Dallas

Cruz Hits 100th Homer at Texas as Mariners Beat Rangers 9-7

Nelson Cruz hit consecutive pitches deep into the left-field seats at his former home. The first one was called foul. There was no question about the next swing.

Cruz hit the first of Seattle's three home runs, his 100th at the Rangers ballpark, and the Mariners went on to a 9-7 victory Saturday night.

"He didn't miss that pitch again. He didn't miss it the first time," said Mitch Haniger, who also went deep for the Mariners. "Just shows you how good of a hitter he is, to stay composed and do it again on the next swing."

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After a towering drive over the left-field foul pole that was ruled foul, and stood after an 80-second replay review by umpires, Cruz hit the next pitch an estimated 453 feet. The two-run shot off 44-year-old Bartolo Colon was his fourth homer in his 10 games this season.

"You don't often see that on back-to-back pitches," manager Scott Servais said. "The first one was so close to being out, but there was no doubt on the second one."

Robinson Cano hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the seventh to make it 8-6 and cap a four-run outburst against Alex Claudio (0-1), who gave up hits to all four batters he faced. Haniger hit a solo shot later in the inning off another reliever.

Chasen Bradford (2-0) pitched two innings in relief of Seattle starter James Paxton, who struck out six but gave up five runs in four innings. Edwin Diaz got the final four outs for his AL-leading eighth save even while walking three batters and giving up a run in the ninth.

Seattle's comeback spoiled Colon's bid for his first win with the Rangers, and 21st in his career against the Mariners. Colon, who covered first base for the first two outs in the fifth, exited after 5 2/3 innings with a 5-4 lead.

"He threw the ball well. I think covering first base a couple of times took its toll. Not condition-wise, but the legs," manager Jeff Banister said. "We'd seen the ball starting to rise a little bit on him, not as much sink, and decided to make the move."

Colon retired the first 21 batters at Houston in his previous start six nights earlier. He never flirted with perfection against the Mariners after Dee Gordon singled to lead off the game after the start was delayed 1 hour, 25 minutes because of rain and ended one minute before midnight.

But the speedy Gordon was retired on a 3-1 putout in the fifth, a batter after Colon also covered first base to get out Ben Gamel.

"He's a marvel what he's doing at his age and still very, very competitive in this league," Servais said. "He knows how to pitch, and he knows how to cover first base."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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