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August 18, 2013

Wrapping up Rangers' 4-3 loss to Mariners

Joe Nathan wasn't going to second guess himself about the 1-2 slider he threw Kyle Seager. Or the 3-2 slider he threw Nick Franklin the previous at-bat in the ninth inning.

Nathan simply tipped his cap to those two batters for their successful at-bats against him.

Nathan entered a 3-3 game in the ninth inning, and found himself with two outs and a runner on second facing Franklin with Seager on deck. He threw a 3-2 slider to Franklin, who laid off the pitch and walked.

Nathan then got ahead 0-2 on Seager before throwing a 1-2 slider that was headed towards the dirt. But Seager got his barrel to it, and lined an RBI double to right that proved to be the difference in the game.

"It was right about ankle high when he hit it," Nathan said. "So it lets me know it'll probably be in the dirt by the time it gest back to [catcher A.J. Pierzynski]. I'm not going to second guess. Obviously he's sitting on the pitch. I think everyone in the park knew he was looking for a slider, but usually when you put it in a decent location it doesn't matter.

"So hats off to him. Very good ballplayer, always plays us very tough."

Seager now has 13 RBIs against the Rangers this season, including eight at Rangers Ballpark. He delivered the go-ahead two-run homer in the eighth inning Friday, as well.

"Every time he steps in here he feels really good," shortstop Elvis Andrus said of Seager. "There's nothing you can do. The last at-bat was a great pitch. It was almost down in the dirt and he was able to stay on it. A good hitter having a great day."

Here are a few other postgame notes:

* The Rangers lost their first series since being swept at Cleveland in late July.

* Yu Darvish went at least seven innings in his fourth consecutive start. He allowed three runs on seven hits with four walks and seven strikeouts over 7 1/3 innings. The four walks match a season-high, and he issued three walks to start his final three innings.

Asked about the walks, Darvish said: "In many games I have trouble with my command in any inning that I throw. Today it happened to be after the sixth inning."

* Elvis Andrus had a game-tying RBI double in the eighth inning, and has nine RBIs in his last 12 games. ... Adrian Beltre had a game-tying RBI single in the sixth inning, and has 17 RBIs in his last 18 games. ... A.J. Pierzynski doubled and scored in the fifth inning, and has hit safely in seven of his last eight games.

-- Drew Davison


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