Rangers edge Mariners 1-0

ARLINGTON, Texas — Texas fill-in starter Dustin Nippert got to be part of a few rarities Wednesday.

Nippert pitched seven innings to win as a starter for the first time in nearly three years, and the Rangers beat the Seattle Mariners for only their third 1-0 victory in 15 seasons at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

Considering that Texas starters entered with the majors’ second-highest ERA (5.33), and that Nippert had allowed 10 runs over 9 1-3 innings in losing his first two starts in place of injured Vicente Padilla, it was certainly an unexpected outcome.

It was the first 1-0 victory for Texas at home since beating Toronto on Aug. 25, 2000.

“Nipp did one heck of a job,” manager Ron Washington said. “I never thought there was anything wrong with his delivery. It was just placement of pitches. … He’ll get the ball again.”

Texas scored in the first when Michael Young singled, advanced on Josh Hamilton’s double and came home on Milton Bradley’s sacrifice fly to left.

That was the only run the Rangers scored off Felix Hernandez (9-9). And all they needed.

Warner Madrigal pitched the eighth, and Frank Francisco finished to convert his fourth consecutive save chance since taking over as closer last week.

The first home day game for the Rangers since July 13 drew an announced attendance of 12,882, though the stands appeared to be far emptier. It was the smallest crowd of the season.

It was just the eighth start in 58 career appearances for Nippert (2-4), acquired from Arizona at the end of spring training. It was his longest start of his career, but he had a seven-inning relief appearance earlier this season, and won in relief another game.

Nippert’s previous victory as a starter was Sept. 29, 2005, for the Diamondbacks against the Los Angeles Dodgers. He struck out four with no walks against Seattle.

“I have not really been thinking about when I would win another,” Nippert said. “I’m not trying to focus on results, just my pitches.”

Hernandez (9-9) gave up seven hits over 7 1-3 innings in his 100th career start.

“He did a great job against a very good lineup over there. After the first inning, he really got in synch with all his pitches,” manager Jim Riggleman said. “He’s had some real good games that he didn’t win, that’s for sure.”

Hamilton, the majors’ RBI leader with 121, went 3-for-4 to raise his average to .301. Chris Davis had two doubles. Adrian Beltre, Raul Ibanez and Yuniesky Betancourt each had two hits for Seattle.

Texas posted its seventh shutout this season, but the only other 1-0 victory was July 20 at Minnesota. Padilla, on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring, has the only complete-game shutout, a seven-hitter against the Twins on April 27.

Francisco took over the closing role when Eddie Guardado, already filling in for injured C.J. Wilson, was traded to Minnesota on Aug. 25. Francisco has thrown 4 1-3 scoreless innings with eight strikeouts and no walks since.

After pinch-hitter Tug Hulett took a called third strike to start the ninth, Betancourt hit a deep flyball. Left fielder Marlon Byrd ran into the gap and made a leaping catch against the 14-foot wall to prevent an extra-base hit.

Nippert held his breath while watching Betancourt’s ball in the air. But Byrd made the play.

“I was 0-for-the series, so I had to make a catch or two,” Byrd said. “The ball hung up a little bit. When it came off the bat, I thought it was going to be off the wall. … Our hitting slowed down, but we got the pitching and defense to win.”

Talk to us

More in Sports

Marysville Pilchuck’s Christian Van Natta lifts the ball in the air to celebrate a turnover during the game against Marysville Getchell on Friday, Sept. 16, 2022 in Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Prep football roundup for Friday, Sept. 29

Prep football roundup for Friday, Sept. 29: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report… Continue reading

Who’s that frog? A local high school tennis player, that’s who

Arlington tennis player Robbie Balderas worked as AquaSox mascot Webbly this season, and the busy junior also runs a landscaping business.

Mountlake Terrace’s Zaveon Jones is pulled to the ground by a diving Nicholas Mouser of Monroe on Friday, Sept. 29, 2023, at Monroe High School in Monroe, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Swarming Monroe defense keys win over Terrace in Wesco 3A South showdown

The Bearcats slow down the Hawks’ potent ground game, and quarterback Blake Springer tosses three TDs in a 35-10 victory.

Arlington players lift the Stilly Cup in the air after beating Stanwood on Friday, Sept. 29, 2023 in Stanwood, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Arlington reclaims Stilly Cup after short hiatus, routs Stanwood 42-7

Leyton Martin registers 277 yards, 4 TDs as Eagles notch fifth straight game with at least six TDs.

Fall prep sports roundup.
Prep results for Saturday, Sept. 30

Prep results for Saturday, Sept. 30: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

Marysville Pilchuck’s Dominik Kendrick (9) runs with the ball during a football game between Marysville Pilchuck and Stanwood at Marysville Pilchuck High School in Marysville, Washington on Friday, Sept. 8, 2023. Marysville Pilchuck takes the win, 36-7. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Marysville Pilchuck proud of 4-0 start, but has loftier goals

The Tomahawks aren’t listening to the outside noise, including a No. 1 WIAA RPI ranking, as a tough stretch lies ahead.

Houston Astros relief pitcher Hector Neris (50) gestures to Seattle Mariners' Julio Rodríguez (44) after striking Rodríguez out to end the sixth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)
MLB investigating Astros pitcher’s alleged use of homophobic slur

The incident occurred during a heated exchange between Houston’s Hector Neris and M’s star Julio Rodriguez on Wednesday night.

Prep roundup for Friday, Sept. 29

Prep roundup for Friday, Sept. 29: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

Stanwood players react to their coach bringing them the Stilly Cup on Sept. 30, 2022 in Arlington. The Spartans snapped a 12-game losing streak in the rivalry matchup last year. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
4 games to watch in Week 5 of the prep football season

An in-depth look at the best games the area has to offer, plus a full schedule of the local action in Week 5.

Most Read