(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.