ARLINGTON (AP) – Craig Gentry hit a two-out RBI single in the eighth inning and Matt Harrison combined with two relievers on a six-hitter as the Texas Rangers beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 1-0 on Wednesday night.
Mike Napoli drew a leadoff walk in the eighth off rookie left-hander Wade Miley (7-3) before a sacrifice bunt by Yorvit Torrealba. After pinch-hitter Nelson Cruz struck out, Gentry, the No. 9 batter hitting .340, hit a hard one-hopper over the glove of third baseman Ryan Roberts into left field.
Mike Adams (1-2) retired the only two batters he faced after replacing Harrison, who has pitched 16 1-3 consecutive scoreless innings. Joe Nathan worked a perfect ninth for his 13th save in 14 chances.
Miley had allowed only two base runners, on two singles, before opening the eighth with his only walk. He finished with a career-high eight strikeouts.
After David Hernandez replaced Miley, Roberts made an impressive stop and threw out Ian Kinsler for the third out.
Texas has won seven straight against the Diamondbacks, who were shut out for only the second time this season. The Rangers have won 28 of their last 40 games against National League opponents.
The game was played in 2 hours, 12 minutes, not including a 29-minute rain delay after the fourth inning.
It was the 11th 1-0 game in the history of Rangers Ballpark, which opened in 1994. It was the second this season — the Rangers beat Seattle 1-0 on April 10.
Harrison, coming off a five-hit shutout in his previous start Friday night at San Francisco, pitched into the eighth against the Diamondbacks.
Adams took over after Willie Bloomquist hit a ball just inside first base for a double. The reliever pumped his fist — as did manager Ron Washington and catcher Torrealba — when Justin Upton, already with two hits, struck out to end the inning.
The 95-pitch effort by Harrison came a night after Colby Lewis threw a four-hitter for Texas in a 9-1 complete game in the series opener.
Harrison struck out three and walked two while allowing six hits. He was going for his AL-best ninth victory, but didn’t get a decision.
Harrison benefited from two double plays before the rain delay.
After Miguel Montero drew a leadoff walk in the third, he was doubled up on Roberts’ liner to shortstop. Gerardo Parra followed with the Diamondbacks’ first hit, an infield single on a ball that shortstop Elvis Andrus fielded deep in the hole going away from first base.
Upton grounded a one-out single up the middle in the fourth before Paul Goldschmidt’s double-play grounder.
Texas didn’t get its first base runner until the third, when Brandon Synder singled to left. After he moved to second on Gentry’s sacrifice bunt, leadoff hitter Kinsler flied out.
A light rain started falling after the first inning, with dark clouds and some lightning to the north and west.
Home plate umpire Jeff Kellogg got a weather update from head groundskeeper Dennis Klein in the middle of the third, and they checked the mound. Harrison asked for a new rosin bag before the fourth inning when the rain was still falling despite pockets of blue visible through the dark clouds.
When Harrison went back out to the mound for the fifth, Kellogg was getting another weather update from Klein and spoke with Harrison.
Members of the grounds crew came out to rake in drying dust on the mound and home plate area. But while that work was being done, the rain got harder and the field was covered with the tarp — though the rain had pretty much stopped by time it was in place.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)