(Sports Network) - The Texas Rangers try to maintain the top spot in the
American League West on Friday when they begin a three-game series against the
Seattle Mariners at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
Texas trailed Oakland by six games as late as July 29, but has gone 14-2 since
and heads into this weekend 1 1/2 games ahead of the Athletics. The Rangers
won for the ninth time in 10 chances on Wednesday, as Ian Kinsler scorched a
go-ahead, two-run single as part of a three-run seventh inning in a 5-4
victory over the Milwaukee Brewers.
Elvis Andrus added a run-scoring single in the rally and finished with two
RBI, while Jason Frasor (4-2) held the Brewers off the board in the seventh to
earn the victory. Joe Nathan then pitched a perfect ninth to nail down his
36th save of the season.
"We never feel like we're out of the game - we play all nine innings," said
Getting the call for the Rangers on Friday will be lefty Derek Holland, who is
9-6 with a 3.07 ERA. Holland did not get a decision on Saturday in Houston, as
he allowed three runs and six hits in six innings of a 5-4 win.
Holland is 8-2 lifetime versus the Mariners with a 3.36 ERA in 15 games (11
Seattle, meanwhile, will counter with Japanese righty Hisashi Iwakuma, who has
lost his last two starts. Iwakuma's most recent setback came to Milwaukee on
Friday, as he cruised through six scoreless innings, but was hammered for six
runs in the seventh inning to fall to 10-6 on the year to go along with a 3.02
In seven games (6 starts) against the Rangers Iwakuma is 2-3 with a 4.17 ERA.
Seattle, which lost the final two game of its series to the Tampa Bay Rays
and has lost four of six heading into the weekend, has dropped eight of 13 to
the Rangers this season.
The Sports Network