Rapid Reaction: Rangers 2, Mariners 1

September, 16, 2012
9/16/12
6:45
PM CT
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers got 8 2/3 innings from Matt Harrison, who allowed one run (a solo homer in the eighth by Justin Smoak) on six hits in the 2-1 victory. Koji Uehara came in to get the final out with runners on the corners. Some quick thoughts:

What it means: The Rangers' win puts them 2 1/2 games up in the AL West. If Oakland loses to Baltimore, it would put the Rangers back up by three games, erasing the game they lost on their lead last night.

Harrison dazzles: Harrison's aggressive approach got him ahead of hitters and allowed him to pitch efficiently. He had 101 pitches going into the ninth and was still throwing his fastball in the mid-90s. He finished with 119 pitches in 8 2/3 innings, just one out (at one point one strike) away from his fourth complete game. ... After a couple of rocky starts (and some extra days to rest), Harrison put consecutive solid starts together. He gave up two runs in 5 2/3 innings in a win over Cleveland on Sept. 11.

Nine straight: Harrison was impressive Sunday, as he seems to be constantly against the Mariners. He has won nine consecutive starts against Seattle, dating back to May 1, 2010. That is tied for the second-most in club history against one opponent (Charlie Hough had 13 against Cleveland from 1984 to 1988). ... Harrison came in with a 2.25 ERA in 16 games (12 starts) vs. the Mariners.

Win No. 17: Harrison earned his 17th win, becoming the fourth AL pitcher to reach that plateau in 2012, joining David Price (18), Jered Weaver (17) and Chris Sale. ... It's the most wins of Harrison's career (he had 14 last year).

First save: It was the first save for Uehara since coming to the Rangers in a trade deadline deal last year (and first since Oct 2, 2010 vs. Detroit when he was with Baltimore). After throwing a splitter to strike out Michael Saunders, Uehara pumped his first and showed plenty of emotion.

Double, double (play): Harrison induced three ground ball double plays, including two he started himself (in the fourth and seventh). It was the eighth start this season that Harrison had multiple double plays, tying him with four other pitchers for the club record (the most recent being Kenny Rogers in 2005).

Beltre's blast: Adrian Beltre's solo home run in the fourth inning put the first run of the game on the board by either club. It was Beltre's 33rd home run of the season, the second-most he's had in a season since pounding 48 homers in 2004.

Moreland RBI: Mitch Moreland got his first RBI of the homestand with a double down the right-field line in the fifth. David Murphy scored from first on the double, which ran near the wall, making it tough for right fielder Saunders to pick up.

Error at 2B: Ian Kinsler charged a ground ball by Brendan Ryan in the third and had it go right under his glove for an error. It was his 17th error of the season, giving him the lead among all big league second baseman.

Mother Nature: The game didn't start until 4:17 p.m., making it a 2-hour, 12-minute delay because of rain.

Attendance: The Rangers announced an attendance of 45,928 on Sunday and a nice portion of them stayed through the rain delay. It was the 34th sellout of the season and the 51st time that a crowd of at least 40,000 showed up in Arlington. Both of those are club records.

Up next: The Rangers are off Monday before heading to Anaheim to face the Los Angeles Angels in a three-game series. RHP Ryan Dempster (11-6, 2.86 ERA in NL/AL) takes the mound for the Rangers and Jered Weaver (17-4, 2.74 ERA) goes for the Angels. The game starts at 9:05 p.m. on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and FSSW.
Richard Durrett joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He writes about colleges, the Dallas Stars and the Texas Rangers. Richard spent nine years at The Dallas Morning News covering the Rangers, Stars, colleges, motorsports and high schools.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Adrian Beltre
BA HR RBI R
.324 15 55 53
OTHER LEADERS
HRA. Beltre 15
RBIA. Beltre 55
RA. Beltre 53
OPSA. Beltre .888
WY. Darvish 9
ERAY. Darvish 2.92
SOY. Darvish 159