Friday, September 16, 2011
Rapid Reaction: Seattle 4, Rangers 0
By Richard Durrett
SEATTLE -- The Rangers ended a four-game winning streak as Blake Beavan baffled the Ranger hitters and a strange third inning with some miscues and a little Mariner luck proved to be the difference. The Angels lost before the Rangers game began, so Texas remains 3.5 games up in the AL West. The magic number: 9. Detroit beat Oakland, so the Tigers are 2 games up on the Rangers in the likely race for homefield advantage in the first round. Some quick thoughts on the game (more to come from the clubhouse):
* The Rangers were shut out for the first time since Aug. 25 in Boston. It was the eighth time this season. Much of the credit for that should go to former Ranger Beavan (traded as part of the Cliff Lee deal last year). Beavan, who went to Irving High School, was excellent on Friday. He kept the ball down, used his off-speed and breaking stuff effectively and the Rangers managed just two hits. His slider was effective and he got ahead of hitters. He threw 95 pitches (64 strikes).
* Wilson's scoreless streak stopped at 19 when an errant throw by Ian Kinsler, a wild pitch and a single right off the second base bag helped the Mariners score three runs in the third. (They also had another infield hit and a hit by pitch.) All three runs were scored with two outs and Wilson threw 41 pitches in the inning. He threw 18 of those after Kinsler's error. That made all three runs unearned. Wilson was unlucky the inning didn't end sooner and without all that damage.
* That was only the fourth error by Kinsler in his last 75 games and his 11th of the season.
* The Rangers best chance came in the sixth after singles from speedsters Kinsler and Endy Chavez. Elvis Andrus came up with runners at first and second and no outs in the sixth and Texas down 3-0. He made two attempts to get a bunt down to move the runners up. The first was popped up behind the plate and out of the catcher's reach. The second was foul down the third-base line. He then hit into a 6-4-3 double play that killed any chance of a rally. Josh Hamilton then popped up to end the inning.
* With one on and one out in the second, Wilson induced a double play to short off the bat of Kyle Seager. It was the 30th double play that Wilson has induced, tops in the majors. That also ties a club record (Rick Honeycutt, Kevin Brown). Matt Harrison, who pitches Sunday, has induced 29. Wilson actually tried to glove the ball and missed. It went straight to Elvis Andrus, who stepped on second and threw to first.
* Wilson gave up a home run to No. 9 hitter Casper Wells in the seventh. That earned run (his only one of the game) ended a streak of 23 innings without allowing an earned run. Wilson lowered his ERA from 3.01 to 2.97 after allowing four runs, but just one earned, on six hits with two walks and eight strikeouts.
* Mitch Moreland struck out in the second. It was his 24th strikeout in his last 69 at-bats. Moreland was hitting just .162 in his last 19 games coming into Friday's contest.
* Andrus singled to lead off the fourth (he was stranded at second). That pushed Andrus' hitting streak to 10 games. He is batting 13-for-40 (.325) in that span.
* Adrian Beltre's hitting streak ended at 19 games after he went 0-for-3 on Friday. It was the longest active streak in the majors and was a career-high for Beltre.It was tied for the third-longest streak in the majors behind Seattle's Mike Carp (20 games from July 30 to August 21) and Boston's Dustin Pedrioa (25 games from June 29-July 28).
* Josh Hamilton made a couple of nice plays in left field, diving to catch a ball in the third and then sliding to make a tough catch near the line to end the eighth.
* Mark Lowe and Scott Feldman pitched in relief and retired all five hitters they faced.