Rangers Pick Up Third Straight Loss

Justin Smoak's RBI single in the eighth inning, his third hit of the game, pulled Seattle even, Jack Cust followed with the go-ahead RBI single, and the Mariners rallied for a 4-3 win over the Texas Rangers on Tuesday night.

Seattle won for the sixth time in seven games, thanks to a gutty pitching effort from starter Erik Bedard and some clutch hitting in the late innings.

Down 2-1 entering the seventh, Seattle pulled even off Texas reliever Pedro Strop (0-1) on Ichiro Suzuki's double-play groundout that allowed Ryan Langerhans to score.

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Texas regained the lead in the eighth on Elvis Andrus' squeeze bunt, but Seattle rallied with two in the bottom of the inning to hand the Rangers their third straight loss.

Seattle opened the eighth with a bloop single by Adam Kennedy that fell in front of David Murphy in left field. Miguel Olivo then dropped a sacrifice bunt to advance pinch-runner Jack Wilson, but Strop slipped fielding the bunt, and Olivo was safe.

Smoak grounded a 1-0 pitch into the hole between first and second. The grounder bounced off Mike Napoli as he dived and caromed into right field, allowing Wilson to score and Olivo to reach third.

Darren Oliver replaced Strop and saw Cust line his first pitch back up the middle to score Olivo with the go-ahead run. Strop had allowed just one earned run in his first 10 appearances this season, but gave up three on Tuesday night.

Seattle reliever David Pauley (1-0) took over for Bedard in the eighth and saw Texas retake the lead when Julio Borbon led off with a single and scored standing up on Andrus' perfectly placed squeeze bunt. But Pauley limited the damage to just one run and Brandon League pitched the ninth for his eighth save in as many chances.

Smoak finished 3 for 4 with two RBIs in his first home game since he left the team late last month following the death of his father.

But while Smoak continued to swing a hot bat, Bedard was the biggest story for Seattle.
The oft-injured, maligned lefty didn't allow a hit until Ian Kinsler's double leading off the sixth inning, even though it was a 1-1 game at the time.

Bedard couldn't throw a strike in the first inning in what looked like was going to be a short outing. He threw 33 pitches in the first, walking Kinsler and Andres Blanco to start the game, then getting no help when Chone Figgins booted Adrian Beltre's grounder that allowed Kinsler to score.

But after Beltre reached, Bedard was nearly perfect. He set down the next 14 batters, getting two nice defensive plays by Figgins to keep the streak going and a no-hitter alive.

That hope left when Kinsler led off the sixth with a double into the left-field corner, advanced to third on Blanco's sacrifice bunt and scored when Michael Young's grounder slid under second baseman Kennedy as he tried to smother it with the Mariners infield drawn in.

Bedard went seven innings, giving up two runs and three hits while striking out three. It was his second straight start going at least seven innings, the first time he had done that since May 2 and May 7, 2008.

Texas starter Alexi Ogando wasn't nearly as dominant as Bedard, but left in line for his fourth win. He pitched six innings giving up just five hits and one run, and escaped two of major jams. Seattle loaded the bases in the second with no outs and didn't score, then Ogando got a lucky break in the fifth when Smoak's two-out double bounced over the fence in right field instead of staying in the park. Kennedy was forced to stop at third and Ogando got a groundout from Cust to end the inning.

NOTES: Injured Rangers CF Josh Hamilton is expected to begin hitting off a tee on Wednesday. It's his first steps in returning from a broken right arm suffered last month against Detroit. ... Seattle rookie RHP Michael Pineda was named AL rookie of the month on Tuesday. Pineda went 4-1 with a 2.01 ERA in April. ... Rangers RF Nelson Cruz left in the seventh inning with tightness in his right quad.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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