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Seager's homer boosts Mariners over Rangers

The SportsXchange

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Kyle Seager broke out of an 0-for-21 slump in a big way, powering the Seattle Mariners to a 3-1 victory over the Texas Rangers on Friday night at Rangers Ballpark.

With a runner on first base in the eighth inning, Seager belted an 0-2 pitch for his 18th home run of the season to give the Rangers a 2-1 lead.

Justin Smoak added a home run in the ninth as Seattle (56-65) ended a two-game losing streak at the start of a three-game series against the Rangers.

"The last couple of games I had been struggling a bit," Seager said. "The pitch before, I had fouled it off and I thought it was pretty close to being fair. But on the next one I think (Neal Cotts) caught a little bit more of the plate than he wanted to and fortunately for me I was able to get it."

Texas (70-52) lost for just the second time in its last 12 games and saw its lead in the American League West fall to a game, pending the outcome of Oakland's game against Cleveland.

The Rangers had an opportunity to rally in the eighth, putting two runners in scoring position with one out. But Ian Kinsler struck out and, after an intentional walk to Adrian Beltre, A.J. Pierzynski popped out to third to end the threat.

"For whatever reason, we couldn't seem to get in sync tonight like we wanted to," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "We had opportunities, but we didn't cash them in all the way."

Texas finished with just four hits, two coming from Adrian Beltre.

Seattle starter Hisashi Iwakuma picked up his first win in five starts to improve to 11-6 and his third win against the Rangers this year. Iwakuma pitched seven innings, striking out eight and giving up one earned run.

"It was another great job by Iwakuma tonight," Seattle interim manager Robby Thompson said. "When you throw like that against the offense that was on the other side, you have done a great job."

Texas starter Derek Holland left with a no-decision despite allowing just two hits -- both in the fifth -- without a run. Holland is winless in seven starts at Rangers Ballpark dating to Mar 31, the longest home streak of his career without a victory.

Appearing to be heading to his 10th win of the season, Holland left a 1-0 lead to Cotts, who took the mound in the eighth.

"Holland was great tonight," Washington said. "We only put up one run on the board and he made it stand up."

Cotts gave up the home run to Seager. It was just the second homer allowed by Cotts this season with both coming against the Mariners.

Three Mariners relievers worked the ninth. Oliver Perez, Yoervis Medina and Charlie Furbush combined to complete the eighth. Danny Farquhar worked a perfect ninth for his seventh save of the season.

Close plays and calls brought Washington out of the dugout four times in the first four innings.

After Elvis Andrus was called out at the plate attempting to score from first on a single by Beltre in the first inning, Washington came out to argue. He returned in the second to speak with home plate umpire Doug Eddings on a strikeout call in which the Rangers insisted was a foul ball in the dirt.

Texas broke a scoreless tie in the fourth when Pierzynski's line drive found the gap in left-center field to bring home Kinsler from third.

But there was more controversy when Pierzynski was called out at second. Umpire Angel Hernandez ruled that Pierzynski had come off the bag, bringing Washington out to argue again.

"(Hernandez) said that he over slid the bag," Washington said of his conversation with the umpire. "He saw that he was trying to get to the bag with his hand and was off the bag, but once the second basemen cleared he said that he saw him reaching back with his hand."

Washington was not ejected despite the multiple protests.

NOTES: The Rangers announced that RHP Alexi Ogando would likely miss his scheduled Monday start because of shoulder soreness. Ogando underwent a CT scan on Wednesday. ... Lance Berkman remained on the disabled list despite being eligible to return on Friday. Berkman said that he is speaking with the Rangers about a return possibly in September. ... Seattle announced that manager Eric Wedge could return to the team during its next homestand. Wedge has been away from the team since July 22 after a stroke.
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