Seattle shuts out Rangers 1-0 behind Beavan

Associated Press Modified: September 22, 2012 at 11:33 pm •  Published: September 22, 2012
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SEATTLE (AP) — For the second straight night, the Texas Rangers were well aware there was an opportunity to make their lead in the AL West a bit more comfortable, and they failed.

This time it had nothing to do with their pitching. If anything, the performance from Texas starter Matt Harrison deserved better.

Michael Saunders hit a solo home run in the second inning, one-time Texas prospect Blake Beavan threw seven shutout innings against his former club, and the Seattle Mariners kept the Rangers from extending their lead in the AL West with a 1-0 win on Saturday night.

Seattle took the first two games in the weekend series — handing the Rangers consecutive defeats for the first time in more than a month — and finally solved Harrison's mastery of the Mariners.

"It happens. We're not going to win every series. You do the best you can to do that and win every game," Harrison said. "But Beavan did a great job tonight of keeping it 1-0 and it's going to happen.

"I guess if we're going to lose, it's good the A's lose too."

Before Saturday night's game, the Rangers were crowded around the clubhouse televisions watching intently as the New York Yankees helped them out in the division race by rallying to beat Oakland 10-9 in 14 innings.

But the Rangers struggled with their situational execution against Beavan and were shut out for just the fifth time this season. Their lead in the division over the A's remained at four games.

Texas has now lost two straight for the first time since dropping three consecutive to the Yankees in the middle of August. After the final game of its road trip on Sunday against Seattle, the Rangers will head home for seven critical games — four versus Oakland and three against the Angels — that could finally cinch the division race.

"We're usually pretty good about getting two-out hits, tonight it didn't happen," Texas DH Michael Young said. "Something we feel is a big strength of our offensive game is being versatile enough to do little things when called upon to do it. Tonight we didn't do it."

Harrison (17-10) had won nine straight times against Seattle, the second-longest streak in Rangers' history against one team, but was not able to extend the roll despite holding the Mariners to just the homer by Saunders.

Harrison was trying to become the first pitcher to win five decisions against Seattle in a season and tie Kenny Rogers' franchise record for most wins by a left-hander. Outside of the homer to Saunders — his 17th of the season — Harrison did enough to earn the victory. Harrison allowed just seven hits, struck out six but tied a season-high with four walks.

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