Harrison goes for a 10th consecutive winning decision over the Mariners on Sunday as the Rangers try to maintain their slim lead in the AL West.
Harrison (16-9, 3.36 ERA) is 9-0 with a 1.62 ERA in 14 games - 10 starts - against Seattle (70-76) since the start of 2009. He's won seven starts in a row versus the Mariners - three this year - including a five-hitter in a 4-0 road win July 15.
The left-hander's lone loss to Seattle came as a rookie July 31, 2008.
Another victory Sunday would make Harrison the Rangers' first 17-game winner since Scott Feldman in 2009, and would also ensure the club won't lose any more of its lead over Oakland this weekend for the West lead.
The Rangers' lead dwindled to two games Saturday, when they rallied to erase a six-run deficit but ultimately lost 8-6.
"This team never quits," said Feldman, who gave up six runs in 2 2-3 innings. "We kind of take it for granted sometimes what a competitive team we have and what a good team we have."
Harrison has been erratic lately, going 3-2 in his last five starts with a 1.66 ERA in the victories compared to a 9.00 ERA in the defeats. He was solid Tuesday, yielding two runs and five hits with six strikeouts in 5 2-3 innings of a 6-4 victory over Cleveland.
Texas outfielder Nelson Cruz is 5 for 12 with two doubles and three RBIs in his last three games after getting three hits and driving in two runs Saturday.
The last-place Mariners are getting plenty of opportunities to play spoiler, as their remaining 16 games are all against playoff contenders - Texas, Baltimore, Los Angeles and Oakland.
First baseman Justin Smoak had one of his best offensive displays of the season in Saturday's win, getting three hits including a homer and driving in three runs, snapping out of a 6-for-41 funk over the switch hitter's previous 14 games.
"I've been working really hard left-handed," Smoak said. "I've been trying to keep both hands on the bat and shorten it up a little bit. My swing got long. To come around on a fastball like that, that's a good sign."
Smoak, who arrived in the majors as a Ranger in 2010, is batting .318 with six homers and 18 RBIs in 17 career games in Texas as a visitor.
Mariners starter Blake Beavan (9-9, 5.01), a native of Irving, Texas, will get the ball in neighboring Arlington for the third time this season.
The right-hander split his previous two visits with widely differing performances. In the most recent outing May 30, he allowed five runs and eight hits in six innings of a 21-8 win.
Beavan could have used any production from the Seattle lineup April 10, when he yielded one run in 6 1-3 innings of a 1-0 defeat.
"It's hard to realize the good things from this park sometimes, because you're playing such an overpowering team in a great hitting ballpark here at the same time," Beavan told the Mariners' official website.
Beavan last got the ball in a 4-3 loss to Boston on Sept. 4, when he gave up four runs and eight hits - two homers - in 5 2-3 innings.
|September 15, 2012||Casper Wells||Day-to-Day||Stiff neck|
|August 31, 2012||Michael Saunders||Day-to-Day||Left game - strained groin|
|August 25, 2012||Michael Saunders||Day-to-Day||Sore groin|
|August 13, 2012||Mike Carp||15-Day DL||Strained left groin muscle|
|August 13, 2012||Mike Carp||15-Day DL||Strained left groin muscle|
|August 06, 2012||Brendan Ryan||Day-to-Day||Left elbow contusion|
|September 13, 2012||Mike Olt||Day-to-Day||Plantar fasciitis, right foot|
|September 13, 2012||Josh Hamilton||Day-to-Day||Sore left knee|
|September 12, 2012||Adrian Beltre||Day-to-Day||Left game - strained left shoulder|
|September 09, 2012||Roy Oswalt||Day-to-Day||Left game - sore right elbow|
|September 02, 2012||Ian Kinsler||Day-to-Day||Lower back stiffness|
|August 31, 2012||Tyler Tufts||15-Day DL||Surgery, perforated bowel|
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- The sun finally peeked through the clouds and a rainbow appeared beyond center field soon after the Texas Rangers finished playing.
