SEATTLE (AP) - Blake Beavan got a few texts from old friends on Friday afternoon asking him to take it easy on the Texas Rangers.
Instead of taking it easy, the former Rangers prospect dominated his former club in his finest major league performance to date.
Beavan threw eight shutout innings, giving up just four hits, and the Seattle Mariners took advantage of one big error from Texas second baseman Ian Kinsler in a 4-0 win over the Rangers on Friday night.
``I wanted to go out there and shut them down and that's what I tried to do,' Beavan said. ``I had a different attitude out there, but calm.'
Trusting a new curveball more, Beavan kept the Rangers guessing. Beavan hasn't used the strikeout much since coming up from Triple-A Tacoma at the beginning of July, but he liberally used his defense. Beavan got 11 fly ball outs taking advantage of Seattle's vast outfield and a cool night.
The curveball, mixed with a well placed fastball finally slowed down Texas' offense. The Rangers had scored at least seven runs in their past six games, but Texas didn't get its first hit until the third inning and only once got a runner into scoring position.
Beavan (5-5) allowed four hits and struck out three. Even more important, he didn't walk a batter.
``It's a new pitch for me and it's getting better every start and every bullpen and tonight I think just showed me that working hard on it and throwing it more is only going to get it better,' Beavan said.
The only time Texas threatened came in the sixth with consecutive singles by Endy Chavez and Kinsler. After failing to get a sacrifice bunt laid down, Elvis Andrus then hit into a 6-4-3 double play nicely turned by Brendan Ryan and Dustin Ackley. Beavan jammed Josh Hamilton into popping up to end the inning.
Beavan was only at 95 pitches entering the ninth and wanted a chance at his first complete game. With the top of the Rangers order coming up in the ninth and the lead only at four, Wedge decided to go with Brandon League.
The move looked genius after League, in a non-save situation, struck out Kinsler, Andrus and Hamilton to end the game. The victory ensured that Seattle would avoid 100 losses for just the second time in the past four seasons.
``Coming around the top of the lineup again, I felt like that was enough. If we had tacked on there in the eighth inning I probably would have sent him back out,' Seattle manager Eric Wedge said.
Kinsler's error was his 11th of the season and came with two outs in the third. He charged a slow chopper from Ackley, who raced up the first base line, and he had time to make the throw but it sailed wide of Mitch Moreland and allowed Wells to score from second.
It was the beginning of an odd sequence.
The next batter, Miguel Olivo, then saw Texas starter C.J. Wilson dump a curveball at his feet and bounce past catcher Yorvit Torrealba allowing Ryan to score. Olivo later singled to keep the inning going.
Then it was Mike Carp's turn for some wackiness. Wilson got Carp to his a grounder back up the middle and shortstop Andrus was in perfect position to make the play. The ball never got to him as it hit second base and caromed the opposite way Andrus was moving.
``It was like the Titanic. Not to make light of tragic situations but it got to the point there wasn't anything anybody could do,' Wilson said. ``It seemed like everything we tried, whether it was getting grounders or what, it went the wrong way.'
Wells later hit his 11th homer of the season leading off the seventh inning that led to the end of Wilson's night. It was Wells' first homer since Aug. 21.
Wilson (16-7) went 6 1-3 innings and gave up just one earned run while striking out eight. But the Rangers were unable to gain a game on the Angels in the AL West.
Notes: Texas OF Nelson Cruz expected to return to the Rangers lineup as the DH on Saturday. Cruz has been recovering from a left hamstring strain. ... Seattle unveiled the first statue in franchise history on Friday honoring late broadcaster Dave Niehaus. The statue sits on the concourse in right-center field and honor Niehaus' 34 years as the Mariners lead announcer. Niehaus died of a heart attack last November. ... Young LHP Anthony Vasquez makes his fifth start for Seattle on Saturday. The 24-year-old took a loss in his last start despite giving up just two runs in six innings. ... Texas RHP Colby Lewis starts Saturday for the first time since Sept. 9. Was given few extra days of rest after last start - a win over Oakland.
The Associated Press News Service
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