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Kouzmanoff, Rangers blank M's
Arlington, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Kevin Kouzmanoff has proven to be a capable stand-in for injured third baseman Adrian Beltre.
Kouzmanoff went 3-for-4 with three RBI, and Robbie Ross threw 7 2/3 strong innings as the Texas Rangers blanked the Seattle Mariners 5-0 in the second of a four-game set at Globe Life Park.
Prince Fielder and Kouzmanoff each belted their first home runs as Rangers when they went back-to-back off Seattle starter Blake Beavan (0-1) in the second inning. Kouzmanoff added a two-out, two-run double in the eighth before scoring on Mitch Moreland's single.
Summoned from Triple-A Round Rock after Beltre suffered a quad injury, Kouzmanoff has hit safely in each of his first six games with the club.
Ross (1-0) limited the Mariners to five singles to pick up his first career win as a starter and help Texas rebound from a loss in Monday's opener.
"It's funny because I'm just trying to go out there and do the best I can to keep it close because I know we're going to start scoring," Ross said.
Beavan, up from Triple-A Tacoma to fill injured James Paxton's spot in the rotation, gave up six hits in four innings.
Seattle was shut out for the third time in six games.
"Probably the first night where I was probably a little disappointed in our approach a little bit," Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said.
Fielder opened the second with a lined shot to center field and Kouzmanoff took Beavan, a former first-round pick of the Rangers, deep to left two pitches later.
The Mariners threatened in the eighth, putting two on with two outs.
Ross hit Brad Miller with a pitch for the second time before he concluded his outing by retiring Robinson Cano on a fly ball to center. Corey Hart then singled off reliever Alexi Ogando, but pinch-hitter Dustin Ackley flied out to left.
Texas tacked on against Seattle reliever Tom Wilhelmsen in the bottom of the eighth. Elvis Andrus doubled and Wilhelmsen intentionally walked Fielder with two down. Kouzmanoff then found the gap in left-center and Moreland followed with a comebacker that deflected off Wilhelmsen into the outfield.
Both teams wore No. 42 jerseys to celebrate Jackie Robinson Day ... The 13- game home run drought to begin the season was Fielder's longest at the start of a season since 2010, when he went 14 games ... Cano went 1-for-4 and has now recorded a hit in 13 consecutive road games dating back to last season ... Seattle third baseman Kyle Seager had a 15-game hitting streak in Arlington end after going 0-for-4 ... The Mariners created room on the roster for Beavan by sending pitcher Lucas Luetge to Tacoma following Monday's win.
04/16 00:25:56 ET