All around, it was a bright ending to a drizzly Sunday.
Matt Harrison came within one out of a complete game for his 17th victory and the Rangers beat Seattle 2-1, adding to their AL West lead over Oakland for the first time in 10 days.
"The only thing we can do is keep winning series, and do what we've been doing the past month," Harrison said. "The way they're playing, we've just go to keep going."
On his 27th birthday, Harrison (17-9) became the fourth American League pitcher to 17 victories.
Adrian Beltre hit his 33rd homer and Mitch Moreland had an RBI double to back the All-Star lefty who has won nine consecutive starts against Seattle since May 2010.
"Glad we got two runs to support him a little bit," catcher Mike Napoli said. "Overall, everything was pretty good. He had a good changeup, mixed in a couple of curveballs and backdoor sliders. For the most part, he was throwing strikes and missing barrels."
With runners on first and third and two outs in the ninth, Koji Uehara struck out Michael Saunders to end the game. It Uehara's first save for Texas since being traded from Baltimore in July 2011.
The start of the game was delayed 2 hours and 12 minutes by rain. A light drizzle was still falling when Harrison threw the first pitch, and persisted through the game that took only 2 hours and 20 minutes to play.
Two-time defending AL champion Texas (87-59) has the league's best record, and now has a three-game division lead over Oakland. The A's lost for only the second time in 10 games Sunday, 9-5 at home against Baltimore.
Texas had a 5 1/2-game lead on Sept. 6 after winning at Kansas City, gaining a half-game that day on the idle A's. Before Sunday's games, that lead had shrunk to two games - the Rangers' smallest since April 13, a week into the season.
"They're playing unbelievable," Harrison said. "We've just got to keep winning series."
Texas has won eight of its last nine series, and hasn't lost consecutive games in more than a month.
The Rangers have their final off day of the regular season Monday. They start a three-game series Tuesday at the Los Angeles Angels , before spending next weekend in Seattle and then playing seven of their last 10 games against the A's.
Harrison scattered six hits and struck out five, and his only walk was to Franklin Gutierrez with one out in the ninth. After Kyle Seager 's infield popout for the second out, Montero singled to right and manager Ron Washington made the pitching change after 119 pitches.
After allowing a single to start the game, Harrison didn't let a runner past first until Justin Smoak led off the eighth with his 16th homer. Harrison benefited from three double plays - two that he started.
"He did a good job coming in at both left-handers and right-handers, he works that changeup off the fastball, he's able to cut his fastball or sink it, rides it every now and again, a nice breaking ball," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. "He's got a quick tempo and helped himself, he's great defensively out there, a couple of big double plays. `'
Blake Beavan (9-10), pitching for the first time since Sept. 4, allowed two runs and seven hits over seven innings. The right-hander was the Rangers' first-round draft pick five years ago before being sent to Seattle in 2010 with Smoak in the Cliff Lee trade.
Beltre put the Rangers up 1-0 in the fourth with his eighth homer in 15 games. The 33 homers are one more than he had in his debut with the Rangers last season. The only time he hit more in his career was in 2004 for the Los Angeles Dodgers , when he led the majors with 48.
Murphy had a leadoff single in the fifth and scored when Moreland pulled a double into the right-field corner.
"We needed the home run from Beltre and we needed the double by Mitch," Washington said. "Up and down our order, someone's going to get one."
NOTES: The Rangers said after the game Martin Perez will start Friday's game at Seattle in place of struggling Scott Feldman . ... Seattle played its majors-high 24th rubber game of a series. The Mariners are 11-13 in those games, and had won seven of the previous eight. ... The Rangers are 16-7 in rubber games. ... The NFL's Dallas Cowboys played under sunny skies in Seattle, where they lost. ... During the rain delay, fans were able to see the start of both the Cowboys and A's games on split screen on the big video board. ... The announced paid attendance was 45,928, the 34th sellout at Rangers Ballpark. But a lot of bought tickets were unused on the wet day.