American League Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, September 22nd (All times eastern)
Texas Rangers (89-61) at Seattle Mariners (71-80), 9:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Texas - Matt Harrison (17-9, 3.26) Seattle - Blake Beavan (9-10, 4.88)
(Sports Network) - Matt Harrison looks to extend his career-high win total to 18 when he takes the mound tonight for the Texas Rangers in the continuation of a three-game series against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field.
Harrison just beat the Mariners on Sunday in a 2-1 victory and allowed one run over 8 2/3 innings. He has prevailed in nine straight starts against the Mariners and is 10-1 with a 2.14 earned run average in 17 career games (13 starts) in this series.
The left-hander, who is 17-9 with a 3.26 ERA in 29 starts, is 4-2 in his previous six decisions. Harrison has fared well on the road this season, going 10-5 with a 3.17 ERA in 16 starts.
He hopes to get one of the Rangers' sluggers back in the lineup tonight after both Josh Hamilton (sinus) and Adrian Beltre (stomach) missed Friday's 6-3 loss to the Mariners. Hamilton is back in Texas because of blurred vision and is expected to miss this series, while Beltre stayed in Los Angeles due to a recent stomach ailment. Beltre homered in Thursday's 3-1 win over the Angels.
"We decided not to fly him up here tonight; he wasn't going to play," Rangers manager Ron Washington said on the club's website. "It's best for him to rest and come in in the morning."
David Murphy went 3-for-4 with a home run and three RBI on Friday for Texas, which remained four games ahead of Oakland for the AL West lead. The Athletics lost to the Yankees last night. Michael Young extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a 1-for-4 performance.
Elvis Andrus and Nelson Cruz each had two hits, while Martin Perez was dealt the loss for allowing four runs -- three earned -- in four innings.
"He was keeping his fastball down, he just couldn't hit the zone with it," Washington said of Perez. "His breaking ball, he just kept elevating it. When he elevated it, they didn't miss it."
Rangers catcher Mike Napoli is expected to be behind the plate Saturday. The club hasn't lost consecutive games since a three-game slide to the Yankees from Aug. 13-15.
Seattle halted a pair of losing streaks with Friday's win, putting the brakes on a four-game overall slide and a six-game skid at home.
Hisashi Iwakuma took advantage of a depleted Texas lineup by hurling seven innings of three-run ball with four Ks and no walks. Stephen Pryor tossed a scoreless eighth inning and Tom Wilhelmsen picked up his 28th save in the ninth.
"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 for Seattle, which won for the second time in eight tries.
Mariners second baseman Dustin Ackley left Friday's game after three innings with neck stiffness and could miss Saturday's middle test with the Rangers. He was 0-for-2 with two groundouts and was replaced by Kyle Seager, who went from third base to second. Alex Liddi took over on the hot corner.
Blake Beavan draws the start for Seattle Saturday and has lost two in a row and four of his past six starts. Beavan opposed Harrison and pitched well in a 2-1 loss on Sunday, as he gave up both runs in seven innings.
Beavan fell to 9-10 in 23 starts and actually lowered his earned run average from 5.01 to 4.88. The righty, who is 4-4 in 10 home starts in 2012, has faced the Rangers five times in his career and owns a 2-3 mark with a 2.91 ERA.
Texas is 9-8 against Seattle this season, winning three of the last five matchups between the division foes.
09/22 10:29:56 ET