ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) — It was advertised as a duel between two of the game’s most dominant pitchers: Yu Darvish and Felix Hernandez.
King Felix won the night; the Rangers won the game.
Leonys Martin delivered a ninth inning single against Mariners’ closer Fernando Rodney as the Rangers picked up their 4th walk-off win of the season 3-2 at Globe Life Park on Wednesday night.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling,” said Martin after the game.
Hernandez retired 15-of-16 hitters before allowing a leadoff triple to Leonys Martin in the bottom of the 8th inning to end his night. Pinch-hitter Michael Choice brought Martin in with a sacrifice fly to close the gap to 2-1.
Closer Fernando Rodney recorded two quick outs in the ninth before pitching erratically to the middle of the Rangers order.
After Kevin Kouzmanoff singled up the middle, Mitch Moreland walked on four pitches.
“I didn’t even swing,” said Moreland. “I was just trying to see the ball — see some pitches in the zone — and he worked away from me the first three pitches. I was going to try to make him throw a strike and take it as deep as I could.”
A throwing error by shortstop Brad Miller loaded the bases before Rodney threw a wild pitch, advancing the runners and allowing Kouzmanoff to score.
Martin then singled to left on a 3-0 pitch to spoil a dominant performance by Hernandez (ND, 2-0).
Darvish (ND, 1-0) pitched seven strong innings, striking out eight while surrendering two runs with 107 pitches.
He retired eight of the last nine hitters he faced, but the damage came early.
In the second inning, Nick Franklin drove the first pitch to deep center for a triple and his first hit of the season. After a walk to Dustin Ackley, the Mariners cashed in with consecutive singles to grab an early 2-0 lead.
The 27-year-old then settled in, scattering three hits over his final five innings of work.
King Felix allowed just one run over 7.0+ innings, striking out nine and allowing four hits.
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