MLB

Sat, Sep 22, 2012 - 9:10 PM ET
 

Rangers-Mariners Preview

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The Texas Rangers aren't overly concerned about on-going health issues for their top two run producers, especially if Adrian Beltre returns for their next game.

Having Matt Harrison on the mound should also ease any anxiety after a loss.

Harrison will try to tie for the AL lead in wins Saturday night when the Rangers continue their road series against the Seattle Mariners.

Texas (89-61) opened this weekend set with Beltre and Josh Hamilton unavailable. Hamilton, hitting .287 with a league-leading 42 home runs and 123 RBIs, has missed the last three games with sinus issues that have impacted his vision. He flew back to Texas earlier Friday and is expected to undergo more tests Saturday, having been ruled out for this series.

"My level of concern hasn't wavered from what it was," manager Ron Washington said. "We just want to make sure we're doing everything we can do to ease his mind. Once he has peace of mind (about) what's going on, we'll be fine with Josh. He'll be fine."

The news was better for Beltre, who stayed behind in Los Angeles after the Rangers' last series to undergo tests because of stomach issues. Beltre missed Wednesday's game and went 1 for 4 Thursday. He was expected to fly out to Seattle on Friday night and be available Saturday.

The Rangers could use his pop in the lineup after they remained four games ahead of Oakland in the AL West following a 6-3 loss Friday.

The Mariners (71-80) snapped a four-game skid as Carlos Triunfel drove in the tiebreaking run in the fourth inning and Miguel Olivo hit a two-run homer.

Seattle was also helped by three double plays, including two off the bat of Michael Young, who also had an error. Texas had runners on first and second with no out in the ninth when Geovany Soto grounded into the third double play. Mitch Moreland struck out to end the game.

"We want to win every day. Just the fact they lose doesn't mean it's a must-win situation," David Murphy said. "It would have been nice to shave another game off that (magic number) but bottom line is we're just playing for wins. We're not worried about what they're doing."

Texas hasn't lost consecutive games since a three-game skid Aug. 13-15. The Rangers have had some trouble against the Mariners this year, going 9-8 in the season series, including 3-4 in Seattle.

However, Harrison (17-9, 3.26 ERA) has had no problems against the Mariners.

He scattered six hits over 8 2-3 innings of a 2-1 win over Seattle on Sunday to improve to 4-0 with a 1.10 ERA against the Mariners this year. He's pitched at least eight innings in three of those outings.

"Harrison was tough," Justin Smoak told the Mariners' official website. "He's been tough against us every time we've faced him."

The left-hander's dominance in the series is nothing new. Harrison is 10-1 with a 2.14 ERA in his career against Seattle, winning eight straight starts and 10 consecutive decisions. He is 5-0 with a 0.96 ERA in five starts and two relief appearances at Safeco Field, pitching a five-hit shutout in July.

Blake Beavan (9-10, 4.88) will oppose him again after allowing two runs in seven innings on Sunday to lose his second straight start.

The right-hander is 1-2 with a 3.72 ERA in three starts this season against the Rangers, all coming in Texas.

Beltre is 6 for 14 with a home run and three doubles against Beavan.

Tagged: Mariners, Rangers, Adrian Beltre, Josh Hamilton, Matt Harrison

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