Rangers finish off set with Mariners

Texas starter Derek Holland is likely to have another champion Rangers in the finale of a game series with the Seattle Mariners.

One day after clinching their second straight division crown, manager Ron Washington elected to rest a number of his starters in yesterday's 7-3 win, Texas' 10th in its last 12 contests that moved it one game ahead of Detroit for the second-best record in the league.

Though Washington is focused on getting ready for the playoffs, he still expects his club to go out there and compete.

"I want to get one thing straight," Washington said. "When I put nine guys out there that's on my roster, we can win with them, so it's not like we're trying not to win because we put this guy out to play, that guy out to play."

Texas has certainly won as of late when Holland starts, with the left-hander having won two straight starts and four decisions in a row since his last loss on Aug. 21. He has allowed one run or less in each of the four victories and limited the Athletics to a run on two hits and three walks over seven innings on Tuesday.

Holland also struck out seven and improved to 15-5 with a 3.92 earned run average on the season. He has just one loss in his past 14 outings.

The 24-year-old is 4-1 with a 2.91 ERA lifetime versus the Mariners.

David Murphy highlighted a big fourth inning on Saturday with a two-run single, while Esteban German, Endy Chavez and Andres Blanco each drove in a run for the Rangers. Josh Hamilton, Nelson Cruz, Adrian Beltre and Ian Kinsler were among those who did not play on Saturday.

Justin Smoak and Mike Carp had an RBI for Seattle, which has lost three in a row and saw manager Eric Wedge vent a bit after the game.

"That was one of our worst games, if not the worst game, of the year," Wedge said. "Unacceptable. Ugly. It's not what I'm about. It's not what we're about.

"I don't [care] if we've got three games left or 103, that's unacceptable, and we're not going to allow that to happen."

Seattle lost ace Felix Hernandez in the fourth inning after a Michael Young line drive struck him in the right forearm. The good news for Seattle's 2012 outlook is that Hernandez did not suffer a fracture.

Charlie Furbush hopes to be in the rotation next year along with Hernandez and will try to close out his 2012 season on a good note. Acquired in a trade with Detroit prior to the July non-waiver deadline, the lefty is just 3-6 with a 6.29 ERA in 10 games with the Mariners.

The 25-year-old did snap a five-game losing streak with a win at Cleveland on Monday, but allowed more runs in that outing than he did in any game during his skid. Furbush was charged with six runs and 10 hits over five innings, but won a 12-6 decision.

One bright spot for the hurler was his career-high eight strikeouts.

"I was really trying to throw my fastball and keep it down," Furbush said. "It worked pretty well."

Furbush made his first career start versus the Rangers on Aug. 8 and suffered a 9-2 road loss, giving up six earned runs over four innings.

Texas is 14-4 against Seattle this season, winning seven of eight at home.