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September 22, 2012 at 5:52 PM

Game thread, Mariners vs. Rangers, Sept. 22: Mariners win, 1-0

The Matt Harrison reign of terror is over, as Blake Beavan out pitches him, with major relief help from Josh Kinney and Tom Wilhelmsen. Michael Saunders’ HR in the second is the only run.
RANGERS EIGHTH: The M’s hold their 1-0 lead thanks to brilliant relief work by Josh Kinney, who replaced Beavan with two on and no outs. He struck out Kinsler, got Andrus to fly out, and struck out Michael Young.
MARINERS SIXTH: Justin Smoak, who just never gets out, lined a double (made it this time) with two outs, making him 15-for-30 over his last eight games. Saunders walked, but Liddi struck out for the third time. In his last two at-bats, Liddi has stranded five. 1-0 Mariners.
RANGERS SIXTH: This might be the best I’ve ever seen Blake Beavan, who gives up a two-out single to Young but gets Beltre to pop up. 1-0 Mariners.
MARINERS FIFTH: Mariners looked at seven pitches in going down in order in the fifth. They still lead, 1-0.
RANGERS FIFTH: Beavan is through five shutout innings on a mere 53 pitches — and that’s without retiring the Rangers in order in any inning. This time, it was a one-out single by Moreland, followed by a double-play ball from Gentry. 1-0 Mariners.
MARINERS FOURTH: M’s may rue the day — or at least the inning — they loaded the bases with no outs and didn’t score. Saunders hit a broken-bat looper to second, Liddi struck out, and Jimenez grounded out. The way Harrison has owned them, they can’t squander a golden opportunity like that. 1-0 Mariners.
RANGERS FOURTH: Beavan’s shutout is still intact, but just barely. Cruz was thrown out at the plate to end the inning trying to score from first on Murphy’s double into the right-field corner. Nice relay from Wells to Seager to Montero. Earlier, Beavan had a hard grounder by Young go off his left foot (he scrambled to field the ball and throw out Young). Beavan was checked out by the trainer but stayed in. 1-0 Mariners.
MARINERS THIRD: Harrison gets back on track with a 1-2-3 inning, striking out Gutierrez and Wells. 1-0 Mariners.
RANGERS THIRD: The Rangers got a leadoff hit for the third straight inning — a broken-bat single by Gentry — and again Beavan worked out of it, thanks to a 6-4-3 DP hit by Kinsler. 1-0 Mariners.
MARINERS SECOND: The Mariners jump on top with a solo homer by Michael Saunders — No. 17 — the first homer given up by Harrison at Safeco in 38 2/3 career innings. That came after rejuvenated Justin Smoak led off with a single to left-center — and was thrown out trying to stretch. 1-0 Mariners
RANGERS SECOND: Beavan nicely worked out of another jam after giving up a leadoff double to Nelson Cruz. The next three batters flied out. 0-0.
MARINERS FIRST: A promising start for the Mariners, as Gutierrez and Wells draw walks. But just when it looked like Harrison might be vulnerable, Seager grounded into a 4-6-3 double play, and Montero grounded out to second. 0-0.
RANGERS FIRST: Leadoff man Ian Kinsler reached on an infield single and got around to third with two outs before Adrian Beltre — back in the lineup after missing yesterday with abdominal pain — flied out. 0-0.
The big question: Can the Mariners finally figure out Matt Harrison? He’s ascended to the crown of top Mariner killer in baseball, having rolled up a 10-1 career mark in 17 games (13 starts) against Seattle with a 2.14 ERA. This year, he is 4-0, 1.10 in four starts and could become the first pitcher ever to beat the Mariners five times in a season. The last Texas pitcher to go 5-0 against a team was Hall of Famer Ferguson Jenkins, vs. Oakland, in 1974. The last major-league pitcher to beat a team five times in a season was Detroit’s Justin Verlander last year against the White Sox.The only Rangers’ pitcher to beat one team more times consecutively than Harrison has beat the Mariners is Charlie Hough, with 13 wins against the Indians (1984-88).
Mariners starter Blake Beavan is 2-3 with a 2.91 ERA in five career starts against his original organization, 1-2, 3.72 in three starts this year. He gave up just two runs in seven innings six days ago in Texas but lost 2-1 to Harrison and the Rangers.

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