Having Matt Harrison on the mound should also ease any anxiety after a loss.
Harrison will try to tie for the AL lead in wins Saturday night when the Rangers continue their road series against the Seattle Mariners .
Texas (89-61) opened this weekend set with Beltre and Josh Hamilton unavailable. Hamilton, hitting .287 with a league-leading 42 home runs and 123 RBIs, has missed the last three games with sinus issues that have impacted his vision. He flew back to Texas earlier Friday and is expected to undergo more tests Saturday, having been ruled out for this series.
"My level of concern hasn't wavered from what it was," manager Ron Washington said. "We just want to make sure we're doing everything we can do to ease his mind. Once he has peace of mind (about) what's going on, we'll be fine with Josh. He'll be fine."
The news was better for Beltre, who stayed behind in Los Angeles after the Rangers' last series to undergo tests because of stomach issues. Beltre missed Wednesday's game and went 1 for 4 Thursday. He was expected to fly out to Seattle on Friday night and be available Saturday.
The Rangers could use his pop in the lineup after they remained four games ahead of Oakland in the AL West following a 6-3 loss Friday.
Seattle was also helped by three double plays, including two off the bat of Michael Young , who also had an error. Texas had runners on first and second with no out in the ninth when Geovany Soto grounded into the third double play. Mitch Moreland struck out to end the game.
"We want to win every day. Just the fact they lose doesn't mean it's a must-win situation," David Murphy said. "It would have been nice to shave another game off that (magic number) but bottom line is we're just playing for wins. We're not worried about what they're doing."
Texas hasn't lost consecutive games since a three-game skid Aug. 13-15. The Rangers have had some trouble against the Mariners this year, going 9-8 in the season series, including 3-4 in Seattle.
However, Harrison (17-9, 3.26 ERA) has had no problems against the Mariners.
He scattered six hits over 8 2-3 innings of a 2-1 win over Seattle on Sunday to improve to 4-0 with a 1.10 ERA against the Mariners this year. He's pitched at least eight innings in three of those outings.
"Harrison was tough," Justin Smoak told the Mariners' official website. "He's been tough against us every time we've faced him."
The left-hander's dominance in the series is nothing new. Harrison is 10-1 with a 2.14 ERA in his career against Seattle, winning eight straight starts and 10 consecutive decisions. He is 5-0 with a 0.96 ERA in five starts and two relief appearances at Safeco Field, pitching a five-hit shutout in July.
Blake Beavan (9-10, 4.88) will oppose him again after allowing two runs in seven innings on Sunday to lose his second straight start.
The right-hander is 1-2 with a 3.72 ERA in three starts this season against the Rangers, all coming in Texas.
Beltre is 6 for 14 with a home run and three doubles against Beavan.
|September 18, 2012||Tanner Scheppers||Day-to-Day||Left game - Bruised right knee|
|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|
|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|
SEATTLE (AP) -- For the second straight night, the Texas Rangers were well aware there was an opportunity to make their lead in the AL West a bit more comfortable, and they failed.
This time it had nothing to do with their pitching. If anything, the performance from Texas starter Matt Harrison deserved better.
Michael Saunders hit a solo home run in the second inning, one-time Texas prospect Blake Beavan threw seven shutout innings against his former club, and the Seattle Mariners kept the Rangers from extending their lead in the AL West with a 1-0 win on Saturday night.
Seattle took the first two games in the weekend series - handing the Rangers consecutive defeats for the first time in more than a month - and finally solved Harrison's mastery of the Mariners.
"It happens. We're not going to win every series. You do the best you can to do that and win every game," Harrison said. "But Beavan did a great job tonight of keeping it 1-0 and it's going to happen.
"I guess if we're going to lose, it's good the A's lose too."
Before Saturday night's game, the Rangers were crowded around the clubhouse televisions watching intently as the New York Yankees helped them out in the division race by rallying to beat Oakland 10-9 in 14 innings.
But the Rangers struggled with their situational execution against Beavan and were shut out for just the fifth time this season. Their lead in the division over the A's remained at four games.
Texas has now lost two straight for the first time since dropping three consecutive to the Yankees in the middle of August. After the final game of its road trip on Sunday against Seattle, the Rangers will head home for seven critical games - four versus Oakland and three against the Angels - that could finally cinch the division race.
"We're usually pretty good about getting two-out hits, tonight it didn't happen," Texas DH Michael Young said. "Something we feel is a big strength of our offensive game is being versatile enough to do little things when called upon to do it. Tonight we didn't do it."
Harrison (17-10) had won nine straight times against Seattle, the second-longest streak in Rangers' history against one team, but was not able to extend the roll despite holding the Mariners to just the homer by Saunders.
Harrison was trying to become the first pitcher to win five decisions against Seattle in a season and tie Kenny Rogers ' franchise record for most wins by a left-hander. Outside of the homer to Saunders - his 17th of the season - Harrison did enough to earn the victory. Harrison allowed just seven hits, struck out six but tied a season-high with four walks.
He nearly didn't make it out of the fourth inning after giving up consecutive singles to Kyle Seager and Jesus Montero and a walk to Justin Smoak , loading the bases with no outs. With Roy Oswalt warming up in the bullpen, Harrison got a broken-bat lineout from Saunders, struck Alex Liddi on a high fastball and saw Luis Jimenez ground out to first to end the threat.
"I got better as the game went on. My command got better," Harrison said. "Saunders' pitch, I didn't make a mistake. It's where I wanted it to be but he got extension on it and got it. That wasn't the only mistake I made but the only one that got me."
Nelson Cruz nearly tied it in the fourth, but was thrown out at home to end the inning trying to score from first on David Murphy 's double. Seattle's relay from Casper Wells to Kyle Seager to catcher Jesus Montero was perfectly executed and got Cruz by 10 feet.
The Rangers' other scoring chance came in the eighth and knocked out Beavan. Mitch Moreland led off with a double and Beavan walked Craig Gentry . Seattle went to reliever Josh Kinney , who struck out Ian Kinsler after he was twice unable to get a bunt down. Elvis Andrus flew out to center for the second out Michael Young struck out to end the threat.
"When you face good pitching like the Mariners got, it just comes down to execution," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "You execute and you got a chance. We just didn't execute tonight."
Beavan, who came to Seattle in the deal that sent Cliff Lee to Texas during the 2010 season, allowed a runner to reach base in the first six innings, but escaped every scoring threat from the Rangers. He got key double plays in the third and fifth innings and became the fifth Seattle pitcher this season to throw at least seven shutout innings in a game.
"It means a lot. I'm from there, I got traded by them so it means a lot to beat those guys," Beavan said.
NOTES: Seattle is now 6-3 in 1-0 games this season. ... Young extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a single in the sixth. ... Fergie Jenkins is the only Texas pitcher to defeat an opponent five times in one season, doing it to Minnesota and Oakland in 1974.