(SportsNetwork.com) - After a dramatic finish to open a three-game weekend set, the Texas Rangers will try for a series win when they take on the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on Saturday night.
The teams played scoreless baseball until the top of the ninth inning when Elvis Andrus got aboard on a one-out single, stole a pair of bases and scored on an Adrian Beltre groundout, which was enough to lift the Rangers to a 1-0 victory.
The Texas pitching staff combined to toss a two-hit shutout. Nick Tepesch started and allowed just four baserunners over 6 1/3 innings, Shawn Tolleson (2-1) earned the win after pitching a perfect eighth and Joakim Soria finished it off in the ninth for his 14th save.
Felix Hernandez (8-2) was nothing short of outstanding in the hard-luck loss, yielding just the one run over 8 1/3 innings of work while striking out six. Hernandez had tossed 19 consecutive scoreless innings prior to allowing the game-winning run.
Mike Zunino was responsible for both of the Mariners' hits.
Joe Saunders will make his fifth start of the season for the Rangers on Saturday as he tries again for his first win with his new team.
Saunders, who missed six weeks with an ankle injury earlier in the season, danced around trouble his last start on June 8 by allowing just two earned runs over 5 1/3 innings despite yielding seven hits and four walks, although he was still saddled with the loss to the Indians.
Saunders pitched for the Mariners last season and is a career 8-1 with a 3.52 ERA against his former team.
Toeing the rubber for the Mariners will be Erasmo Ramirez, who has lost four straight decisions since winning his first start of the season and now sits with a 1-4 record and a 5.97 ERA.
Ramirez put himself in plenty of trouble his last time out on June 9, allowing four hits while walking five over 4 2/3 innings, but he escaped allowing no runs as the Mariners went on to defeat Tampa Bay, 3-0.
The 24-year-old had his shortest outing of the season against the Rangers on April 17, lasting just two innings while surrendering six hits and five earned runs.
The Rangers have won six of the last nine showdowns with their AL West foes.