SEATTLE -- His friends had been texting him to not beat up too bad on the hometown team.
Blake Beavan didn't listen to them.
Going against the Rangers, the same squad that drafted him in 2007 and traded him to Seattle in 2010, the Texas native was stone cold in eight innings of shutout ball. Beavan's best outing so far this season helped the Mariners defeat the American League West-leading Rangers, 4-0, in front of 17,607 at Safeco Field.
'Well, I wanted to go out there and shut them down, and that's what I tried to do today," the rookie said. "I just had a different attitude out there, but calm."
The 22-year-old sure didn't look his age against one of the more potent lineups in the league. Beavan used a new and improved curveball to keep the Texas hitters off-balance all night and quickly put away batters when he was ahead in the count.
"You're talking about a 75 mph pitch compared to a 90, 93 mph pitch," Beavan said of his curveball. "When you're looking at a big difference like that and you can command both pitches, it's going to be a little tough for a guy to hit."
The 6-foot-7 Beavan, who also incorporated more changeups on Friday, had finished a 1-2-3 eighth inning at just 95 pitches, but manager Eric Wedge decided to go with closer Brandon League in the ninth. League ended up striking out Ian Kinsler, Elvis Andrus and Josh Hamilton to secure the victory in a non-save situation.
"This type of ballgame, with the top of the lineup coming around again, I felt like that was enough," Wedge said. "If we would have tacked on more runs in the eighth, I probably would have sent him back out."
Still, it didn't take way from a promising start from Beavan, who has 10 quality starts since his Major League debut on July 3. He also is the first Mariners rookie to throw at least eight shutout innings since Felix Hernandez did it in 2005.
"When you can throw [the curveball] and have the confidence to throw it, whether you're ahead or behind in the count and depending on what you're looking to do with that pitch, it says a great deal about a starting pitcher," Wedge said of his rookie righty. "With the way he commands his fastball and the way he leverages the baseball with his height, it accompanies him very well."
Offensively, the Mariners must have received some good mojo from the late Dave Niehaus, who had his statue in right-center field unveiled earlier on Friday. Seattle picked up three odd runs in the third inning, none of which were earned by Texas starter C.J. Wilson.
The scoring began after Kinsler threw wide of first baseman Mitch Moreland on a Dustin Ackley ground ball. Had he made the routine play, it would have been the third out.
Instead, Casper Wells raced around from second base to give Seattle the early 1-0 lead. The oddities didn't stop there, as Wilson fired a wild pitch minutes later past catcher Yorvit Torrealba to allow Brendan Ryan to score from third.
"Whenever you catch a break -- and you're going to have breaks in ballgames -- you just need to take advantage of it, and that's what we did," Wedge said.
With Seattle up, 2-0, things got even weirder. After Wilson gave up a Miguel Olivo single, Mike Carp came up and knocked a routine grounder up the middle that shortstop Elvis Andrus was closing on.
But the ball took a perfect -- or imperfect, for Texas -- bounce off second base, making a play at first impossible. Ackley, who reached on the Kinsler error, scored from third.
"Where do you want to start?" said Wilson, who had his scoreless-innings streak snapped at 19. " ... It was like the Titanic. It just got to the point where there was nothing you could do."
Wells added insurance in the seventh inning with a 389-foot shot to left for his first home run since Aug. 21. The rookie entered Friday on a 2-for-43 slump.
"I felt like had some good at-bats up there," said Wells, who finished 1-for-2 with a walk and two runs scored. "I made him throw a lot of pitches."
Wilson gave up just one earned run, on the Wells homer, but had his three-game winning streak snapped and fell to 16-7. The Texas ace, who threw 116 pitches in 6 1/3 innings, had received five runs of support in each of his last two wins, but Beavan shut down the Rangers this time.
Taylor Soper is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.