Arlington, TX – A.J. Pierzynski homered and drove in two runs, and the Texas Rangers shut out the Seattle Mariners, 5-0, in an American League West matchup on Saturday.
Lance Berkman also drove in two runs while Daniel Murphy hit a solo shot for the Rangers, who have won the first two of this three-game set, both by shutout.
Rangers starter Nick Tepesch allowed just two hits over 1 2/3 innings, but was taken out after getting hit on the right arm off a line drive by Jesus Montero. Derek Lowe (1-0) came in to replace him, and pitched four hitless innings despite recording just one strikeout. Five pitchers were needed to get the shutout.
"Our offense didn't do much until late. When our pitching does well like that it takes pressure off the offense and helps us win ball games," Murphy said.
Rookie Brandon Maurer (1-3) allowed a pair of solo homers over 6 2/3 innings to absorb the loss for the Mariners.
The line drive from Montero left a gash on the arm of Tepesch. The wound quickly prompted manager Ron Washington and trainer Jamie Reed to head to the mound. Tepesch attempted to stay in the game and threw several test pitches, but was ultimately replaced by Lowe.
Initial diagnosis of Tepesch's injury was revealed as a right wrist contusion. He is expected to be listed as day-to-day and will undergo further examination on Sunday.
Pierzynski's home run, a blast to center, came with one out in the fourth.
Seattle's best shots to score came in the sixth and seventh innings. Kyle Seager singled with two outs in the sixth and Kendrys Morales drew a walk. However, Michael Morse hit a grounder to shortstop Elvis Andrus and the Rangers got the force out at second.
In the next inning, Montero was walked with two outs and Dustin Ackley singled to left, but Brendan Ryan struck out to squander another opportunity.
Murphy homered to right-center with two outs in the seventh.
The Rangers added three more runs in the eighth. Leonys Martin bunted to lead off the inning and advanced to second on a wild pitch by Yoervis Medina. Ian Kinsler then drew a walk. Both he and Martin advanced a base on a passed ball with Andrus batting, who struck out. Berkman was next and he delivered a single to right, scoring both runners. Two batters later, Pierzynski singled, plating Leury Garcia, who was pinch-running for Berkman.
"Losing in general is disappointing and not scoring any runs obviously is also," Seager said. "They threw the ball well tonight, and their bullpen did a great job."
The Mariners left eight men on base ... Seager has hit safely in his last nine straight games ... Maurer threw 94 pitches ... Kinsler was walked twice and had a stolen base ... The Rangers have allowed two runs or less in nine of their 17 games this season.