Texas at Seattle

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Texas (55-41) «030000000370
Seattle (43-52)000000010151

Rangers extend streak to 11 wins, topple Mariners

CBSSports.com wire reports
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SEATTLE -- Matt Harrison wasn't about to be the one to halt Texas' wave of nearly perfect pitching, or the Rangers near-record win streak.

Harrison allowed just one run in 7 2/3 innings, Mitch Moreland hit a three-run homer and the Rangers won their 11th straight with a 3-1 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Sunday.

The Rangers' win streak is the longest in baseball since Philadelphia's 11-game streak last September and tied for second-best in team history, trailing only a 14-game streak during the 1991 season.

"This whole streak we're on right now is really because of what they have done. They've been great," Moreland said of the Rangers' staff. "When you are pitching like that it's fun to go out and play behind those guys and be a part of it."

In the process of running the streak to 11, Harrison (8-7) and the Rangers swept the slumping Mariners and likely ended any thought of Seattle being contenders in the AL West this season. The Mariners have lost nine straight and are now 11 ½ games back.

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It's also the Rangers' first four-game sweep of Seattle since 1992. Even the All-Star break thrown into the middle of the win streak couldn't slow down Texas.

"We were playing well and we expected ourselves to come out and play well," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "The first day of workouts [post break] showed they were ready."

While Moreland provided the punch, it was the Rangers' pitching staff that continued to be the story. Texas held Seattle to two runs in 36 innings in the four-game set. Going back to before the All-Star break, Texas pitching has allowed just two runs in its last 47 innings.

But it's more than just a five-game sample. During this 11-game streak, the Rangers' collective ERA is 2.09 and the opposing batting average is .194.

For Harrison, Sunday was his second victory of the win streak and lowered his ERA to 2.91, the first time he's been below 3.00 since late April.

"I think warming up in the bullpen I figure out what is working that day and run with that. Kind of like today I felt good with my sinker in the bullpen today so I went out and threw a lot of those, even if I got behind in the count," Harrison said. "If it was 2-0, 3-1, I was able to throw that pitch any time I wanted to and keep it down in the zone and make them put it in play."

Harrison allowed a leadoff walk to Ichiro Suzuki to start the game then proceeded to silence Seattle's struggling bats. Thanks to a double play after Suzuki's walk, Harrison faced the minimum into the fifth inning before consecutive singles by Justin Smoak and Greg Halman.

Seattle didn't score there, but finally got to Harrison in the eighth after Bard doubled off the wall in left and scored on Jack Wilson's single to center. But Suzuki finished off a 0-for-3 day with a strikeout and that was it for Harrison. Reliever Mark Lowe entered and got Franklin Gutierrez to close the eighth.

Neftali Feliz struck out a pair in the ninth for his 20th save in 24 chances and continued his domination of the Mariners, who are hitless as a team in 33 plate appearances against Feliz.

Seattle rookie Blake Beavan (1-1) minimized the damage all day -- except for Moreland's 12th homer in the second inning -- and suffered his first career loss.

Washington said before Sunday's game that he was dropping Moreland to ninth in the batting order, hoping he'd relax a bit at the plate. Moreland had gone 10 games without driving in a run and was hitless in his previous 14 at-bats before stepping up in the second.

David Murphy started the inning with a single and Mike Napoli walked after a nine-pitch at-bat. Moreland then drove a 2-1 pitch from Beavan out to deep right-center field.

Beavan otherwise kept Seattle close into the seventh inning. The former Rangers prospect was acquired in the trade that sent Cliff Lee to Texas last July and was facing his former club for the first time. Beavan escaped a two-out bases loaded jam in the first inning and retired 11 of the final 13 batters he faced. He allowed six hits, struck out three and walked two.

"I just tried to focus on hitting the mitt. Those guys, the thing they do best is hit mistakes, hit balls over the plate," Beavan said. "I just tried to calm down and make a quality pitch and get a groundball."

Notes

  • Seattle announced after the game it was optioning LF Carlos Peguero to Triple-A Tacoma and recalling LF Mike Carp. The transaction will become official on Monday.
  • Rangers 2B Ian Kinsler was hit in the helmet by a pitch from Beavan with two outs in the seventh. Kinsler stayed faced down on the dirt for a few moments before rising to his knees and eventually jogging down to first base. Kinsler got back to the plate in the ninth but saw his 12-game hit streak come to an end with a strikeout.
  • Seattle rookie 2B Dustin Ackley committed his first error in his 24th game when he botched Michael Young's grounder in the first inning.
 
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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Matt Harrison gives up five hits and strikes out four during 7 2/3 innings for the Rangers.  (Getty Images)
Matt Harrison gives up five hits and strikes out four during 7 2/3 innings for the Rangers. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
Texas

M. Harrison
IP 7.2
H 5
ER 1
BB 1
K 4
Texas

M. Moreland
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 3
 

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Texas Rangers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Ian Kinsler, 2B4000011 .252
Elvis Andrus, SS4000001 .285
Josh Hamilton, CF4010010 .294
Adrian Beltre, 3B3010110 .268
Michael Young, DH3000100 .321
Nelson Cruz, RF4010014 .245
David Murphy, LF4110001 .247
Mike Napoli, C3120110 .253
Mitch Moreland, 1B4113012 .267
Totals3337336  
Batting
2B - Josh Hamilton (16, Beavan), Adrian Beltre (25, Beavan), Mike Napoli (11, Laffey)
HR - Mitch Moreland (12, Beavan)
RBI - Mitch Moreland 3 (27)
CS - Mike Napoli (2, 2nd base by Beavan/Bard)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Kinsler-Andrus-Moreland
Texas Rangers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Matt Harrison (W,8-7) 7.2511140 2.91
Mark Lowe (H,9) 0.1000000 4.18
Neftali Feliz (S,20) 1000020 2.97
Pitches-Strikes - Matt Harrison 106-66, Mark Lowe 4-2, Neftali Feliz 17-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Matt Harrison 11-7, Mark Lowe 1-0
Batters Faced - Matt Harrison 28, Mark Lowe 1, Neftali Feliz 3
Seattle Mariners
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Ichiro Suzuki, RF3000111 .262
Franklin Gutierrez, CF4010002 .190
Dustin Ackley, 2B4000011 .274
Miguel Olivo, DH4000020 .217
Justin Smoak, 1B4010000 .227
Greg Halman, LF3010020 .279
Josh Bard, C3110002 .231
Chone Figgins, 3B3000003 .183
Jack Wilson, SS3011000 .228
Totals3115116  
Batting
2B - Josh Bard (3, Harrison)
RBI - Jack Wilson (7)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
E - Dustin Ackley (1, Misplayed grounder)
Seattle Mariners
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Blake Beavan (L,1-1) 6.2633231 2.70
Jeff Gray 1.1000110 2.59
Aaron Laffey 0.2100010 1.83
Chris Ray 0.1000010 5.40
HBP - Kinsler (by Blake Beavan)
Pitches-Strikes - Blake Beavan 104-66, Jeff Gray 17-9, Aaron Laffey 13-8, Chris Ray 4-3
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Blake Beavan 5-11, Jeff Gray 3-0
Batters Faced - Blake Beavan 28, Jeff Gray 5, Aaron Laffey 3, Chris Ray 1
Game Information
Attendance - 30335
Game Time - 2:31
Temperature - 64
Umpires - Home - Adrian Johnson, First Base - Field Culbreth, Second Base - Bill Miller, Third Base - Gary Cederstrom