ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Texas center fielder Leonys Martin wound up being the star of a battle of top pitchers.
Martin had a leadoff triple in the eighth that chased Seattle ace Felix Hernandez. An inning later, Martin singled in the winning run with two out as the Rangers scored two unearned runs off closer Fernando Rodney for a 3-2 win over the Mariners on Wednesday night.
"He was in the middle of the first run by hitting the triple off Hernandez, who was outstanding tonight," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "And then he comes up in that situation against one of the best closers in the game. He just tried to put the ball in play, and it worked. It's good for him, it's good for the team, and we can build on it."
Rodney (0-1) retired the first two in the ninth before Kevin Kouzmanoff's single ricocheted off the glove of sliding shortstop Brad Miller and dribbled into the outfield. Mitch Moreland drew a walk before pinch-hitter Donnie Murphy's grounder was fielded by Miller, whose toss to second base was high. The error allowed Moreland to slide in safely and extended the game.
"It was hit right at me. It kind of ran up on me," Miller said. "I threw it too high. I saw it was too high off the get-go. Everybody did their part but me. Everybody played their butts off. I've just got to make that play next time."
Rodney then threw a wild pitch that allowed the tying run to score. Martin's sharp single to left gave Texas its fourth victory in its final at-bat at home already this season. It was Rodney's first blown save in four chances.
Pedro Figueroa (1-0) worked a perfect ninth for his first major league victory.
Hernandez retired 10 in a row before Martin's triple. He allowed four hits and one run, when Martin scored on a sacrifice fly against pinch-hitter Michael Choice, the first batter for reliever Charlie Furbush.
"All of my pitches were working. I just made one mistake in the game," said Hernandez, who struck out nine. "That was that fastball to (Martin)."
Texas ace Yu Darvish struck eight and walked two in seven innings, but remains winless in his last eight home starts despite a 2.33 ERA in those games.
Darvish didn't allow a run in his first two starts of the season, but was down 2-0 in the second after No. 9 hitter Mike Zunino and Abraham Almonte had consecutive two-out RBI singles.