ARLINGTON (AP) – Logan Morrison hit a tiebreaking two-run double in the eighth inning and the Florida Marlins beat the Texas Rangers 6-4 on Sunday night to end a winning road trip under 80-year-old interim manager Jack McKeon.
Rangers starter C.J. Wilson, picked as an All-Star by his manager earlier in the day, struck out nine but left with one out in the eighth and the tying run at third base. Florida got even and went ahead against three relievers.
The Marlins, last in the NL East, won two of three in the series to wrap up a 5-4 trip. They are 6-6 overall since McKeon became their manager again after Edwin Rodriguez resigned.
Florida pushed across four runs in the eighth, taking advantage of a lucky break. With one out and runners on the corners, Mark Lowe (2-2) faked a pickoff attempt to third and turned back to find Gaby Sanchez leaning off first. But Lowe’s throw in the dirt allowed Florida’s lone All-Star to get back in safely — and that was costly.
Hanley Ramirez followed with a slow roller that shortstop Elvis Andrus couldn’t handle, and Bryan Petersen scored the tying run on the error. Darren Oliver faced only one hitter: Morrison, whose slicing liner was out of the reach of diving right fielder Nelson Cruz. Closer Neftali Feliz then came in but Mike Stanton responded with an RBI single.
Michael Dunn (5-5), the second of five Marlins pitchers, gave up an unearned run in 1 1-3 innings. Dunn and three other relievers all pitched in the eighth before Leo Nunez came on in the ninth for his 23rd save in 26 chances.
David Murphy hit a run-scoring triple in the ninth before Nunez got Ian Kinsler to fly out to right to end the game.
Wilson allowed two runs, one earned, and five hits after Ron Washington, who will manage the AL team in Arizona, used one of his seven managerial picks to put the closer-turned-starter on the All-Star team. The left-hander is 8-3 this season after going 15-8 in 33 starts last year when Texas went to its first World Series.
Cruz and All-Star Adrian Beltre had solo shots for the Rangers. Cruz pulled a pitch deep into the left-field seats in the second for his 20th homer. Beltre’s 15th was a 400-foot shot that landed in the Rangers bullpen in the fourth.
Sanchez had two hits for Florida, a two-out double in the first and an RBI single in the sixth.
With the loss, the Rangers (44-41) lost sole possession of the AL West lead they had held for 36 days. The Angels caught them with a 3-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday.
Marlins starter Javier Vazquez allowed two runs while pitching into the seventh. The right-hander gave up an unearned run over seven innings in his previous start, a 1-0 loss at Oakland.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)