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July 03, 2013

Wrapping up Rangers 4-2 loss to Mariners

Manager Ron Washington believed the turning point happened in the sixth inning. Derek Holland wasn't going to argue.

The Rangers had just taken a 2-1 lead on a pair of solo homers by David Murphy and Ian Kinsler in the fifth inning off Felix Hernandez.

Holland needed to turn in a shutdown inning, but didn't. Instead, he issued a one-out bases-loading walk to Justin Smoak after getting ahead 0-2 in the count. He responded with a strikeout, but the Mariners tied it at 2-2 on an infield single by Mike Zunino.

"It's frustrating, my job was to go out there and keep momentum on our side," Holland said. "I had two guys 0-2 and didn't put them away."

Holland at least didn't surrender the lead, but the Rangers never got it back. The game went into the 10th inning, and that's when Robbie Ross couldn't get the pivotal third out.

He, too, had an 0-2 count against Michael Saunders but issued a walk. The next batter, Kyle Seager, delivered a two-run homer over the right-field fence that proved to be the difference.

Here are a few postgame notes:

* The Rangers fell to a major-league worst 1-6 in extra-inning games. They are now 0-3 in extra-inning games at Rangers Ballpark, and have been outscored 12-3 in extras this year.

* Despite the sixth, Derek Holland pitched well all night. He matched former Cy Young winner Felix Hernandez all night. By the end of his night, Holland had allowed two runs on seven hits with two walks and 10 strikeouts. The 10 strikeouts matched his season high.

* Neal Cotts pitched a perfect seventh, and has not allowed an earned run in his last 15 1/3 innings. Tanner Scheppers got out of a jam in the eighth by inducing an inning-ending double play, and Joe Nathan pitched a perfect ninth. Robbie Ross then entered and took his second career loss after starting his career 8-0.

* The highlights offensively were delivered by David Murphy and Ian Kinsler. Murphy homered to start the fifth, snapping the Rangers' four-game homerless drought. It was his first shot since June 9, and he is now batting .324 against King Felix in his career. Kinsler, meanwhile, won an 11-pitch at-bat against Hernandez for his eighth homer of the season.

* Leonys Martin saw his 15-game hitting streak come to an end by going 0 for 4. But he did steal a base, and has a steal in six consecutive games. That ties a franchise record, as John Lowenstein did it back in 1978.

* Lance Berkman, making his first appearance since last Wednesday, went 1 for 4. ... A.J. Pierzynski singled in his first at-bat, snapping an 0 for 16 slide. ... Nelson Cruz doubled in the first inning, and has both the Rangers' first-inning extra-base hits in the last 34 games.

-- Drew Davison


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