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(Monday, May 28th)
Final Score: Texas 4, Seattle 2
Arlington, TX (Sports Network) - Matt Harrison tossed eight innings of two-run ball and Mike Napoli hit a three-run home run to lift the Texas Rangers over the Seattle Mariners, 4-2, in the opener of a three-game set.
Harrison (6-3) scattered seven hits and did not walk a batter while striking out five in the Rangers' fourth straight win.
"I think it all starts with starting pitching. If you can get quality starting pitching, it makes it that much easier on everyone else," Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler said. "It kind of relaxes everyone and just makes the other aspects of the game easier."
Nelson Cruz added a solo homer and Joe Nathan tossed a scoreless ninth to earn his 11th save of the season.
Steve Delabar (1-1) took the loss by allowing three runs on two hits and a walk in just one-third of an inning on the mound.
Jesus Montero had two hits and an RBI for the Mariners, who dropped their fifth straight.
Kevin Millwood allowed one run on four hits and two walks in a five-inning start for Seattle.
Ichiro Suzuki followed Chone Figgins' one-out double in the first inning with a grounder back to the mound that Harrison fielded and caught Figgins in between second and third on a rundown.
Figgins was eventually tagged out, but Suzuki advanced to second on the play and came home the next batter on a Montero base hit to right, giving the Mariners an early one-run advantage.
The Rangers squandered Elvis Andrus' one-out double in the bottom of the first but were able to tie the game in the second on Cruz's solo blast over the right-field wall.
Texas failed to take the lead by stranding a man on second in the second and third innings and left a runner on third in the fourth, but was finally able to break through in the sixth.
Delabar started the inning on the mound for the Mariners and walked Adrian Beltre to open the frame. David Murphy followed with a base hit to right, placing runners on the corners.
Two batters later, Napoli hammered a ball off the base of the second deck in right field to hand the Rangers a 4-1 lead.
Seattle cut into its deficit in the eighth when Michael Saunders led off with a single and rounded the bases the next batter on Brendan Ryan's hit into center field that skipped under the glove of Craig Gentry during his diving attempt.
The ball made its way all the way to the wall and Ryan tried to score on the play, but Kinsler's relay to the plate beat Ryan and Napoli applied the tag for the out, keeping it a 4-2 game.
Montero reached base with one out in the ninth on Andrus' error to bring the tying run to the plate, but Justin Smoak grounded into a game-ending double play to seal the victory for Texas.
"These guys are going to have to dig deep and find a way to put into play what we want them to do offensively," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. "We've talked to them about it and I think they have a good understanding of what they need to do. But to ensure that it translates into games, that's what we're not seeing."
Harrison has won seven straight starts over the Mariners and is 8-1 in 15 career appearances -- 11 starts -- against Seattle...Texas improved to 17-20 all-time on Memorial Day, while the Mariners fell to 21-12 on Memorial Day...The Rangers lead the season series 5-3.
05/29 01:59:49 ET
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