Who needs Adrian Beltre? Not the Texas Rangers. At least Tuesday night.
Kevin Kouzmanoff, subbing for the former Mariners third baseman on the disabled with a leg injury, had a home run and two doubles in a 5-0 win in Arlington that didn’t need all that firepower the way Robbie Ross Jr., was pitching.
Ross, normally a reliever, handed the Mariners their third shutout in six games, going 7.2 innings and allowing five hits. A second-round Rangers draft choice in 2008, Ross had 12 appearances against Seattle as a reliever but picked up his first MLB win as a starter because of multiple injuries in the rotation — the Rangers opened the year with five starters, none of whom had been in the rotation for opening day on 2013.
The Mariners had their own emergency starter, Blake Beavan, who was called up from Tacoma to make his first start of the season, also because of injuries.
A former No. 1 pick by the Rangers (17th overall) in the 2007 draft before his 2010 trade to Seattle, Beavan made two mistakes, giving up homers to the first two batters in the second inning — Price Fielder and Kouzmanoff. It was the first homer of the season for the slow-starting Fielder.
Beavan said his shoulder never felt right.
“I’ve never felt something like this before,” he said in the clubhouse. “My arm just really felt tired. I thought it would get better when I got going. But it didn’t. I never had command, especially in the second inning.”
Manager Lloyd McClendon pulled him after four innings, giving up six hits, two runs and no walks with one strikeout. He was going to be the starter when the seven-game road trip ends Sunday in Miami, but McClendon told reporters after the game he was no longer sure about that.
“He threw OK,” he said. “He elevated a couple of balls. He didn’t have the command he needed.”
Beavan benefited from some weird defense. The Mariners picked up the first two outs of the third inning with a freak double play. With runners at first and second, shortstop Brad Miller went to his left to field the grounder of Elvis Andrus, but the ball hit off the heel of his glove straight up to his left shoulder, where it caromed directly to Robinson Cano, moving to the bag for the force out. Cano made the easy catch and relay for an implausible 6-4-3 double play.
The Mariners managed six hits but had a runner as far as second base twice. DH Corey Hart had two hits, but there was no real hint of a threat after scoring seven runs in the series opener Monday. The Rangers added three in the eighth, mostly off Tom Wilhelmsen, including a two-run double by Kouzmanoff.
Wednesday’s 5 p.m. game is a marquee event: Felix Hernandez takes the mound against Rangers ace Yu Darvish . . . Injured starter Hisashi Iwakuma threw 55 pitches in a bullpen session Tuesday afternoon without problems throwing his split-finger fastball. The next step is live hitters for the first time this spring in a simulated game Friday when the team is in Miami for an interleague series. He sprained a tendon in his right middle finger before spring training . . . Logan Morrison was held out Tuesday after asking out just before Monday’s series opener with a tight hamstring. Stefen Romero started in right field.