10/02/2004 11:51 PM ET
One game left for Edgar
Mariners DH set for career finale vs. Rangers
By Chris Hester / MLB.com
|Edgar Martinez tips his cap to the Safeco Field fans during a standing ovation. (Elaine Thompson/AP)
SEATTLE -- Michael Young crashed Edgar Martinez's party at Safeco Field Friday night. The Texas designated hitter led the Rangers to a 10-4 victory over the Mariners in front of a sellout crowd of 45,817.
On a night where Seattle honored Martinez as the most prolific designated hitter in the history of the game and Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig named baseball's designated hitter award in honor of the Seattle slugger, it was the Rangers DH that put on the offensive show.
Young, getting a day off from his normal position of shortstop, gave Texas an early 2-1 lead with a two-run home run off Seattle starter Jamie Moyer in the top of the fourth inning. Young added an RBI double an inning later and another run scoring hit in the sixth frame and finished the night 3-for-5 with four RBI, equaling his career high.
He scoffed at the notion that he outdid Martinez.
"Even from an opposition standpoint, we were all taken aback by the things Edgar's been able to accomplish in his career," Young said. "He's an unbelievable player, the best right-handed hitter I've ever played against. He's incredible."
The retiring Martinez was 0-for-3 with a walk and a run scored on "Edgar Martinez Day." In his first at-bat, the Seattle legend received a standing ovation from the capacity crowd. Martinez took a moment to step out of the batter's box and tip his helmet to the Seattle faithful before grounding the first pitch he saw from Kenny Rogers back to the mound for an easy 1-3 putout.
Martinez received a similar reaction from the crowd when he took the field to play third base to start the top of the ninth inning. It was Martinez's first appearance at third base since July 2, 1997 at San Diego. He stayed at third base for one pitch, a ball from Aaron Taylor to Mark Teixeira, before being replaced at the hot corner by Willie Bloomquist. With the crowd chanting, "Edgar, Edgar," Martinez took his first curtain call of the night, stepping out of Seattle's first base dugout to acknowledge the crowd with a tip of his cap.
"Today was pretty tough out there," Martinez said of his final weekend in a Major League uniform. "Although everything is real nice and I'm honored to have all the fans acknowledge what I've done over the years, in some ways it's hard going through it emotionally."
"He's just unbelievable," Dan Wilson, a teammate of Martinez since 1993, said following the postgame ceremony to honor the longtime Mariner. "All those accolades are very well deserved. He's meant so much to this organization over the years. It's really going to be a strange day when you walk into a clubhouse and Gar's not down there at the end. It's going to be a hard day when that happens."
The Mariners opened the scoring in the home half of the second inning when Raul Ibanez and Jolbert Cabrera connected on back-to-back doubles into right field staking Seattle at a 1-0 advantage.
Seattle tied the game following Young's home run in the fourth with a run in their half of the frame. Martinez walked to lead off the inning against the Texas starter Rogers. The 41-year-old scored from second base on a two-out single to center field by Cabrera to even the score at 2-2.
Texas took control of the evening with seven runs in the next two innings as Rogers picked up his 18th victory of the season, while Moyer finished the year with a 7-13 record.
"He got some pitches where he didn't want them," Wilson said. "They were able to capitalize and get some big hits when they had runners on base."
Cabrera made it a three-hit night when he singled in the bottom of the sixth inning to help Seattle score its third run of the night. Ibanez started the rally with his second double of the night, this one down the left-field line. Scott Spiezio followed Cabrera's base hit with a run scoring single to plate Ibanez and chase the Rangers starter from the game.
Randy Winn added a sacrifice fly in the ninth to plate Wilson with Seattle's final run of the night.
Ichiro Suzuki was 1-for-5 to pick up hit No. 260 on the season as he extended his Major League record for hits in a season.
Chris Hester is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.