G99: Rangers hang on and beat Mariners, 8-7

If you look solely at the hits column in the box score, this would seem to be a rather evenly distributed offensive game. We had 13 hits in all, and of the 9 batters, only Adam Melhuse did not have any hits. Nobody had more than two of them. So you would think this was a pretty spread out offensive game, eh? Not really. Sammy Sosa had five of the eight RBI’s. Brad Wilkerson had two more, and Michael Young had the remaining one.
Sosa had a double in the third, which drove in Young and Tex. Sosa came through again in the fifth with a big three run home run, driving in not only himself, but Young again and Kenny Lofton. Brad Wilkerson also homered in the same inning, driving in two (Byrd). So we’re looking good, going up 8-3 after five innings. Then the fun began.
In the top of the sixth, Kevin Millwood went out, and gave up a single to Jose Lopez. After a popout to Betancourt, Kevin was pulled in favor of Ron Mahay. What was weird about this was Millwood’s pitch count. He was pitching like he was Robinson Tejeda. Millwood tossed 115 pitches in his 5.1 innings of work – way too many. After getting Ichiro to strike out, Mahay allowed a double, giving the Mariners a fourth run. He got out of that, and then Frank Francisco followed up with two scoreless innings.
In comes Eric Gagne. Eric did a great John Wetteland impression, even in a non save situation. The first four batters reached against Gagne. The first three scored. Guillen singled, Beltre, doubled, and then Richie Sexon jacked a three run home run, making the score 8-7. And after that he gave up a single to Johjima. Uh-oh. However, that was the end of the scoring. In fact, the game ended quite bizarrely when Ben Broussard lined out to right field, doubling off Jose Lopez to end the game. Not often you see the old 9-3 double play to end a game.
Still, a win is a win, and you’ll always take it.