SEATTLE -- Felix Hernandez got his 1,500th on Thursday night, but No. 100 will have to wait for another day.
On the night the Seattle Mariners' ace earned career strikeout No. 1,500, he never really found his A-game and fell short again in his second bid for a 100th career victory.
Hernandez gave up 10 hits and three earned runs over 6 2/3 innings as the Mariners dropped their third game in a row with a 4-3 loss to the Texas Rangers.
Texas (7-3) earned its fourth win in five games by getting an all-hands-on-deck performance. Four players drove in runs, while four relievers closed out the game after fill-in starter Justin Grimm hung with Hernandez over four innings.
Texas left fielder David Murphy broke a 2-2 tie with a two-out single in the fifth, then Nelson Cruz followed with a double to score Murphy and give the Rangers a 4-2 lead.
The Mariners (4-7) threatened in both the seventh and eighth innings but scored just one run while stranding four runners and seeing a fifth get thrown out at home plate.
Seattle got three consecutive baserunners with two outs in the seventh, with Texas reliever Tanner Scheppers beaning Michael Morse with a pitch to load the bases. Morse suffered a small non-displaced fracture in his right little finger, and manager Eric Wedge said he would miss 3-7 days.
Scheppers was replaced by Robbie Ross, who struck out Raul Ibanez to end that threat.
One inning later, the Mariners got back-to-back hits from Justin Smoak and Jesus Montero to put runners on second and third to start the inning. Smoak scored on a groundout by Robert Andino to cut the deficit to 4-3, then Seattle tried a squeeze play with pinch runner Endy Chavez taking off from third base. Brendan Ryan's bunt was fielded cleanly by Ross, who quickly threw home. A.J. Pierzynski blocked the plate and tagged out Chavez, who earlier in the day had been called up from Triple-A Tacoma.
Rangers closer Joe Nathan, who earned his 300th save earlier this week, pitched a perfect ninth for his third save of the season. Seattle's Jason Bay, who was filling in for Morse, hit a deep ball to the warning track in center field for the final out.
Joe Ortiz earned the win for Texas after pitching scoreless innings in the fifth and sixth. Grimm allowed five hits and two runs over four innings in his first start since June 25, 2012.
While Hernandez fanned the 1,500th batter of his career with a first-inning strikeout of Murphy, he wasn't putting on a performance for the ages. Ian Kinsler singled to lead off the game, and Pierzynski made sure there would be no shutout with a solo home run in the second. Hernandez ended up yielding three hits in that inning, and an error by Ibanez in left field allowed another baserunner as Texas put two runs on the board for a 2-1 lead.
Franklin Gutierrez, who led off the bottom of the first with a solo home run, drove in a run with a bases-loaded ground ball to tie the score 2-2 in the bottom of the second before the Rangers got to Hernandez again.
Murphy and Cruz drove in runs with back-to-back, two-out hits in the fourth inning, giving the Rangers a 4-2 lead. Hernandez gave up at least one baserunner in four of the first five innings.
Grimm, who was making his season debut after Matt Harrison was placed on the disabled list earlier in the day, struggled at times but had the lead when he was replaced by reliever Joe Ortiz to open the bottom of the fourth. Grimm allowed five hits, two runs and three walks over four innings in his first start since June 25, 2012.
NOTES: Grimm was called up from Triple-A before Thursday's game, taking Harrison's spot in the rotation. Harrison was placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to Sunday, with an inflamed nerve in his lower back. ... The Mariners traded for right-handed pitcher Aaron Harang on Thursday, giving them a veteran option should the back of the rotation continue to struggle. Harang is expected to throw a bullpen session Friday, after which time Wedge will evaluate his role. ... Outfielder Michael Saunders was placed on the 15-day disabled list Thursday, with Chavez being promoted from Triple-A Tacoma to take his place. The Mariners cleared a spot on the 40-man roster by designating pitcher D.J. Mitchell for assignment. ... Boosted by Hernandez's first home start and an accompanying promotional T-shirt giveaway, the Mariners finally had some support in the stands Thursday night. The announced crowd of 22,917 was bigger than the combined attendance of the previous two nights. Seattle set a Safeco Field record for low attendance Tuesday (10,745) and then again Wednesday (10,493).