SEATTLE -- A pair of former Texas Rangers draft selections found themselves in the thick of a pennant race Friday night, pitching against teams vying for the American League West title.
And, in a tip of the cap to the Rangers' scouting and development department, both right-handers turned in their best performances of the season.
At the end of a chilly night at Safeco Field, nothing had changed in the West standings.
Blake Beavan, the Rangers' first overall pick in 2007, tossed eight scoreless innings, and Seattle scored three unearned runs against C.J. Wilson in the third inning en route to a 4-0 victory.
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The loss denied the Rangers a chance to extend their lead in the AL West by a game after Baltimore had routed the Angels 8-3 behind seven scoreless innings by former Rangers pitcher Tommy Hunter.
Instead, the Rangers' cushion held at 3 1/2 games, though their magic number dipped to nine.
"You have to take something positive out of every day," Wilson said. "The lead didn't grow, but it didn't shrink either."
The game turned against them in the third. Two runners -- and very nearly a third if not for a diving grab by Josh Hamilton to rob Ichiro Suzuki -- had reached against Wilson when Dustin Ackley sent a chopper toward second base with two outs.
Ian Kinsler charged the ball and had time to make a throw to get the Mariners rookie, but his throw was wide of first base and allowed Casper Wells to score.
Wilson then uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Brendan Ryan to score. Miguel Olivo followed with an infield hit, and Mike Carp collected an RBI single on a grounder that hit second base and bounced left as Elvis Andrus was charging to field it.
"First time that happened in my career," Andrus said.
When the inning was done, Seattle had sent nine batters to the plate and Wilson had thrown 41 pitches. Eighteen came after Kinsler's 11th error of the season.
Wells would add a solo homer to start the seventh. Wilson (16-7) allowed four runs (one earned) on six hits in 61/3 innings.
"It got to the point where there wasn't anything anybody could do," Wilson said of the third, which included a one-out walk to Wells. "He was sort of the guy who was the nexus of everything evil tonight."
The Rangers didn't have many opportunities against Beavan, who was part of the Cliff Lee trade last year. Elvis Andrus started the fourth with a single, but the Rangers couldn't deliver him from second in two chances.
Endy Chavez and Kinsler started the sixth with singles, but Andrus bounced into a double play after failing to get down a sacrifice bunt, and Hamilton popped out.
"I was trying to get away from what happened, hitting into a double play," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "The meat of my order was coming up."
Beavan, the Irving High School graduate, allowed only four hits and struck out three, and needed only 95 pitches to improve to 5-5 in his rookie season.
The victory carried extra meaning for Beavan, who lost to the Rangers on July 17.
"The thing is to not get behind guys and put them away when you get ahead of them," he said. "I wanted to beat the Rangers. I wanted to go out there and have another good start against them."