ARLINGTON, Texas -- Matt Harrison is giving the Texas Rangers just the kind of boost they need after a sudden string of pitching injuries.
Harrison extended his consecutive scoreless streak to 16 1/3 innings, pitching into the eighth before Mike Adams and Joe Nathan closed out the Rangers' third shutout victory in their past five games, 1-0 over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday night.Though Harrison didn't get a decision, and was denied an AL-best ninth victory coming off a five-hit shutout in his previous game, the left-hander followed four consecutive victories with another impressive start. And the Rangers needed every bit of what he had against rookie lefty Wade Miley (7-3).
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"It was very critical, matching the zeroes. ... He got the opportunity to put it up first, and Harry kept doing it," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "Tonight, it only took one run, tonight it only took one hit in the right situation. ... Give Harry a lot of credit."Miley, who finished with a career-high eight strikeouts, had allowed only two base runners, on two singles, before opening the eighth with a walk to Mike Napoli.Yorvit Torrealba then had a sacrifice bunt before pinch-hitter Nelson Cruz struck out. Craig Gentry, the No. 9 batter hitting .340, hit a hard one-hopper that ricocheted over the top of third baseman Ryan Roberts and into left field for an RBI single."They out-executed us when it counted," Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said.Adams (1-2) took over after Willie Bloomquist hit a ball just inside first base for a double. The reliever pumped his fist -- as did Washington and catcher Torrealba -- when Justin Upton, already with two hits, struck out to end the inning."Anytime you get two big outs in situations like that, definitely everybody's a little pumped up. Go in your half inning with a little bit of adrenaline, a little bit of motivation," Adams said. "See what happens. The guys did their job. We played a little small ball and did what we had to do."Nathan worked a perfect ninth for his 13th save in 14 chances.It was the 11th 1-0 game in the history of Rangers Ballpark, which opened in 1994. It was the second this season -- the Rangers beat Seattle 1-0 on April 10.The 95-pitch effort by Harrison came a night after Colby Lewis threw a four-hitter for Texas in a 9-1 complete game in the series opener.Harrison had beaten San Francisco 5-0 on Friday night, the same score for Sunday's victory over the Giants when Alexi Ogando threw three perfect innings in a start before straining his groin running out a bunt. Ogando is out four to six weeks after joining starters Neftali Feliz and Derek Holland on the disabled list.Harrison struck out three and walked two while allowing six hits against Arizona."I feel good with my tempo right now and it's making me just focus on making my pitches and not worry about my tempo," Harrison said. "Just being aggressive, being able to throw my offspeed pitches for strikes."After David Hernandez replaced Miley, Roberts made an impressive stop and threw out Ian Kinsler for the third out, but the damage was done.Texas has won seven straight against the Diamondbacks, who were shut out for only the second time this season. The Rangers have won 28 of their past 40 games against National League opponents.The game was played in 2 hours, 12 minutes, not including a 29-minute rain delay after the fourth inning.Harrison benefited from two double plays before the rain delay.After Miguel Montero drew a leadoff walk in the third, he was doubled up on Roberts' liner to shortstop. Gerardo Parra followed with the Diamondbacks' first hit, an infield single on a ball that shortstop Elvis Andrus fielded deep in the hole going away from first base.Upton grounded a one-out single up the middle in the fourth before Paul Goldschmidt's double-play grounder."We had a few chances, but not very many," Upton said. "Wade gave us a chance to win. You've got to tip your cap to their pitcher, too. In situations where we had a chance to score, he shut us down."A light rain started falling after the first inning, with dark clouds and some lightning to the north and west.Home plate umpire Jeff Kellogg got a weather update from head groundskeeper Dennis Klein in the middle of the third, and they checked the mound. When Harrison went back out to the mound for the fifth, Kellogg got another weather update from Klein and spoke with Harrison.Members of the grounds crew came out to rake in drying dust on the mound and home plate area. But while that work was being done, the rain got harder and the field was covered with the tarp -- though the rain had pretty much stopped by time it was in place.
Cruz was out of the starting lineup again after being sent home Tuesday and missing the series opener with a virus. Brandon Snyder started in right field. ... RHP Scott Feldman (0-5) pitches the series finale for Texas against RHP Daniel Hudson (2-1), in his fourth start since coming off the DL.
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