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TEX@SEA: Ackley, Fister combine to retire Moreland

SEATTLE -- Mariners manager Eric Wedge knows he's starting to sound like a broken record, but that's what happens when your offense is threatening to break the wrong kinds of records in terms of scoring and production.

The Mariners suffered their seventh straight loss on Friday, this time a 4-0 setback to the red-hot Rangers as their scoreless streak reached 26 innings.

That is the fifth-longest stretch without a run in franchise history and just three shy of the club record of 29 set in 2004.

"I don't know what I can say that I haven't said so many times before," Wedge said. "It's not like we're going out there playing bad baseball, we're just not doing anything offensively. It's time and time again. It's frustrating, it's upsetting."

Once again the pitcher on the short end of the stick was right-hander Doug Fister, who continues to be the poster boy for lack of run support. The big right-hander took his 11th loss despite another solid outing, holding the Rangers to six hits and four runs over 7 2/3 innings.

Fister came into the game with the lowest average run support in the American League this year at 2.15 runs per nine innings, which is the sixth-lowest all-time for an AL pitcher with at least 15 starts. The Mariners have totaled just nine runs in his 11 defeats, which is why he's 3-11 despite a 3.18 ERA.

"Doug Fister gave us every opportunity to win that ballgame and deserves better," Wedge said. "But we're all in this together."

Together, however, the Mariners (43-50) are sinking rapidly in the AL West. They haven't scored since the first inning of Sunday's 4-2 loss in Anaheim and have just nine runs in their last seven games and 18 in the past 11.

Contrast that with Texas, which has pummeled opposing pitchers for 86 runs in its last dozen outings and is now riding a nine-game win streak, which is why the Rangers have rocketed ahead of Seattle in the AL West standings.

Texas is 10-2 in July, the best record in the Majors this month, and has moved to 2 1/2 games ahead of the Angels and a season-high 9 1/2 up on Seattle.

After surrendering single runs in the first and second innings on Friday, Fister mowed down 15 straight batters from the third through the seventh before allowing three hits and two runs in the eighth.

That was nowhere good enough on a day the Rangers got 8 2/3 scoreless innings from Colby Lewis.

"Fister pitched a great game, but we got him by executing," Rangers manager Ron Washington said after his team scored three times on sacrifice flies. "Fister did a great job, but Colby was just a little better."

Lewis allowed just four hits -- including singles to Dustin Ackley and Adam Kennedy in the ninth -- before closer Neftali Feliz came on to get Jack Cust for the final out. The Mariners are now 0-for-27 against Feliz in his career.

"Everybody is pressing," said Cust, who went 0-for-4 to drop his average to .207. "Everybody wants to get the big hit. Everybody wants to hit the 10-run homer and it's not going to happen. You have to just stay within yourself, take baby steps until you're in the situation you want to be in. But right now, we're far away from that and we need to do something to get going collectively as a team."

The Mariners managed a single by Brendan Ryan in the third and a leadoff double by Franklin Gutierrez in the fifth. It was just the fifth extra-base hit of the season by Gutierrez, who came in with a .224 slugging percentage, but the center fielder never advanced as Lewis struck out rookies Kyle Seager and Carlos Peguero and got Ichiro Suzuki on a grounder to short.

Wedge talked before the game about his frustration with the offense and needing to see changes in players' approaches. That obviously didn't change after seeing the Major League's worst offense fall to .222 for the season.

"They need to get angry at somebody," Wedge said. "I'm not here to make friends. We're here to win ballgames and get better. I feel we've done a pretty good job of getting better over the course of the season, handling different things and moving in the direction we need to become a better team tomorrow and in the future. But I don't feel like that about our offense." Comments