for this game

Dickey, Mariners take finale from Rangers

Aug 1, 2008 - 4:28 AM By John Tranchina PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

ARLINGTON, Texas (Ticker) -- Considering how devastating his last appearance was at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington 2 1/2 seasons ago, R.A. Dickey made a triumphant return to Texas.

The former Rangers knuckleballer pitched seven-plus outstanding innings to lead the Seattle Mariners to an 8-5 victory over his former club Thursday night.

After losing two straight games, Seattle, owners of the American League's worst record, almost blew an 8-0 eighth-inning lead, but held on to take the finale and gain a split of the four-game series.

The 33-year-old Dickey (3-6), who spent all of last season in the minors, had a two-hit shutout through seven innings. The only blemish on his record was Ramon Vazquez's two-run home run in the eighth inning with the Mariners ahead, 8-0.

Overall, he surrendered the two runs and six hits in 7 2/3 innings, walking one and striking out two.

"I had balls moving all over the place," Dickey said. "I knew that it would turn if I just stayed at it and tried to throw strikes. It's all about throwing first-pitch strikes for me and I was able to do that pretty consistently tonight."

"You never know with a knuckleballer, you don't know what you're going to get," Seattle manager Jim Riggleman said. "You can dominate a lineup or that thing can be doing nothing and they'll hit it all over the place. But he picked a good night to be sharp with it, because this lineup in this ballpark, it can get embarrassing."

Dickey was facing his old team for the first time and earned his first win since June 24, a span of six starts. It was just Dickey's 10th major league start since he tied an infamous baseball record in April 2006.

Just months after he began throwing the knuckler, helped by numerous tutoring sessions from former Rangers knuckleballer Charlie Hough, Dickey made the Texas opening day rotation in 2006 as its fourth starter. But in his first start on April 6, Dickey was bombed for a major league record-tying six home runs in 3 1/3 innings and spent the rest of the year at Class AAA Oklahoma. He was released after the season and toiled in the Milwaukee organization last year.

"It's more personally satisfying," Dickey said of getting the victory in this ballpark. "It's not like I have any vendetta against the Rangers for them not keeping me around. I had a good experience here, it was the experience that started me on what I'm doing now as a knuckleballer. But it is satisfying because the last time I was on this field, it didn't go so well, and the metamorphosis from that day into this day is a pretty neat story for me."

Offensively for the Mariners, Ichiro Suzuki continued his torrid pace of late with two extra-base hits, two runs scored and an RBI. He is now 11-for-27 (.407) over his last six games and has 3,006 career hits, combining his Japan totals (1,278) with those he has accumulated in the majors.

Adrian Beltre added two hits, including his 19th home run of the year, and three RBI while Raul Ibanez also contributed two hits and an RBI. Jose Lopez extended his career-high hitting streak to 18 games with an eighth-inning single.

"I was really glad to see him get it," Riggleman said of Lopez, who has scored 10 runs and has 15 RBI during the streak. "He got that last at-bat and it speaks for itself. It's a hit, he stuck one out there and hopefully, he'll get one tomorrow."

Rookie Chris Davis collected three hits for the Rangers, including two doubles after Dickey exited the game. Vazquez put up two hits, including his sixth home run of the year, and an RBI double in the ninth to give him three RBI.

"The thing was dancing, you can't ever predict where it's going to go," Davis said of Dickey's knuckleball. "If it seemed like it was going to break away, it broke in on my hands. You see the kind of swings we took against him, he pitched his butt off. He kept us off-balance, he kept it around the strike zone."

Trailing 8-2, in the ninth, the Rangers made the Mariners sweat it out, scoring three runs off reliever Mark Lowe. Vazquez doubled home Davis and, after Ian Kinsler singled, Frank Catalanotto's double plated home both Vazquez and Kinsler.

Seattle brought in J.J. Putz to get the final two outs, inducing a flyout from Michael Young and striking out Josh Hamilton with Catalanotto on third.

"It's always frustrating to lose, especially at home and especially to a division rival," Davis said. "We just got started a little too late, came back and rallied a little bit, but it wasn't quite enough."

"Tonight we ran into a pitcher we couldn't solve," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "Once we got Dickey out of there and saw normal pitching, we started hitting."

Two nights after the Rangers committed five errors - three by Vazquez at third base - they added two more in the second inning to cost them two more runs.

Seattle got on the scoreboard immediately, as Ichiro led off the game with a triple that rolled to the wall in right center. After Willie Bloomquist beat out an infield single, Ibanez doubled to bring home Ichiro, and Bloomquist scored on Beltre's groundout.

The Mariners added two more runs - both unearned - in the second off Texas rookie starter Matt Harrison (2-2), making just his fifth major league start.

Jamie Burke reached base when Vazquez booted his grounder to third, and Ichiro followed with a double into the right field corner. Burke was about to hold at third, but right fielder David Murphy misplayed the bounce off the side wall and Burke came home as Ichiro advanced to third. He scored moments later on Harrison's wild pitch to make it 4-0.

Jumping out to the early lead was a big boost for the Mariners.

