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SEA@OAK: Iwakuma pitches seven solid frames vs. A's

Hisashi Iwakuma will seek his second win over the Rangers in 10 days as the Mariners look to derail the American League West leaders Tuesday night at Safeco Field.

The righty collected his first career win over Texas in four games (three starts) Aug. 17 at Rangers Ballpark, allowing just a run in seven innings with eight strikeouts.

"I had to be patient," Iwakuma said through an interpreter. "They have a very good lineup and I was just keeping the ball down, trying to miss down and not up if I did miss. I was making good pitches when I needed and was able to get out of some jams."

Iwakuma retired 11 of the final 12 Texas batters he faced, but he wasn't in line for the win until after he left the game. Kyle Seager hit a two-run shot in the eighth to put the Mariners up, 3-1, and hand Iwakuma the victory.

"I was in the dugout," a smiling Iwakuma said. "I was yelling, 'Get over that fence.'"

The home run gave Derek Holland, who will face Iwakuma again Tuesday, a no-decision. The southpaw has received 3.98 runs per nine innings, the 12th-lowest run support average in the AL. It's the lowest for a qualifying Texas pitcher since 1988, when three pitchers had a lower run support average. The Rangers averaged 7.64 runs per nine innings for Holland in 2011, the highest for a qualifying pitcher in club history.

"It is what it is," Holland said. "But I've got to do my job. My job is to go out and pitch, keep the runs down and give my team a chance to win."

Holland will try to extend Texas' 2 1/2-game lead over Oakland in the AL West. He received a no-decision in his last start Wednesday against Houston, allowing two runs in six-plus innings. Holland was hit on his throwing arm with a line drive and was rattled by the play, walking his next two batters before he was relieved.

"My arm is fine and I've calmed down," Holland said. "It scared me. All I saw was a flash of white. I'm glad it didn't hit me in the face. I've been hit before, but never in the face. It took me out of the game. My heart was racing."

The left-hander is 1-2 with a 2.61 ERA since the All-Star break. He's 3-0 with a 0.68 ERA in five games (three starts) at Safeco Field.

"It's a nice ballpark, no doubt," Holland said. "But I try to treat every ballpark the same. The weather is nice and the roof is closed, but you still have to keep the ball down. Even though it's a pitcher's park, the ball can still go out of here."

Mariners: Gutierrez starts in right
Franklin Gutierrez returned to the Mariners for his second stint this season as he's been dealing with an inflammatory condition called ankylosing spondylitis. The outfielder has been receiving medication for the condition for over the past three months.

Gutierrez has been sidelined for a multitude of injuries during his time with Seattle. He's played in just 150 of 453 games over the past three years.

Rangers: Kirkman, Berkman, Feliz to return in September
Texas plans to bring back Michael Kirkman, Lance Berkman and Neftali Feliz on Sunday when rosters expand. Berkman has been on the disabled list since July 7 with left hip inflammation. Kirkman was placed on the DL on June 7 recovering from skin cancer. Feliz has recovered from Tommy John surgery last season.

Worth noting
• Seager has more home runs against Texas (five) than any other team this season. He went deep in Monday's loss for his 20th home run this season.

• With the win Monday, the Rangers clinched the season series against the Mariners. Texas is 10-7 with two games left.

• Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus turned 25 Monday and went 3-for-5 with an RBI. Comments