited after suffering a right lat strain ... Texas went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position ... The Rangers next play on Tuesday against the Cubs in their second-ever trip to Wrigley Field ... The Mariners have their first off day of the season on Monday before hosting Detroit for three games.
04/14 20:08:57 ET