video thumbnail

FLA@TEX: Wilson hurls 7 1/3 innings, strikes out nine

ARLINGTON -- For five innings, the night belonged to Rangers starter C.J. Wilson. He had been selected to the All-Star team for the first time in his career, he was pitching in front of a sellout crowd on a holiday weekend and he had a two-hit shutout going into the sixth.

Then it all unraveled. His manager and first-base coach were kicked out of the game. The power went out in the Rangers' new scoreboards and sound system because of an overheated breaker circuit. The shutout disappeared, then the lead and finally the game.

The Marlins scored six runs in the final four innings -- including four in the eighth against four pitchers -- and rallied for a 6-4 victory over the Rangers at the Ballpark in Arlington on Sunday.

"How does that great novel go? ... It was the best of times and the worst of times," Wilson said.

Oh yes, the zipper broke on his pants right before the game and he had to make a quick wardrobe change.

"That was the weirdest of times," Wilson said. "What a weird night. ... It was like April Fool's Day on July 3 or something."

Manager Ron Washington wasn't laughing after both he and first-base coach Gary Pettis were ejected and his team committed three errors leading to four unearned runs. A botched pickoff attempt also proved crucial.

"A tough loss for everybody ... an ugly loss," Washington said after his team dropped back into a tie with the Angels for first place in the American League West.

"The game started off great," Wilson said. "It was 100 degrees at game time and I felt in my zone and in my element. I came out firing, missed on a few pitches but after that, I really kicked into gear. I was cruising and making a lot of pitches. I watched Cliff Lee throw a shutout against these guys. I watched Gio Gonzalez throw a shutout against these guys. So I felt I had a good scouting report."

Wilson also had a 2-0 lead on home runs by outfielder Nelson Cruz in the second and Adrian Beltre in the fourth. But the Rangers were 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position despite hitting the ball hard all night and were disappointed they couldn't get Wilson a bigger lead.

"A tough loss ... C.J. pitched great," second baseman Ian Kinsler said. "We were very resilient and had some good at-bats, we just couldn't come through in opportunities with runners in scoring position. We had some long flyouts, some line-drive outs that were hit hard ... we ran into some tough luck."

Wilson took a two-hit shutout into the sixth but Emilio Bonifacio reached on an infield single, went to second as Omar Infante grounded out to short and scored on a one-out double by Gaby Sanchez. But Wilson kept his 2-1 lead by getting Hanley Ramirez on a foul popup and then striking out Logan Morrison.

It was still 2-1 going into the eighth before Bryan Peterson -- the Mariners' No. 9 hitter -- led off with a double and was bunted to third by Bonifacio. Mark Lowe took over and, with the infield in, got Infante on a grounder to third.

That kept Peterson at third and Sanchez then drew a walk, putting runners at the corners for Hanley Ramirez. Lowe tried a fake-to-third, throw-to-first pickoff and Sanchez bit. The Rangers had him dead to rights, but Lowe hesitated, double-clutched and then bounced the throw to first baseman Mitch Moreland. Sanchez should have been out but got back safely.

"Anytime I do that, I tell myself to expect to make the throw," Lowe said. "He wasn't even trying to steal, he was just getting his secondary lead. But I didn't have the ball firmly in my hand."

Hanley Ramirez followed with a slow chopper past Lowe. Shortstop Elvis Andrus charged the ball hard but couldn't come up with it cleanly. Ramirez was safe and the game was tied. That appeared to be a tough chance for Andrus, but Washington felt the play should have been made.

"This is the big leagues," Washington said. "That's a chance for a Major League shortstop to make a play, and he didn't make the play. Mark did his job, after that, we didn't do the job."

Darren Oliver took over for a lefty-lefty matchup with Morrison. But Morrison won with a double to right. Cruz missed on a diving catch and both runners scored, giving the Marlins a 4-2 lead. Neftali Feliz then came in to pitch, but Mike Stanton singled to center to make it 5-2.

By that time, the scoreboard was kaput, and so was Wilson's big day.

"It was disappointing, but Mark, Neftali and Darren Oliver have bailed me out more often than not, so I'm not worried about it," Wilson said. "It was just a weird night."

MLB.com Comments