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Mariners 4, Rangers 3

The SportsXchange

SEATTLE -- The Texas Rangers ran out of two-out rallies Sunday, when they failed to finish off a series victory for the first time this season.

The Rangers scored three two-out runs but had to settle for a series split after leaving three runners on base in the final three innings of a 4-3 loss to the Seattle Mariners. It marked the first time that Texas (8-5) has not won in its four series this season.

Seattle's Kyle Seager, Jesus Montero and Dustin Ackley strung together consecutive one-out hits in the sixth inning, when the Mariners scored two runs to take a 4-3 lead. Texas stranded runners in scoring position in the seventh and eighth innings before Mariners closer Tom Wilhelmsen finished the Rangers off with a perfect ninth.

The Rangers' first three runs came with two outs, giving Texas 21 two-out runs in a span of 10 games. That accounted for 63.6 percent of the team's scoring during that span.

However, Texas left seven runners on base Sunday.

The Rangers staged their first two-out rally in the second, when Mitch Moreland followed a Geovany Soto single with an RBI double to right-center field for a 1-0 lead. Seattle tied the score 1-1 in the bottom of that inning, on back-to-back doubles from Justin Smoak and Seager.

A Raul Ibanez solo home run in the fourth gave the Mariners a 2-1 lead before the Texas produced two more two-out runs in the fifth. After Leury Garcia was thrown out at the plate trying to score on a grounder to second base for the second out, Lance Berkman tied the score with an RBI single. Craig Gentry then scored the go-ahead run from third on a Montero passed ball, giving the Rangers a 3-2 lead.

Montero then tied the score with a one-out, RBI single in the bottom of the sixth and gave Seattle a 4-3 lead while scoring from second base on Ackley's single one batter later.

Texas starter Nick Tepesch, who was making his second start, was solid through five innings but couldn't match the magic of his major league debut last week. Tepesch allowed nine hits and four runs over 5 2/3 innings Sunday, when he left with Texas trailing 4-3.

Mariners rookie starter Brandon Maurer, who was pulled in the first inning of his previous start, had a better performance. The right-hander with the newly sculpted goatee looked like a different pitcher Sunday, allowing five hits and three runs (two earned) over six innings.

Maurer (1-1) earned his first major league victory.

NOTES: Rangers Opening Day starter Matt Harrison, who is currently on the 15-day disabled list, underwent a second epidural on his injured back. While there is no set timetable for his return, the procedure could delay his return. ... The Mariners get their first off day of the season Monday, making them the last team in baseball to get a break. Seattle has played 14 consecutive days to open the season. ... Seattle reliever Stephen Pryor came out of the game in the eighth inning with a strained right lat muscle. He will be further evaluated Monday.
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