ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – Logan Morrison felt no weight on his shoulders from the Seattle Mariners’ two-game offensive drought and teetering playoff hopes when he stepped to the plate with two outs in the ninth inning of a scoreless game.
“Nerve-wracking? Are you kidding me?” he asked. “This is awesome. This is what you dream about as a kid.”
Morrison only imagined the possibilities — and with one big swing, he blasted the Mariners forward in the AL postseason race.
Morrison hit a three-run homer, and Seattle boosted its wild-card hopes with a 3-1 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday night.
Felix Hernandez struck out 11 during seven innings of three-hit ball as the Mariners pulled within one game of the slumping Oakland Athletics for the second AL wild-card spot.
Although the Angels rested their regulars and scratched ace Jered Weaver a day after clinching the AL West title, Seattle still had to sweat out its third win in nine games, ending a 17-inning scoreless stretch with Morrison’s ninth homer.
“Words can’t describe that feeling,” Morrison said. “I just know we’re in a race, and we need every hit we can get. We need every run we can get. We need ever win we can get. . . .”
Rangers 7, Athletics 2
In Oakland, Sonny Gray and the Athletics fell out of the top American League wild-card spot with a loss to Texas that gave the Rangers a three-game sweep.
Yankees 3, Blue Jays 2
In New York, Derek Jeter began his final homestand with one more stroll around the bases.
He homered deep into the left-field seats against R.A. Dickey in the sixth inning, earning a standing ovation from his adoring fans.
Jeter ended a 158 at-bat homerless streak with just the fourth home run of his 20th and final major league season.
Toronto’s Munenori Kawasaki was 1-for-4.
Indians 2, Astros 1 (13)
In Houston, Mike Aviles hit a sacrifice fly in the 13th as Cleveland topped the Astros.
Washington ends silence
Irving Texas AP
Former Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington said Thursday that he is embarrassed for breaking the trust of his wife of 42 years, offering some insight but few details for his sudden resignation two weeks ago.
“I made a mistake and I’m embarrassed more than I’ve ever been in my life,” Washington said. “I was not true to my wife, after 42 years. I broke our trust. I’m here today to own that mistake and to apologize to her, and to those I disappointed, and those who have trusted in me, and I let them down.”