Rangers continue to win, battle for top of AL West

The Texas Rangers, who have yet to lose a series this season, continued their hot start in Seattle and will look to take down the Cubs during the upcoming series in Chicago.

After dropping the last game of the series 2-0 against the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday, in which the game-time temperature (39 degrees) was the coldest in Arlington history, the Rangers headed to Seattle to take on their division rivals, the Mariners.

After the bats took a day off against the Rays, the Rangers were able to bounce back on Thursday, preventing Seattle ace Felix Hernandez from getting his 100th career victory in a close 4-3 victory at Safeco Field in Seattle.

Hernandez, who allowed just one run in 17 innings against the Rangers last season, gave up four runs (three earned) in his 6 2/3 innings of work.

The Mariners were within one run in the eighth inning when the Rangers’ Robbie Ross and newcomer A.J. Pierzynski defended an attempted squeeze bunt perfectly, ending the Mariners rally and helping secure the victory.

On Friday, Yu Darvish was out-dueled by fellow Japanese countryman Hisashi Iwakuma, pushing Darvish’s Safeco Field record to 0-3 with a 7.71 ERA.

The Rangers were out-hit by the Mariners, and without any Mariner mistakes, were unable to pull out the victory, losing 3-1 in the cold of Seattle.

The Rangers did have opportunities late in the game to tie the game, but were unable to come up with any clutch hits.

Looking to bounce back after a tough loss on Friday, the Rangers got some help from the Mariners’ own mishaps on Saturday.

The Rangers were held in check for the first 5 innings before an error in the sixth changed the momentum of the ballgame.

Mariners’ shortstop Brendan Ryan booted an easy, Ian Kinsler double-play ball that allowed the runners to stay on base, and eventually allowed Leury Garica to score and tie the game at 1-1.

Once Joe Saunders, who had only allowed one unearned run and three hits through seven innings, was taken out of the ball game, the Rangers were able to jump on Carter Capps (0-1) for two runs in the eighth inning.

Elvis Andrus and Beltre hit back-to-back singles off of Capps, leaving the save opportunity open for closer Joe Nathan. The former Twin didn’t disappoint and the Rangers guaranteed themselves at least a share of the series in the 3-1 win.

Although the Rangers did not have much pop in their bats in Seattle, scoring only eight runs over the first three games, with strong pitching they were able to scrape together a few victories and keep near the top of the AL West standings.

Following Sunday’s final game in Seattle, the Rangers have Monday off before taking on the struggling Chicago Cubs on Tuesday.  

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