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08/07/07 3:07 AM ET
Rangers storm back, only to lose in 13
Club erases seven-run defecit; Young and Washington ejected
By Drew Davison / MLB.com
ARLINGTON -- Michael Young capped an improbable seven-run comeback for the Rangers with a solo home run in the ninth off Athletics closer Alan Embree to right to pull the Rangers even with the Athletics at 7. Young had an opportunity to put the Rangers ahead for good in the 11th inning. With a 3-2 count, Young seemed to think Athletics reliever Andrew Brown's pitch was up and in. Home plate umpire Bill Miller, however, rang him up. Young quickly disputed the call and just as fast, he was ejected. "I disagreed with the call and I guess he didn't like the way I said it and that was it," Young said. "I can't imagine changing my mind." Manager Ron Washington stormed out of the dugout to argue with Miller and was subsequently tossed as well. But, an animated Washington argued for a few good minutes after his ejection before heading back to the clubhouse. He received a standing ovation from what was left of the 24,737 fans at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington Monday night. It was the first time this season for Young and Washington to be ejected. "Mike didn't think it was a strike, and I know it wasn't," Washington said after his team suffered a 9-7, 13-inning loss to the Athletics. "We're trying to win a ballgame and at that part of the ballgame you have to earn everything and Brown didn't earn a strike. ... I didn't like it, and [Miller] didn't like that I didn't like it, and he said I could have the rest of the night off." The Rangers fell for the fifth consecutive time two innings later when Mike Piazza hit the game-winning RBI single to center off Rangers reliever Willie Eyre. The game ended on a sour note for the Rangers after they made an unlikely comeback, especially considering the Athletics scored six runs in the first inning off Rangers starter John Rheinecker. Marco Scutaro hit his first career grand slam and Donnie Murphy followed with a solo shot that landed in the A's bullpen to deliver two devastating blows in the first. However, Rheinecker and the Rangers responded. Rheinecker lasted five innings allowing seven runs on nine hits. The Rangers trailed by four heading into the eighth when Jason Botts hit a two-run home run off A's reliever Santiago Casilla to pull the Rangers within two. The Rangers manufactured one more run in the eighth when Jarrod Saltalamacchia followed Botts with a double off the left-center wall. He moved to third on a Gerald Laird sacrifice fly to right. Ian Kinsler drove in Saltalamacchia with a groundout to second base. Young's home run in the ninth to make the comeback complete was his first since May 6, a span of 317 at-bats without a home run. "It was good to see everybody in the lineup fight," Washington said. "I've always had pride in this team from day one." Young had an opportunity to put the Rangers ahead for good in the 11th, until Miller rang him up, the seventh of eight times a Ranger was called out on strikes. It was just the second time in his career that Young has been ejected. He was ejected last June against the Giants for throwing his bat. Rangers reliever Mike Wood, who threw four hitless and scoreless innings, was shocked at Miller's strike zone at the end of the game, especially the called strike three against Young. "I don't know what he was thinking," Wood said. "Some of those pitches were high. He was giving it more up-and-down than in-and-out. I wish I got some of those calls when I was pitching." The Rangers seemed displeased with Miller's generous strike zone all night long, which may have led to the Rangers striking out a club-record 21 times. The Rangers broke a record they set earlier this season when they struck out 19 times at Cleveland on April 25. The last time a Major League team struck out 21 or more times in a game was July 6, 2005 when Milwaukee struck out 22 times against Florida. In the end, the Athletics won the 4-and-a-half hour marathon game -- definitely not Boston marathon-esque. The Athletics added an insurance run in the 13th inning when Mark Ellis followed by reaching on an infield single to score Nick Swisher. The Rangers will most likely have to make a roster move Tuesday after using four relievers Monday. On top of Rheinecker and Wood, the Rangers used Joaquin Benoit for an inning, C.J. Wilson for two innings and Eyre for an inning. One candidate to send down may be Rheinecker. In his last two starts, Rheinecker is 0-1 with a 12.54 ERA. He has also given up multiple home runs in his past two games, something he has never done in the past.
Drew Davison is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.