Tuesday, August 26, 2014
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Mikolas, Rangers blank Mariners

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[August 26, 2014]  SEATTLE -- For a few minutes during the sixth inning of Monday night's game between the Seattle Mariners and the Texas Rangers, the scoreboards surrounding the perimeter of Safeco Field blinked off and remained dark.

That was hardly the only power outage at the stadium.

The red-hot Mariners cooled off significantly on a night when Texas rookie starter Miles Mikolas turned in the finest performance of his young career. Mikolas scattered three hits over eight shutout innings to beat the Mariners 2-0.

"It was great, especially knowing coming in that they were a hot team," he said. "I was able to come in and pitch my game and start the road trip out on the right note."

Mikolas (2-5) threw career-high eight innings to earn his first win since July 21. He walked one and struck out five before closer Neftali Feliz earned his seventh save of the season by pitching a scoreless ninth.

The Mariners (71-59) were held to four hits while seeing their slim AL wild-card lead over the idle Detroit Tigers narrow to a half-game. Seattle scored 20 runs during the franchise's first-ever three-game sweep in Boston over the weekend.

The Mariners were shut out for the first time since Aug. 3. The home shutout loss was their first since July 24.

"I'm sure the world's probably caving in right now, but we'll be all right tomorrow," Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said. "If you look at the numbers, you'd think we ought to dominate this team, but it doesn't work out that way. You have to play the game. The Texas Rangers played a better game than we did tonight."

Seattle had just one runner get past first base over the first 8 2/3 innings.

In the ninth, Mariners center fielder Austin Jackson hit a one-out single and moved to second base on defensive indifference, but he was left on base when left fielder Dustin Ackley flied out to right field and second baseman Robinson Cano grounded out.

Designated hitter J.P. Arencibia put Texas ahead 1-0 with an RBI single in the fourth, and second baseman Rougned Odor added a seventh-inning RBI on a fielder's choice grounder for a 2-0 lead.

Texas (51-79) won back-to-back games for only the second time this month. The Rangers haven't won three consecutive games since June 11-14, and they haven't won on three consecutive days since May 24-26.

Mikolas, who allowed 10 runs in a start two weeks earlier and entered the game with a 7.48 ERA on the season, dominated the Mariners for most of the night. He used a fastball and changeup to get through the first four innings before introducing his slider in the fifth.

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"He was very good," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "Executed his pitches, stayed focused."

Mikolas threw only 92 pitches and came within three outs of a complete-game shutout, but he understood the decision to bring in Feliz for the ninth.

"I could've also went out and given up a run right away," he said, "so I think it was the right call. Hopefully I'll be starting for a long time and there will be a lot of complete-game shutouts to come."

Seattle starter Roenis Elias (9-11) gave up a leadoff double but went on to retire the next eight batters he faced. Texas finally got to him in the fourth, when Arencibia gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead with a one-out single to left field.

Elias labored to get through five innings, throwing 101 pitches while limiting the Rangers' lead to 1-0. Reliever Brandon Maurer replaced him to start the sixth. Elias allowed one run on three hits, walking four while striking out six.

"He was his own worst enemy tonight," McClendon said.

NOTES: The Rangers placed OF Shin-Soo Choo (bone spur in left elbow) on the 15-day disabled list. Choo is scheduled to undergo season-ending surgery. ... Texas purchased the contract of C Tomas Telis and recalled OF Michael Choice from Triple-A Round Rock. Telis took the roster spot that opened when C Geovany Soto was traded to Oakland a day earlier, and he went 1-for-4 Monday in his major league debut. ... Seattle shuffled its rotation to move RHP Felix Hernandez back from his scheduled Wednesday start to a Friday night date with the Washington Nationals. RHP Erasmo Ramirez, who was scheduled to start for Triple-A Tacoma on Tuesday, appears to be the leading candidate to start Wednesday against Texas. ... Seattle 2B Robinson Cano went 1-for-4 Monday, one day after coming out of a game due to flu-like symptoms.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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