ARLINGTON, Texas – Chalk up another comeback win for the Texas Rangers.
Josh Hamilton drove in the winning run with a single in the ninth inning and the AL West-leading Rangers rallied from a three-run deficit for a 7-6 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night.
The Rangers have overcome deficits of three or more runs in three of the first five games of the current homestand and have six wins in their last at-bat this season.
"We never think we're out of a game in any way, shape or form," Hamilton said. "We never say die until it's over."
Ian Kinsler and Endy Chavez homered for the Rangers, whose division lead over second-place Los Angeles remained at 1½ games with the Angels beating the Yankees.
Jeff Gray (0-1) walked Kinsler leading off the ninth. Aaron Laffey relieved and Chavez reached on a bunt single that sent Kinsler to second.
Hamilton followed with a single to left, and Kinsler scored easily from second ahead of a short throw from left fielder Trayvon Robinson before being mobbed by teammates who began running onto the field immediately after Hamilton made contact.
"We just have a lot of confidence in ourselves and our teammates," Kinsler said. "We know we have guys up and down the lineup that are capable of getting something started or finishing something off. When you have that feeling it's very easy to stay calm. It just relaxes everyone."
The Mariners took a 6-5 lead into the eighth, but Gray couldn't hold it.
Kinsler's two-run homer in the seventh off Josh Lueke had pulled Texas within 6-5, and Gray got himself in trouble when he walked Nelson Cruz with one out in the eighth.
Cruz was picked off first, but he'd already taken off and slid safely into second ahead of first baseman Mike Carp's throw for a stolen base. Cruz scored when Yorvit Torrealba doubled over the head of right fielder Ichiro Suzuki to tie it.
Walks in the eighth and ninth came back to haunt the Mariners, both of which scored.
"That's what killed us," manager Eric Wedge said. "You can't give a team like that free passes. They have too many good hitters and do a good job in scoring position."
Neftali Feliz (2-3) pitched the ninth for the victory.
Mariners rookie starter Michael Pineda allowed three runs and five hits over six innings and seemed to be on track to win his 10th game before the Rangers rallied. Pineda hadn't started since July 30 as the Mariners try to limit his innings, and he said he felt strong, finishing with four strikeouts and two walks.
Adam Kennedy drove in three runs for the Mariners, who started the night with a major league-worst team batting average of .228, having scored three runs or less in 18 of its previous 28 games.
But the Mariners broke out against Rangers starter Alexi Ogando for six runs and eight hits in 2 2-3 innings, his second shortest outing of the season behind 1 2-3 innings in a 12-4 road loss to the Yankees on June 14.
The Rangers reinstated the right-hander from the paternity leave list before the game and placed utility infielder Andres Blanco on the 15-day disabled list with lower back inflammation.
Ogando went on paternity leave on Saturday, going to the Dominican Republic following the birth of his child.
Seattle took a 2-0 lead in the first on Carp's RBI groundout and Kennedy's run-scoring single.
In the bottom of the first, Chavez hit his fifth homer of the season with the bases empty, and Michael Young added an RBI double off the wall in center.
Seattle grabbed a 3-2 lead in the second when Miguel Olivo scored from third on Kyle Seager's double-play grounder, but Chavez's RBI single in the bottom of the second drew Texas even at 3.
The Mariners went back in front with a three-run third on Kennedy's two-run triple into the right field corner and Olivo's sacrifice fly.
NOTES: Seattle 1B Justin Smoak sat out his sixth straight game with a left thumb injury. Smoak is eager to get back in the lineup, and Wedge said he expects Smoak to be available by Friday. ... Former Rangers C Bengie Molina threw out the ceremonial first pitch and was presented with his ALCS ring before the game. Molina helped the Rangers reach the World Series for the first time in club history last season before retiring in the offseason. ... Mariners LHP Jason Vargas will try to get his season back on track in Wednesday night's start against Texas. Vargas is 0-5 with a 5.57 ERA in his last five starts. LHP Derek Holland will start for Texas, trying to recover from his last outing when he lasted only 1 2-3 innings (allowing six runs and five hits) in a no-decision against Cleveland last Friday. ... Rangers SS Elvis Andrus got the night off, replaced in the starting lineup by Omar Quintanilla. Beginning on Friday, Texas has games on 17 consecutive days and manager Ron Washington wants his regulars rested for a key stretch that includes seven games against division rival Los Angeles and four vs. AL East-leading Boston.