"It's a big help," said Miguel Cairo, who hit a double and walked twice. "When you play against that team here in Texas, they're good hitters and they score a lot of runs. It was kind of nice to attack and get some runs early in the game and (put) them on the defensive. But with that team, you've got to play nine innings."

"Any time you got runs, you can pitch to the scoreboard a little more and you have a little more comfort," Dickey said. "It definitely helps."

Seattle tacked on two more runs in the fourth without generating a hit. After Harrison walked three batters, Cairo came home on Jeremy Reed's fielder's choice and Bryan LaHair scored on Ichiro's sacrifice fly.

Harrison lasted 4 2/3 innings, surrendering six runs - four earned - on five hits, while also walking five and tossing two wild pitches.

"I felt good in the bullpen, but I couldn't get ahead of hitters," Harrison said. "When you fall behind against guys up here, you're going to pay for it."

"He was missing outside," Washington said of Harrison. "He couldn't put his breaking ball where he wanted, but he hung in and battled. I always say, you're not going to have success if you don't pitch well."

Beltre slugged a two-run home run into the Texas bullpen in right center off reliever Dustin Nippert in the eighth to make it 8-0.

Milton Bradley, who entered the day ranked third in the American League in batting (.320), sat out his second straight game for the Rangers with a strained left quadriceps.








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    SEATTLE 2 2 0 2 0 0 0 2 0 8 11 1
    TEXAS 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 3 5 10 2 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: SEA - R.A. DICKEY, MARK LOWE (8TH), J.J. PUTZ (9TH) AND JAMIE BURKE
    TEX - MATT HARRISON, DUSTIN NIPPERT (5TH) AND GERALD
    LAIRD

    HOME RUNS: SEA - ADRIAN BELTRE (19)

    Jul 31 10:54 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY FRANK CATALANOTTO SCORED RAMON VAZQUEZ AND IAN
    KINSLER.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, F CATALANOTTO ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 8
    TEXAS 5 BOTTOM, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: M YOUNG (.292, 0-FOR-4)

    Mariners 8, Rangers 5  Bot 9, 0 OutsJul 31 10:50 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY RAMON VAZQUEZ SCORED CHRIS DAVIS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R VAZQUEZ ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 8
    TEXAS 3 BOTTOM, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: I KINSLER (.324, 0-FOR-4)

    Mariners 8, Rangers 3  Bot 9, 0 OutsJul 31 10:46 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY RAMON VAZQUEZ (6) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT
    IN THE 8TH OFF R.A. DICKEY SCORED CHRIS DAVIS.
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 8, TEXAS 2
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: I KINSLER (.324, 0-FOR-3)

    Mariners 8, Rangers 2  Bot 8, 0 OutsJul 31 10:20 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY ADRIAN BELTRE (19) TO RIGHT CENTER WITH
    2 OUT IN THE 8TH OFF DUSTIN NIPPERT SCORED WILLIE BLOOMQUIST.
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 8, TEXAS 0
    DUE UP FOR SEATTLE: J LOPEZ (.302, 0-FOR-4)

    Mariners 8, Rangers 0  Top 8, 0 OutsJul 31 10:11 PM
  • 29
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 29 roots

    Mariners 6, Rangers 0  Bot 5, 0 OutsJul 31 9:27 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY ICHIRO SUZUKI SCORED BRYAN LAHAIR.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J REED ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 6
    TEXAS 0 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR SEATTLE: W BLOOMQUIST (.284, 1-FOR-2)

    Mariners 6, Rangers 0  Top 4, 0 OutsJul 31 9:02 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    FIELDER'S CHOICE BY JEREMY REED SCORED MIGUEL CAIRO.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J REED ON FIRST, B LAHAIR ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 5
    TEXAS 0 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR SEATTLE: I SUZUKI (.305, 2-FOR-2)

    Mariners 5, Rangers 0  Top 4, 0 OutsJul 31 9:00 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    WILD PITCH BY MATT HARRISON ALLOWED ICHIRO SUZUKI TO
    SCORE.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 4
    TEXAS 0 TOP, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR SEATTLE: W BLOOMQUIST (.286, 1-FOR-1)

    Mariners 4, Rangers 0  Top 2, 0 OutsJul 31 8:38 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    ERROR BY DAVID MURPHY ALLOWED JAMIE BURKE TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, I SUZUKI ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 3
    TEXAS 0 TOP, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR SEATTLE: W BLOOMQUIST (.286, 1-FOR-1)

    Mariners 3, Rangers 0  Top 2, 0 OutsJul 31 8:38 PM


  • AL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    SEATTLE 2 2 3 0
    TEXAS 0 0 0 (BOT 1)

    CURRENT PITCHERS: SEA - R.A. DICKEY
    TEX - MATT HARRISON

    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: I KINSLER (.327, 14 HR, 62 RBI)
    F CATALANOTTO (.278, 2 HR, 11 RBI)
    M YOUNG (.295, 8 HR,

    Mariners 2, Rangers 0  Bot 1, 0 OutsJul 31 8:16 PM