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(Friday, September 21st)
Final Score: Seattle 6, Texas 3
Seattle, WA (Sports Network) - Hisashi Iwakuma spun seven strong innings of three-run ball, as the Seattle Mariners held off the Texas Rangers, 6-3, Friday in the opener of a three-game set at Safeco Field.
Iwakuma (7-5) scattered eight hits and struck out four without walking a batter to snap a two-start skid. Stephen Pryor pitched a scoreless eighth and Tom Wilhelmsen blanked Texas in the ninth to nail down his 28th save of the season.
"He's a veteran guy," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said of Iwakuma. "He pitches like an experienced starting pitcher. He executes pitches and he understands different situations and what type of pitch he wants to throw."
Miguel Olivo clubbed a two-run homer and Carlos Triunfel registered his first major league RBI, as the Mariners snapped a four-game skid.
Martin Perez (1-2) surrendered four runs -- three earned -- on six hits and two walks over four frames to take the loss.
"He was keeping his fastball down, he just couldn't hit the zone with it," Rangers manager Ron Washington said of his starter. "His breaking ball, he just kept elevating it. When he elevated it, they didn't miss it."
David Murphy finished with three hits, including a solo homer and knocked in all three runs for the Rangers, who lost back-to-back games for the first time since Aug. 13-15, spanning 34 games, which marks a new franchise record.
The Rangers still sit atop the AL West, leading Oakland by four games.
Seattle struck first in the second inning, as Justin Smoak ripped a leadoff double and Michael Saunders worked a walk. Casper Wells followed two batters later with a double into left field, plating Smoak for a 1-0 lead.
Franklin Gutierrez tripled to start the third and quickly scored when Perez uncorked a wild pitch to give Seattle a 2-0 edge.
Texas battled back in the fourth when Michael Young smacked a one-out single and moved to third on Nelson Cruz's double into left field. Murphy followed with a single into center field, scoring Young and Cruz to tie the game.
The Mariners responded in the bottom half as Wells ripped a one-out single and came around to score on Triunfel's double to left field. Triunfel moved to third on a groundout and then scored when Young was unable to field Gutierrez's grounder.
Texas trimmed the margin in the sixth when Murphy clubbed a two-out, solo shot into right-center field, but Olivo belted a two-run blast down the left-field line in the eighth to account for the final margin.
Texas outfielder Josh Hamilton went back to Texas to see the team's medical staff due to a sinus infection. He hasn't played since Tuesday's 11-3 road loss against the LA Angels ... Seattle snapped a six-game home losing streak ... Young has a 10-game hitting streak ... Texas' record was 33 games without back-to-back losses set back in 1977.
09/22 01:59:49 ET