SAN DIEGO (AP) – The Texas Rangers beat Jason Marquis and then praised him.
Left-hander Matt Harrison won his fifth straight decision and David Murphy’s two-run single in the first inning held up as the Rangers beat the San Diego Padres 2-1 on Monday night for their fourth straight victory.
Marquis (1-2) took the loss despite a terrific outing. He allowed two runs and five hits in seven innings, struck out 10 and walked three. It was the first 10-strikeout game by a Padres pitcher this year. He got his 1,000th career strikeout when he fanned Ian Kinsler in the second inning.
“If you keep the ball down on this team, you can have success. I gave up two early runs and it cost me the game,” Marquis said.
“After the first inning I thought we’d have a chance to do something with him,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said. “But he settled down and made his pitches. He really settled in. I didn’t think he’d be around for the seventh inning, but he was. I tip my hat to him. Good pitching duel out there tonight.”
“After the first inning Marquis was outstanding,” Harrison said. “Striking out 10 guys, he made his pitches. It was definitely a battle to keep the game where it was because he was on top of his game after the first.”
Harrison (9-3) tied CC Sabathia and Ivan Nova of the New York Yankees for the AL lead in victories. Harrison allowed one run and six hits in six innings, struck out four and walked two.
The Rangers won with just five hits.
Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton didn’t start but played left field as a defensive replacement in the ninth inning. Hamilton was released from a hospital Saturday after becoming dehydrated because of an intestinal virus. Washington said he expects Hamilton to start Tuesday night.
Harrison escaped a bases-loaded jam in the sixth. He allowed consecutive singles opening the inning and a two-out walk before retiring pinch-hitter Yonder Alonso on a grounder. Harrison barehanded the throw from first baseman Michael Young.
Joe Nathan pitched the ninth for his 14th save in 15 chances. He allowed consecutive two-out singles before getting Chase Headley to ground out. Headley had three hits.
Murphy hit a bases-loaded single to center to bring in two runs in the first. Elvis Andrus singled with one out and Adrian Beltre and Nelson Cruz drew consecutive two-out walks.
“I didn’t execute early like I wanted to and put a couple of guys on and Murphy found a hole,” Marquis said. “I settled down after that.”
San Diego had three straight hits to open the bottom of the first, including Headley’s RBI double off the fence in center field. It might have brought in two runs but Chris Denorfia held up between second and third to see if the ball would be caught. The ball sailed over Leonys Martin’s head. By then Cameron Maybin had come all the way around second and had to slow down. Denorfia scored and Maybin stopped at third.
Carlos Quentin hit a fly to center that was too shallow to bring in Maybin, who was stranded after Jesus Guzman struck out and Everth Cabrera grounded out.
“Pitching took over from there, defense took over from there,” Washington said. “Every play that had to be made when a ball was put in play was made. I was so glad we were able to hang on.”
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