SEATTLE — Texas Rangers starter Derek Holland used a one-word expletive to describe the way his team’s defense played Tuesday night.
In the best possible way.
Holland tossed 6 2/3 innings while holding Seattle to four hits in the Rangers’ 8-0 win over the Mariners, but his performance got overshadowed by rookie Nomar Mazara’s glove and teammate Adrian Beltre’s bat.
Beltre drove in five runs, three of them coming on a third-inning homer, while Mazara stole a pair of extra-base hits with lunging catches in right field.
“It really came down to my (team’s) defense,” said Holland (1-0). “They picked me up whenever I made a mistake. And also the offense, for scoring all those runs.”
Beltre’s three-run homer gave Texas a 5-0 lead, then he added a two-run double in the seventh to put the Rangers ahead 8-0.
Texas reliever Andrew Faulkner struck out the only batter he faced, and Phil Klein threw two perfect innings to complete the four-hit shutout.
The Rangers (5-4) tagged Seattle starter Wade Miley for six runs on 10 hits over six innings.
The Mariners (2-6) lost their fifth consecutive game, all of
them at home, where they have yet to win.
“We have a lot of season ahead of us,” first-year Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “It’s a different team than the last few seasons. It’s easy for the fans to say, ‘Here we go again.’ But it’s the same team that (won two games last week) in Texas.”
Beltre went 2-for-4 with five RBIs — two more than his total through the first eight games — while Elvis Andrus, Bryan Holaday and Prince Fielder also drove in runs for the Rangers.
Texas won for the fourth time in five games. The Rangers had 12 hits Tuesday, and they have outscored Seattle 15-3 during the first two games of the three-game series.
Texas opened up the third inning with four consecutive singles on the way to a 2-0 lead. Holaday drove in the first run of the game when his single to left scored Andrus from second base. Three batters later, Fielder drove in his 10th run of the season with a bases-loaded sacrifice fly to center.
Along the way, Miley sustained a minor injury when catcher Chris Iannetta stepped on his left ankle as they both reached for a Delino DeShields bunt. Miley (0-1) limped away and got a visit from team trainers but was able to stay in the game.
The next batter, Beltre, drilled a 2-2 pitch over the left field fence to extend the lead to 5-0.
Miley got out of a fourth-inning jam when he struck out back-to-back batters to strand runners on second and third.
“Wade really battled,” Servais said. “He twisted his knee a little bit and got sore, but he stayed in.”
Mazara continued to add to his highlight reel with a first-inning single and a pair of stellar defensive plays. Mazara, playing in his third major league game, stole extra-base hits from Iannetta and Leonys Martin with a pair of nice catches. The right fielder made a diving catch near the foul line to rob Iannetta of a hit in the second inning, then he ran down Martin’s towering shot at the warning track in right-center field in the third.
It helped Holland hold an opponent scoreless for the first time since his complete-game, three-hit shutout over the Baltimore Orioles last August.
“Stellar performance by Derek tonight,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. “He seemed to be in control all night long, held the middle of their order in check. Tremendous effort by Derek.”
Seattle’s 3-4-5 hitters — Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz and Kyle Seager — went a combined 0-for-11.