ARLINGTON – Kendrys Morales blasted Rangers pitching with two home runs and six RBIs in a 9-2 Seattle victory on Tuesday in the first of a three-game series at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
Morales had a home run in the first – the second of two-out back-to-back home runs, following Raul Ibanez – and a three-run home run in the fifth, both off Rangers starter Justin Grimm.
Grimm gave up six runs (five earned) on seven hits, including three home runs, in four innings in falling to 7-6 in front of a home crowd of 39,579.
Joe Saunders earned the victory for the Mariners, who gained a game on the AL West-leading Rangers. Seattle will enter Wednesday's game 12 back.
The Rangers entered a half-game ahead of Oakland, which is leading the Chicago White Sox early.
Morales' outburst almost came a year to the day he pounded Rangers pitching for two home runs – one from each side of the plate – and six RBIs as a member of the Los Angeles Angels on June 29 of 2012.
That game, too, was in Arlington.
Dustin Ackley and Mike Zunino also had RBIs for the Mariners.
Elvis Andrus had two hits in five at-bats and an RBI for the Rangers. He also accounted for the Rangers' second run after scoring from third on a pass ball in the seventh inning.
Nelson Cruz was 2-for-4 and Leonys Martin extended his hitting streak to a career personal-best 15 games by going 2-for-4, including a bunt single in the third.
Ross Wolf gave up three runs on five hits in three innings of relief for the Rangers.
– John Henry