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Texas at Seattle

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Texas (88-65) «0002010003121
Seattle (63-89)000000000060

Rangers beat Felix, blank M's, maintain divsion lead

CBSSports.com wire reports
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SEATTLE -- Ultimately, keeping a comfortable lead in the AL West race with just nine games left was of foremost importance to Adrian Beltre.

But getting the better of friend and former teammate Felix Hernandez wasn't far behind.

"It was nice because he's always talking smack to me. We talk smack back and forth and he got my number," Beltre said. "I told him all I wanted to do was take him deep and I did it so I was yapping back to him."

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Beltre got to Hernandez on Sunday, hitting a two-strike pitch for a two-run homer in the fourth inning and propelling the Texas Rangers to a 3-0 victory against the Seattle Mariners.

Beltre lined his 27th home run of the season into the left field bullpen, then playfully jawed with Hernandez (14-13) as he approached home plate. It was only Beltre's second hit of the three-game series, both home runs.

And it was just his second career hit off the Mariners ace. Beltre had one single in eight previous at-bats and four strikeouts.

"You can't miss. The thing about Felix, playing with him, playing behind him, he's nasty," Beltre said. "He don't leave many pitches over the heart of the plate and his ball moves all over the place so it's not easy to square him up."

While Beltre's homer was the key offensive blow, Texas starter Matt Harrison was even more impressive. Harrison (13-9) won his third consecutive start, striking out a career-high nine in 6 2/3 shutout innings.

It was an important victory for Texas, remaining 4½ games ahead of the Angels in the AL West after the Angels beat Baltimore earlier Sunday. After an off day Monday, the Rangers open a three-game series in Oakland.

The goal is simple for the Rangers: make sure the division race is sealed by the time they get to Anaheim to close the regular season with a three-game series.

"We haven't blinked. There is baseball to be played and we're going to play our game," Michael Young said. "So far, so good. We just want to keep it up."

With Harrison winning his 13th game, the Rangers became the first AL team since 1977 to have five pitchers with at least 13 victories. In the past 30 years, only three teams have accomplished that feat, all in the National League.

Harrison allowed six hits and walked a pair, and took advantage of the strikeout-prone Mariners. Seattle batters have struck out at least nine times in nine of the past 10 games. Over those 10 games, Seattle has struck out 120 times.

"Going up against that guy you know it's always tough," Harrison said of facing Hernandez. "You just try and keep the game close and make your pitches and try and stay in the game as long as possible."

Only once did Seattle advance a runner to third base against Harrison and that came in the seventh inning. Harrison left with two outs after Ichiro Suzuki's infield hit glanced off Harrison's glove. Suzuki's 173rd hit of the season loaded the bases for Luis Gonzalez, who had doubled off Harrison in his previous at-bat.

Instead of risking it, Rangers manager Ron Washington went to Koji Uehara. The move worked as Uehara struck out Luis Rodriguez to end Seattle's best scoring chance.

Josh Hamilton robbed Mike Carp of a home run with a leaping catch at the wall in left to end the eighth inning and Neftali Feliz picked up his 28th save in 34 chances, pitching the ninth.

Beltre was one of Hernandez's closest friends when Hernandez first made the jump to the majors and Beltre was with the Mariners. Instead of pitching conservatively, Hernandez went right at Beltre with the 0-2, two-out fastball, and Beltre got him.

"[It's] always, always going to be like that," Hernandez said of the smack talk with his friend. "He got me with his bat today and we'll get another one in Texas."

Hernandez, the reigning AL Cy Young winner, gave up nine hits and struck out five but lost his second successive decision. It was also his third loss this season against Texas.

Texas nearly had another home run in the third inning when Ian Kinsler hit a shot down the left-field line. Third-base umpire Brian Gorman initially ruled it a two-run homer, but the call was overturned on video review.

Texas added an insurance run in the sixth when Kinsler led off with a single and scored on Elvis Andrus' double down the left-field line. Andrus had three hits and extended his season-high hitting streak to 12 games.

Notes

  • Texas is now 12-4 vs. Seattle this season with three games left in Texas next weekend.
  • Seattle 3B Chone Figgins will not play again this season with a hip flexor injury, manager Eric Wedge said.
  • Seattle will make a detour to Cleveland for a makeup game on Monday. The game was one of two makeups after the Indians and Mariners were rained out on May 14 and 15. Seattle then will open a three-game series in Minnesota on Tuesday.
  • HP Charlie Furbush will start for Seattle against the Indians. He is 2-6 in eight starts since coming over in late July in a trade with Detroit.
  • Sunday was the first time since July 31 most of a Mariners game has been played with the Safeco Field roof closed. It was closed in the top of the first inning on Sunday after closing in the eighth inning of Saturday's game.
 
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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Texas left fielder Josh Hamilton leaps and takes a home run away from Seattle's Mike Carp in the eighth inning.  (Getty Images)
Texas left fielder Josh Hamilton leaps and takes a home run away from Seattle's Mike Carp in the eighth inning. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
Texas

E. Andrus
AB 5
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 1
Texas

A. Beltre
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
 
Texas Rangers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Ian Kinsler, 2B5120011 .249
Elvis Andrus, SS5131003 .282
Josh Hamilton, LF4010115 .299
Michael Young, 1B5000005 .331
Adrian Beltre, 3B3112100 .287
Mike Napoli, C4010012 .316
David Murphy, RF4020010 .274
Nelson Cruz, DH4000033 .266
Endy Chavez, CF4020000 .302
Totals38312327  
Batting
2B - Elvis Andrus 2 (26, Hernandez, Delabar), Mike Napoli (25, Kelley)
HR - Adrian Beltre (27, Hernandez)
RBI - Elvis Andrus (60), Adrian Beltre 2 (94)
2-OUT RBI - Adrian Beltre 2 (38)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
DP - Kinsler-Andrus-Young
E - Michael Young (8, Missed catch of throw)
Texas Rangers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Matt Harrison (W,13-9) 6.2600290 3.42
Koji Uehara (H,20) 0.1000010 2.51
Mike Adams (H,29) 1000020 1.44
Neftali Feliz (S,28) 1000020 2.93
Pitches-Strikes - Matt Harrison 116-77, Koji Uehara 4-3, Mike Adams 8-8, Neftali Feliz 11-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Matt Harrison 8-3
Batters Faced - Matt Harrison 28, Koji Uehara 1, Mike Adams 3, Neftali Feliz 3
Seattle Mariners
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Ichiro Suzuki, RF4010010 .272
Luis Rodriguez, SS3020113 .206
Dustin Ackley, 2B4000023 .278
Miguel Olivo, C4000022 .222
Mike Carp, 1B4000021 .273
Wily Mo Pena, DH4020000 .218
Trayvon Robinson, LF4010022 .236
Alex Liddi, 3B3000111 .083
Michael Saunders, CF3000032 .152
Totals33060214  
Batting
2B - Luis Rodriguez (10, Harrison)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Ackley-Carp
Seattle Mariners
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Felix Hernandez (L,14-13) 7933151 3.32
Shawn Kelley 1200010 0.00
Steve Delabar 1100110 0.00
IBB - Hamilton by Steve Delabar
Pitches-Strikes - Felix Hernandez 106-72, Shawn Kelley 13-10, Steve Delabar 15-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Felix Hernandez 10-5
Batters Faced - Felix Hernandez 30, Shawn Kelley 5, Steve Delabar 5
Game Information
Attendance - 21479
Game Time - 2:38
Temperature - 65
Umpires - Home - Dan Bellino, First Base - Tony Randazzo, Second Base - Larry Vanover, Third Base - Brian Gorman