Jarrod Washburn is off to a better start than his 3-2 record indicates, and one of the statistics that bears that out is this one:
Washburn ranks third in the American League in opponents batting average with runners in scoring position - holding the opposition to a .115 average.
The only starter with a lower number is Kansas City phenom Zach Greinke (.083).
He may want to employ his sinker more than usual tonight, because fly balls here are likely to get blown to Fort Worth. Flags are literally stiff in a swirling wind that, in batting practice, seemed to carry out to all fields. Go figure.
The Mariners would also benefit from a good defensive effort. They're 11-7 in errorless games, just 5-10 when they commit an error.
It's a chance to get back to .500. And we're off.
Hey - it's a lead!
Adrian Beltre led off the second inning with an opposite field home run, and the Mariners scored first for the first time since May 5.
As amazing, it lasted beyond the bottom half of the inning.
In the third: Mariners 1, Rangers 0
Mariners long ball
Two outs into the fourth inning, Kenji Johjima hit No. 2 with a runner aboard, and handed Washburn a 3-0 lead.
Yes, he appears giddy.
No, it's not necessarily enough. Not in this park, against this team, in this wind.
In the fourth: Mariners 3, Rangers 0
Here comes Texas
The last thing Washburn wanted to do with a three-run lead was walk anyone, so in the fourth inning he walks two Rangers and set himself up for trouble.
He got out of it pretty cheaply, allowing one run and getting the final two outs with the bases loaded.
After four: Mariners 3, Rangers 1
That would be gone
Ian Kinsler walked, and one out later Washburn threw an off-speed pitch that Josh Hamilton sped up - going the other way.
Estimated at 403 feet, the home run hit the scoreboard on the front of the second deck in right field and, oh yes, tied the score.
Home runs happen. So far, the walks have cost Washburn more.
After five: Mariners 3, Rangers 3
That would be gone, too
Russell Branyan did his Paul Bunyan thing to a Brandon McCarthy fastball, hitting it out to straightaway center field.
It was Branyan's eighth of the season - or five more than any other Mariner.
In the sixth: Mariners 4, Rangers 3
The Rangers come back ... again
Washburn may have been pitching on fumes, using his 110th pitch to close out the sixth inning with a man on third base.
That man, Elvis Andrus, had tripled home the tying run, but Washburn gamely held it there.
Now, he's done for the night, and unless the Mariners score quickly, he'll have nothing to do with the decision.
After six: Mariners 4, Rangers 4
The lucky 11th
A Texas error put Adrian Beltre aboard in the 11th inning, Branyan bunted him to second base and Wladimir Balentien drove a double down the right field foul line to put the Mariners ahead.
Ball game? Not so fast.
Closer Brandon Morrow gave up a single and a walk before getting an out. Hank Blalock doubled and there it was, a walk off win for Texas.
Final score: Rangers 6, Mariners 5