SEATTLE – Nelson Cruz hit his 12th homer of the season, David Murphy drove in three runs and the Texas Rangers roughed up Seattle ace Felix Hernandez in a 5-2 win on Saturday night, handing the Mariners their eighth straight loss.
Derek Holland continued to pitch well in Seattle, easily getting the better of the matchup against Hernandez. Holland (4-2) went 6 2/3 innings, striking out a season-high 10, allowing no earned runs and winning for the first time since May 8 after a pair of no decisions.
Hernandez (5-4) was trying to rebound from a poor outing in his last start at Cleveland, but continued to leave pitches up in the strike zone and Texas took advantage. Murphy’s two-out double in the second gave Texas a 3-0 lead and Cruz added his solo homer — also with two outs — in the fifth inning.
Seattle’s losing streak is its longest since dropping 17 straight in 2011.
Holland had gone 21 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings pitching against the Mariners at Safeco Field before giving up a two-out, two-run double to Kendrys Morales in the third inning. Holland would not have faced Morales, if not for Elvis Andrus’ error on a grounder from Michael Morse. With Morse reaching, Morales lined a 0-2 fastball off the top of the wall in right field, missing a home run by only a few feet and Morse racing around from first to score and cut the deficit to 3-2.
That ended up being the extent of Seattle’s offense against the Texas lefty.
Holland, 3-0 in his career against the Mariners in Seattle, has yet to allow an earned run against the Mariners in Seattle. Joe Nathan pitched the ninth for his 16th save.