OAKLAND, CA - APRIL 30: Colby Lewis #48 of the Texas Rangers pitches against the Oakland Athletics at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on April 30, 2011 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Rangers Waste Strong Performance From Colby Lewis, Fall 3-1

Colby Lewis takes the mound on Thursday night for the Rangers as they look to take the rubber match against the Mariners.

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Rangers Vs. Mariners: Texas Looks To Take Series From Seattle

(Sports Network) – The Texas Rangers will close out a three-game series against the AL West-rival Seattle Mariners tonight from Safeco Field.

Texas ended a three-game slide and rebounded from Tuesday’s series-opening loss to Seattle with last night’s 5-2 triumph thanks to C.J. Wilson’s first complete game of the season and fourth of his career. The left-hander allowed two runs — one earned — on six hits with 12 strikeouts and one walk.

“For me, it’s more surgical, that’s the way I try to pitch,” said Wilson. “My changeup, the first four innings tonight, was barely missing, but it was missing. Once I started to throw it for strikes then I felt like they had no chance.”

Mitch Moreland and Chris Davis both clubbed home runs for the Rangers, who won for only the second time in seven attempts. After this seven-game road trip concludes this evening, Texas will return to Arlington for a nine-game homestand versus the Yankees, Athletics and Angels.

Colby Lewis has the honor of following Wilson’s performance when he takes the mound in Thursday’s series finale. Lewis ended a personal three-start losing streak in Saturday’s 11-2 win at Oakland, as he tossed eight innings of two- run ball with a season-best six K’s.

Lewis, a righty, has faced the Mariners plenty of times in his career as evidenced by his 4-3 mark and 3.73 earned run average in 14 games (10 starts) in the series. Lewis lost his last start against Seattle on August 3, when he was reached for three runs and nine hits in six innings of a 3-2 decision.

The Mariners have dropped two of three games since a five-game winning streak and received a rocky outing from starting pitcher Michael Pineda. Pineda permitted four runs and seven hits with nine strikeouts and no walks through seven innings for his second loss of the season (4-2).

“Michael threw the ball well again today, a couple fastballs that they got to and turned around, but he still pitched well, gave us a chance to win the ballgame,” said Seattle manager Eric Wedge. “Their guy was real good and he took it the whole way, made pitches, kept the ball down all day. But, every time Michael goes out there he’s going to get a little bit better, he’s going to be a little bit wiser, a little bit more experienced.”

Miguel Olivo had two RBI and Chone Figgins finished with two hits and a pair of runs scored for Seattle, which got two hits from Milton Bradley.

Seattle, which will host the White Sox for three games in the Emerald City over the weekend, hands the ball to Jason Vargas tonight. Vargas picked up his first win of the season in last Friday’s 5-4 victory at Boston, as he lasted seven innings and yielded four runs and eight hits.

Vargas, who is 1-2 with a 5.45 earned run average in six starts, has given up a total of 12 runs over the past three trips to the hill. The lefty hasn’t enjoyed much success against Texas in his career and is 1-3 in eight games, six of which have been starts.

Texas swept a three-game series from the Mariners in Arlington in early April and has won four of the past five matchups between the two ballclubs.

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Rangers Vs. Mariners: Texas Offense Gets Second Crack At Michael Pineda

(Sports Network) – Seattle Mariners rookie Michael Pineda’s career may have started with a loss to Texas a month ago, but he has been unbeatable since. He’ll seek revenge against the only team to best him so far as he hopes to extend the Rangers’ season-worst losing streak to four straight games this evening at Safeco Field.

Seattle unveiled the 6-foot-7 Pineda to the baseball world on April 5 and the 22-year-old pitched well in his debut, giving up three runs on five hits over six innings before taking a close 3-2 setback to Texas.

“He has pretty good stuff for a young kid,” Rangers manager Ron Washington told Seattle’s website after that meeting. “He had a good fastball and a nice rhythm going out there, especially with runners on base. He threw some good changeups, some good splits. He was very impressive.”

