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April 11, 2012

Wrapping up Rangers 4-3 loss to Mariners

Joe Nathan stood at his locker ready to answer questions about his first blown save in a Texas Rangers uniform. Nathan had just allowed three runs on four hits, watching what had been a 3-1 lead turn into a 4-3 loss for the Rangers.

Nathan took the loss, his second of the young season. Nathan was the losing pitcher on Saturday against the White Sox after he gave up the go-ahead run in the ninth. That wasn't in a save situation, though, as he entered a tie game.

Nathan said he threw too many sliders to the Mariners in the ninth on Wednesday, and didn't put them low enough in the zone. The Mariners rally started when Justin Smoak singled to right to lead off the inning followed by a double to right by Kyle Seager.

Jesus Montero pushed across Smoak with a sacrifice fly to deep right, and then Michael Saunders delievered the game-tying hit with a double to center. Nathan struck out Brendan Ryan, but then gave up a single to center to Seattle's No. 9 hitter, John Jaso.

"They hit a lot of sliders, not terrible sliders," Nathan said. "They were looking for that pitch. There weren't a lot of mistakes I made, they made good swings."

The at-bat against Jaso, Nathan said, featured five straight curveballs.

"One of those things where you think the guy is weaker on the breaking balls, but he was able to do what he needed to do," Nathan said. "Bloop one over the infield and find some outfield turf."

Nathan said he felt fine throwing on consecutive days, and fatigue wasn't an issue. Of course, he was disappointed in picking up loss No. 2 six games into the season.

"This is the territory the end of the game comes with," Nathan said. "You either get an S or an L."

Other notes from Wednesday's game:

* Colby Lewis turned in an impressive start, throwing 6 2/3 scoreless innings. He scattered five hits with no walks and six strikeouts. Lewis credited his curveball command as the primary reason for his success. "I felt good tonight," Lewis said. "It was a good night pitching-wise all around for me. [Catcher Yorvit Torrealba] and I were on the same page."

As far as watching Nathan blow the save, Lewis said: "He's 30-something saves from 300. He's done it a lot of times. It's nothing that he can't bounce back from or that we can't bounce back from."

* Ian Kinsler and Elvis Andrus had back-to-back solo shots in the seventh inning off Mariners reliever Steve Delabar. It was the first time the Rangers had consecutive homers this season. It was the third blast of the season for Kinsler, and the first for Andrus.

* The Rangers held the Mariners scoreless for 23 straight innings before Alexi Ogando gave up a run in the eighth.

* With a double in the first, Josh Hamilton extended his season-opening hitting streak to six games.

* Who was the first Rangers player to steal a base this season? That belongs to catcher Yorvit Torrealba. He stole a base in the second inning.

-- Drew Davison

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