ARLINGTON, Texas (AP)—There were fireworks again when Texas and Seattle played — for a different reason this time.
Instead of flared tempers, they were the pyrotechnic displays sparked by Texas home runs, including a game-winning shot by Ramon Vazquez in the 10th inning as the Rangers rallied for a 13-12 victory Monday night.
“I wouldn’t say it was the weirdest game I’ve been in, but when you score 12 runs, you expect to win,” Vazquez said. “We kept battling back.”
Vazquez’s homer came on a 1-0 pitch with one out in the 10th off Brandon Morrow (0-1), who struck out the only other four batters he faced after Seattle tied it with four runs in the ninth off closer C.J. Wilson.
Josh Hamilton and Milton Bradley hit back-to-back towering homers to start the third against Erik Bedard, who had a five-run lead before even throwing a pitch. Those homers ignited a four-run inning that put Texas up 6-5 and chased Bedard.
“What a game!” Rangers manager Ron Washington said when entering his postgame session with reporters, then repeating that statement when he left. “I guess y’all didn’t think we had a chance when we fell behind 5-0 to Bedard. We fooled y’all and Bedard.”
Only four nights after Mariners first baseman Richie Sexson charged the mound and flung his helmet at Texas pitcher Kason Gabbard to ignite a bench-clearing brawl, the AL West rivals met again. Sexson was with his team, but not playing while serving the third game of his five-game suspension for his actions. He’ll miss the entire Texas series.
Morrow struck out the side in order in the bottom of the ninth. Morrow then struck out German Duran to start the 10th before Vazquez, the No. 9 batter, ended the 4-hour, 9-minute game by pulling a drive down the right-field line for his second homer of the season.
Doug Mathis (1-0), the sixth Rangers pitcher, threw a perfect 10th in his major league debut.
“It’s the coolest thing I’ve ever been a part of,” said the 24-year-old Mathis, who was called up Sunday after the Rangers put starter Kevin Millwood on the disabled list.
Seattle tied it with four runs in the ninth, with Kenji Johjima capping that outburst with his first homer of the season, a three-run shot with two outs off Wilson that made it 12-12. Raul Ibanez had an RBI double earlier in the inning.
It was only the second blown save for Wilson, the left-hander who has converted eight times.
The only time things got heated between players was in the Texas seventh when Vazquez struck out and exchanged words with pitcher Ryan Rowland-Smith, who pumped his fist after the third strike. Vazquez yelled at the pitcher while slowly walking back to the dugout and Rowland-Smith returned verbal jabs. But they weren’t close to each other.
The Rangers then took advantage of a two-out error in the seventh by second baseman Jose Lopez to score four unearned runs and take a 10-6 lead. After Wladimir Belentien hit a two-run homer in the eighth, the Mariners gave those runs right back when Michael Young and Hamilton drew consecutive bases-loaded walks, off different pitchers.
“We don’t like to make excuses, we had bad control,” said Johjima, the Seattle catcher.
Gabbard is the scheduled starter Tuesday against Felix Hernandez, the same matchup from Thursday. Hernandez hit two Texas batters before Sexson charged the mound after an eye-high pitch that was more over the plate than inside.
Hamilton led off the third with a 447-foot shot to right-center before Bradley followed with a 410-foot homer. There was then a four-pitch walk before Gerald Laird doubled and Chris Shelton had an RBI single that tied the game and chased Bedard. Laird scored his tiebreaking run on a double-play grounder.
Hamilton had a two-run single after Lopez’s error and finished with four RBIs, increasing his majors-best total to 43.
Texas starter Vicente Padilla pitched into the sixth, but a no-decision kept him from his sixth victory, which would have matched the American League lead and equaled his total for all last season.
Padilla gave up four hits and five runs—only two earned after two Texas errors—in the first inning Monday.
An error by third baseman Vazquez allowed the first Seattle run before Raul Ibanez hit a two-run homer.
In his last start at Texas on July 7, pitching for Baltimore, Bedard tied an Orioles franchise record with 15 strikeouts while tossing a two-hitter and facing the minimum 27 batters. But the Rangers scored each inning against him Monday.
“Just wasn’t a good day,” Bedard said.
The Rangers have won 10 of their last 13, while Seattle has lost 11 of 13. … Six Seattle pitchers combined to allow 14 hits and 13 walks. it was only the third time in Rangers franchise history they had at least 13 walks, and the first since April 1996. … Bradley left with a sore right shoulder, lifted in the seventh for pinch-hitter Frank Catalanotto, whose RBI single made it 10-6.