Before the first pitch Saturday night, Rangers manager Ron Washington proclaimed when his bullpen is at full strength, "We can shut a ballgame down." Especially when given a second chance. The bullpen, undermined by a misplay from rookie shortstop Luis Sardinas, gave up a one-run lead in the seventh inning but held together to give the Rangers the time they needed to regroup and defeat Seattle 4-3 at Safeco Field. The Rangers have won the first two games of a nine-game West Coast trip despite scoring only five total runs. Leonys Martin drove in the winning run with a two-out single in the ninth inning against Fernando Rodney. Martin had only one hit in his previous 21 at-bats with runners in scoring position before he slapped a 1-2 fastball down the third-base line. "These guys continue to play, no matter what happens out there," Washington said. Left-handed reliever Neal Cotts typified that. He was asked to protect a 3-2 lead under difficult conditions in the seventh: bases loaded and one out. Cotts allowed a run-scoring single by Robinson Cano but rallied to retire the next five hitters. That included Dustin Ackley and Logan Morrison with the bases still loaded in the seventh. "We needed him to get us where he got us tonight," Washington said of Cotts. "He played a real big role in this win." Washington hoped right-handed reliever Shawn Tolleson could get the 3-2 lead through the seventh.
Martin bails out bullpen with RBI single in ninth, Rangers win 4-3
Dallas Morning News | Jun 15