June 27: Seattle 8, Texas 7 (10 innings)
Two of the premier strikeout pitchers in the league faced off, but both found trouble with the long ball in the hot Texas air. The first four Seattle hitters of the game pounced on Nolan Ryan for a walk, double, and two homers for a quick 4-0 lead.
But Randy Johnson got roughed up in the bottom of the first and Texas was immediately back within a run. Ryan settled in after that and put together five shutout innings, while Johnson never could stop the bleeding. A Rafael Palmeiro dong in the third gave Texas the lead, and Toby Harrah hit his second bomb of the game (and season) in the fourth to knock out the Unit in his worst start of the year. Harrah, Adrian Beltre’s back-up at third, was making just his 10th start, and added two singles to his two homers.
Dan Wilson tagged Ryan with a solo shot in the seventh, but the Texas bullpen inherited a 7-5 lead. Neftali Feliz coughed it up in the ninth on a pinch-hit, two-run shot by John Olerud that sent the game into extras, and Robinson Cano smacked the eighth homer of the game with a solo shot in the tenth to give Seattle the W. After Johnson’s rough start, the Mariners bullpen did not allow a single run in 6.2 innings of work.
R H BB SEA 400 000 102 1 - 8 8 5 TEX 302 200 000 0 - 7 12 1 HR: A. Rodriguez-SEA (13), K. Griffey (12), R. Cano (7), J. Olerud (1), D. Wilson (2), T. Harrah-2 (2), R. Palmeiro (14) starters IP R ER HR BB SO R. Johnson 3.1 7 7 3 1 4 N. Ryan 7.0 5 5 3 3 9 SEA 34-42, TEX 34-42
June 28: Seattle 8, Texas 3 (11 innings)
The teams matched up well for 10 innings, both putting up three runs that included one solo shot. Then Seattle went bonkoid in the 11th, crushing relievers Francisco Cordero and John Wetteland for two dingers and five runs. Every Mariner had a hit, led by Ichiro’s four singles.
R H BB SEA 010 101 000 05 - 8 14 6 TEX 000 100 200 00 - 3 7 3 HR: K. Griffey (13), K. Seager (12), K. Johjima (4), J. Franco (10) starters IP R ER HR BB SO F. Hernandez 7.0 3 3 1 2 8 Y. Darvish 7.0 3 3 1 5 5 SEA 35-42, TEX 34-43
June 29: Texas 2, Seattle 1
A couple of wily veterans brought it down for the finale in a well-played and fast-paced game. Jamie Moyer and Charlie Hough each allowed just one run in the first seven innings. Then both hurlers put a couple of men on in the eighth and were pulled for relievers. The Texas bullpen stranded both Mariners, but Frank Howard drove in one of Moyer’s left-overs to claim the game.
The teams ended the series in a three-way tie with Houston for third place.
R H BB SEA 100 000 000 - 1 7 4 TEX 001 000 01x - 2 8 2 HR: none starters IP R ER HR BB SO J. Moyer 7.0 2 2 0 2 3 C. Hough 7.1 1 1 0 3 1 SEA 35-43, TEX 35-43