The few teams to see Pineda since might agree. The right-hander is 4-0 with a 1.42 earned run average in his four starts since, striking out 26 batters over 25 1/3 innings in that span. He has also yet to allow a home run in any of his five starts, including his latest victory on Thursday versus the Tigers. Pineda held Detroit to a pair of runs on four hits and three walks over six innings, striking out a career-best nine.

“Great job of controlling the ballgame. Mixed his pitches well,” Seattle manager Eric Wedge said of his starting pitcher.

The Mariners took the opener of this three-game series on Tuesday, 4-3. Justin Smoak had three hits and drove in two runs, while Jack Cust singled through a drawn-in infield in the eighth inning to bring home Miguel Olivo for the game- winning run.

“That was big for [Cust], obviously big for us,” Wedge said. “Prior to that, he had some hard outs. Great to see him step up for us.”

David Pauley was in line for the loss before the Mariners rallied for two in the home eighth to vulture a win, Seattle’s sixth in seven games.

Texas, which has lost seven of its last nine overall, had the tying run on second in the ninth, but Brandon League got David Murphy to bounce out sharply to short to finish off his eighth save.

Elvis Andrus, Michael Young and Adrian Beltre all drove in runs for the Rangers, who had swept the Mariners in three-games at home a month ago and had a four-game series winning streak end.

Outfielder Nelson Cruz left the game early for Texas with tightness in his right quad.

C.J. Wilson will try to get back on track tonight when he takes the hill for the Rangers.

The 30-year-old won his first three decisions of the season before suffering a loss in Oakland on Friday. Wilson didn’t pitch poorly, giving up three runs — two earned — on nine hits and three walks over seven innings, but didn’t get much support on offense and defense in a 3-1 loss.

“I thought he did a great job, we just couldn’t support him,” Washington told Texas’ official website.

A 15-game winner last year, Wilson is 3-1 with a 3.35 ERA in six starts this year. The former reliever went 1-2 with a 4.50 ERA in five starts versus Seattle a season ago.

Cust is 5-for-11 in his career versus Wilson with three RBI.

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Nelson Cruz, Alexi Ogando Sustain Minor Injuries In Rangers Loss

Nelson Cruz sustained a quad injury that will keep him out for at least one day, and Alexi Ogando saw his blister problem return in the Rangers’ 4-3 loss to the Mariners in their series opener in Seattle.

Cruz told reporters after the game that his injury didn’t appear to be as serious as his hamstring problems last season and that he will be able to avoid the disabled list, possibly only missing one game. He missed 54 games in 2010, most of them a result of hamstring pulls and tweaks.

Ogando said that his blister issue began to crop up again in the fifth inning. He managed to complete six innings and had a 102 pitch count when he left the game, but he said that the blister was the primary reason he exited then. He has completed at least six innings in all six of his starts, but has seen fluid collect in his pitching finger that has caused him to leave half of those starts.

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Texas Rangers Vs. Seattle Mariners: Alexi Ogando Takes On Erik Bedard, Mariners

Texas Rangers (16-13) at Seattle Mariners (13-16)
Probable Starting Pitchers: Alexi Ogando (3-0, 2.30 ERA), Erik Bedard (1-4, 5.96 ERA)

The Texas Rangers look to turn their fortunes around on their current road trip tonight in Seattle as they take on the Mariners. Texas lost yesterday in extra innings to Oakland, dropping three of four to the A's to start off their seven game road trip. Now, the Rangers head to Seattle to try to end their road trip on a better note and reclaim first place in the AL West.

Alexi Ogando draws the start for the Rangers in Seattle. Ogando, who was Texas' best starter in April, has posted a 3-0 record to go along with a 2.30 ERA and 0.86 WHIP. The converted relief pitcher has exceeded all expectations and will look to continue pitching well into May.

Ogando will be opposed by oft injured lefty Erik Bedard. Bedard has struggled this year as he owns a 1-4 record to go along with a 5.96 ERA and 1.64 WHIP. Further, Bedard has struck out just 20 batters and has walked 11 - not a good ratio whatsoever. 

The Ogando v. Bedard matchup could be just what Texas needs to return to their winning ways.

First pitch is scheduled for 9:10 p.m. CDT, 7:10 p.m. PDT.

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