SEATTLE – David Murphy hit a go-ahead, three-run home run, Michael Young added his first grand slam in three years and the first-place Texas Rangers beat the lowly Seattle Mariners 11-6 on Wednesday night.
Texas took the lead with five runs in the fifth before Young's first slam since Sept. 16, 2007.
It came off Garrett Olson in the seventh and capped a weird day in which the Rangers remained eight games ahead of Oakland in the AL West while their franchise was being auctioned for sale in a courthouse in Fort Worth, Texas.
Billionaire Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban launched an aggressive bid to buy the Rangers, challenging Hall of Fame pitcher and team president Nolan Ryan and his group of investors.
The rare and contentious bankruptcy court auction was the dominant topic of conversation among the Rangers before the game.
Texas opening-day starter Scott Feldman, demoted into the bullpen last week, took over for wild and ineffective starter C.J. Wilson in the fourth inning and allowed two hits and one run in two innings. He struck out two in his first relief appearance since April 22, 2009.
Feldman (6-9) had been yanked from the rotation after going 0-3 with a 6.17 ERA in his last six starts.
Doug Fister (3-8), the AL's ERA leader through late May before shoulder stiffness kept him out all but the final week of June, allowed a season-high seven earned runs in 4 2-3 innings while losing his seventh straight decision.
Fister was 3-3 with a 2.45 ERA over his first 10 starts. In his seven starts since coming off the disabled list, he is 0-5 with an ERA of 6.59.
Fister held a 5-2 lead entering the fifth, behind a two-run single in the first by Jose Lopez and two-run home run in the third by Tuesday call-up Adam Moore. But he hit leadoff man Elvis Andrus with a pitch and allowed a single to Michael Young. Andrus eventually scored on a wild pitch to Vladimir Guerrero. Guerrero, a Mariners-killer for much of his AL West career, then drove what appeared to be a tying home run.
Seattle center fielder Franklin Gutierrez looked back at the padded wall once, drifted onto the track and then timed his leap perfectly to snare the ball in the webbing of his black glove just before he drifted into a gaggle of men standing at a railing and drinking in a beer garden.
Then embattled Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu had the left-handed Fister intentionally walk right-handed and .325-hitting Nelson Cruz, who had already doubled and then singled in Texas' second run in the third, to face left-handed Murphy with two on.
In a sequence befitting the Mariners' miserable season, the .255-hitting Murphy crunched a two-strike pitch almost 10 rows into the bleachers far beyond right-field. Texas led 6-5 on Murphy's sixth homer of the season.
Fister left after two more singles, then No. 9-hitter Mitch Moreland made it 7-5 with a single off Chris Seddon.
NOTES: Texas scored 10 or more runs for ninth time this season — but first time since July 6. ... The Rangers got at least 15 hits for the fourth time in 12 games against Seattle. ... Rangers manager Ron Washington said RHP Dustin Nippert, who is eligible to come off the disabled list after taking a line drive off his head in Detroit two weeks ago, had recurring headaches this week and stayed back from the road trip. Nippert may get evaluated again Thursday, but Washington doesn't know when he will begin baseball activities. The manager does believe Nippert will pitch again this season. ... Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki tied his career high with four stolen bases. The previous time he'd done that was July 20, 2004, against Boston.