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Rheinecker leads Rangers to victory in second MLB start

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- John Rheinecker got his first-game jitters out of the way in April. His second major league start went a lot smoother.

Rheinecker allowed four hits in 8 1/3 innings and Mark Teixeira hit a two-run homer to lead the Texas Rangers to a 2-0 victory over Seattle on Monday night, the Mariners' fifth loss in a row.

Rheinecker (1-0), who was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma earlier Monday, struck out six, walked one and had 13 groundball outs. The left-hander made his major league debut on April 22 -- two runs and seven hits in four innings in a no-decision against Tampa Bay -- and was 2-1 with a 3.26 ERA in nine starts for Oklahoma.

"I was a lot more confident going out there this time," Rheinecker said. "I wasn't as nervous. I had a lot of confidence in (catcher Rod) Barajas."

Seattle, shut out for a major league-high seventh time this season, advanced one runner as far as third base and that was in the ninth inning.

Rheinecker was acquired by the Rangers from the Oakland Athletics on March 31 in a three-way trade that also brought left-hander John Koronka to Texas from the Chicago Cubs.

Detailing areas of improvement from his debut, Rheinecker said, "Location, keeping the ball down and hitting spots. The minors ain't like this. You have to have command of every pitch at all times."

The Mariners, hitting .220 against left-handers, could only manage four singles against Rheinecker.

"He was outstanding," Rangers manager Buck Showalter said. "He was down in the zone with all four pitches. Everything was sinking."

Rheinecker hit Ichiro Suzuki leading off the ninth, then gave up a one-out single to Raul Ibanez and was lifted for Rick Bauer, who recorded two outs for his first save of the season and second of his career.

Showalter wanted to give Rheinecker a shot at a complete game, but the rookie had already thrown 110 pitches.

"I hoped he'd finish the game," Showalter said. "I asked (pitching coach) Mark Connor what he thought and he said, 'That's a tough one, Buck.'"

Seattle is 5-14 in games started by opposing left-handers, and manager Mike Hargrove has no easy solution for that disparity.

"With the hitters we have in our lineup, I'm baffled when anybody shuts us down," Hargrove said. "There are some questions that don't have answers."

Seattle's Richie Sexson said Rheinecker had command of four pitches.

"He had a sinker, slider, curve and change," Sexson said. "We'd never seen him before. That might affect you on the first at-bat, but after that you have an idea what he throws."

Teixeira broke up the scoreless game in the sixth off starter Jarrod Washburn (3-6) with his sixth homer, driving in Gary Matthews Jr., who had singled with one out.

Washburn allowed two runs and six hits in seven innings, struck out five and didn't issue a walk. He said he made one mistake, leaving a changeup over the plate to Teixeira.

"I didn't think he hit it that good," Washburn said. "I thought he hit it off the end of the bat but it kept carrying. I don't remember ever seeing a shutout in this park. But the kid pitched a great game. You don't want to be the one who gives in first but tonight I did."

Teixeira felt that as well as the rookie was pitching, his home run would be enough offense for the Rangers.

"You had a feeling it was going to stand up because he was pitching so well," Teixeira said. "John's stuff was so good, you've got to think this is not going to be his last start or his last win."

The Rangers had three singles in the first five innings -- one each by Matthews, Michael Young and Teixeira.

Notes

  • It was the Rangers' fourth shutout of the season, all in May.
  • Young ended an 0-for-14 slide with his first-inning single.
  • The Rangers optioned RHP Wes Littleton to Oklahoma.
  • Bauer was the closer rather than Akinori Otsuka because Otsuka had pitched in three of the previous four games getting two saves and a victory against Oakland.
  • The game took exactly two hours, the shortest for the Rangers this season. The previous shortest game for Texas was 1:56 on Oct. 3, 1999, a 1-0 defeat to Anaheim.
  • Texas has won nine of 11 against Seattle.
  • Seattle has lost four games 2-0.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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John Rheinecker allows four hits in 8 1/3 scoreless innings, striking out six and walking one.  (AP)
John Rheinecker allows four hits in 8 1/3 scoreless innings, striking out six and walking one. (AP)

Players of the Game
Texas

J. Rheinecker
IP 8.1
H 4
ER 0
BB 1
K 6
Texas

M. Teixeira
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
 
Seattle Mariners
Ichiro Suzuki, RF3000001 .323
Jose Lopez, 2B4000002 .286
Raul Ibanez, LF3010110 .264
Richie Sexson, 1B4000012 .206
    Jeremy Reed, PR0000000 .217
Carl Everett, DH4000022 .250
Adrian Beltre, 3B3010010 .221
Kenji Johjima, C3000010 .270
Willie Bloomquist, CF3010001 .293
Yuniesky Betancourt, SS3010001 .284
Totals30040169 
Fielding
DP - Sexson-Betancourt
Seattle Mariners
Jarrod Washburn (L,3-6) 7622051 3.89
J.J. Putz 1000000 3.20
Pitches-Strikes - Jarrod Washburn 105-69, J.J. Putz 12-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jarrod Washburn 8-7, J.J. Putz 2-1
Batters Faced - Jarrod Washburn 26, J.J. Putz 3
Texas Rangers
Gary Matthews Jr., CF4120010 .305
Michael Young, SS4010002 .310
Mark Teixeira, 1B3122001 .290
Hank Blalock, 3B3000012 .316
Phil Nevin, DH3000010 .216
Kevin Mench, LF3010000 .295
Mark DeRosa, RF3000011 .312
Rod Barajas, C3000001 .241
Ian Kinsler, 2B3000010 .395
Totals29262057 
Batting
HR - Mark Teixeira (6, Washburn)
RBI - Mark Teixeira 2 (25)
2-OUT RBI - Mark Teixeira 2 (9)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
DP - Young-Teixeira
Texas Rangers
John Rheinecker (W,1-0) 8.1400160 1.46
Rick Bauer (S,1) 0.2000000 3.08
HBP - Suzuki (by John Rheinecker)
Pitches-Strikes - John Rheinecker 107-72, Rick Bauer 4-3
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - John Rheinecker 13-5, Rick Bauer 1-1
Batters Faced - John Rheinecker 30, Rick Bauer 2
Game Information
Attendance - 23771
Game Time - 2:00
Temperature - 86
Umpires - Home - Greg Gibson, First Base - Paul Nauert, Second Base - Charlie Reliford, Third Base - Larry Vanover