Seattle, WA – Derek Holland pitched into the eighth inning, Adrian Beltre belted a two-run homer and the Rangers survived Joe Nathan's shaky ninth to beat the Mariners, 3-2, on Friday.
Ian Kinsler went 2-for-5 with an RBI behind Holland (6-4), who failed to make it out of the second inning the last time he faced Seattle.
Holland yielded eight runs in that May 30 loss -- a 21-8 shellacking -- but in the opener of this three-game series the left-hander held the Mariners to four hits and two walks while striking out four over 7 2/3 innings.
His solid start was nearly squandered when Nathan gave up three straight one- out singles in the ninth to load the bases. Michael Saunders then hit a sharp ground ball to first that ate up Michael Young, and the error allowed Kyle Seager to score. Saunders, though, was caught up between first and second and tagged out in a rundown.
Justin Smoak scored on a wild pitch to make it a 3-2 game, and a walk left runners on the corners for Dustin Ackley. Nathan was able to settle down and strike out Ackley to post his 19th save of the year.
"Bottom line is we got the three outs we needed to get off the field and win the ball game," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "We felt comfortable brining Joe in and felt comfortable that he would get the three outs and he did."
Kevin Millwood (3-7) was charged with three runs on eight hits over 6 2/3 innings to take the loss, Seattle's fifth in six games.
"You make a lot of mistakes against these guys and they are gonna hurt you," said Millwood.
The Rangers did not have much success against Millwood in their previous three matchups against him this year, as the veteran right-hander had pitched to a 1.06 earned run average versus the AL West leaders.
The first game after the All-Star break proved to be a different story, with Kinsler's RBI single breaking a scoreless tie in the fifth inning. Mike Napoli was thrown out at home on Kinsler's hit, but Beltre made the baserunning mishap an afterthought in Texas' next turn at the plate.
With Josh Hamilton on first, Beltre hammered a 1-0 cutter up in the zone deep over the left-field wall for his 16th home run of the season.
That was more than enough for Holland, whose only real trouble came in the fourth inning when he worked out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam by retiring Smoak and Miguel Olivo.
Texas has won three straight on the heels of a five-game slide...Millwood is 0-3 in eight starts since his last win on May 23 versus the Rangers...Young had two hits for Texas, which won despite going 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position...Both teams left eight on base.