SEATTLE -- The first question to Rangers pitcher C.J. Wilson was if he could describe what happened in the third inning on Friday night at Safeco Field."Where do you want to start?" Wilson said. " ... It was like the Titanic. It just got to the point where there was nothing you could do." The Mariners' three-run third inning did border on the bizarre, and the Rangers weren't able to recover. Instead, Mariners starter Blake Beavan shut down their red-hot offense and Texas was shut out for only the eighth time this season in a 4-0 loss. The Rangers remain 3 1/2 games ahead of the Angels in the American League West with 11 to play. The Rangers didn't lose ground because former teammate Tommy Hunter pitched seven scoreless innings in the Orioles' 8-3 victory over the Angels. "You have to take the positive out of it," Wilson said. "We didn't gain ground, but we didn't lose ground. We're still in the driver's seat. We just need to win as many games as we can. We don't have to rely on other teams." Beavan, traded by the Rangers to the Mariners last season in the Cliff Lee deal, held Texas to four singles, did not walk a batter and struck out three. He threw 95 pitches over eight innings in cooling off a lineup that entered the game hitting .328 with 27 home runs and 102 runs scored in their first 13 games of September. Adrian Beltre was 0-for-3 and had a 19-game hitting streak come to an end. "He was good," Rangers third baseman Michael Young said. "He was getting ahead of guys and didn't walk anybody. We didn't swing the bats as well as we're capable of, but he threw a good game." This was Beavan's fifth Major League victory but first against the team that drafted him in the first round out of Irving (Texas) High School in 2007. He admitted this victory was extra special. "Oh, yeah," Beavan said. "I mean, I had people texting me today telling me don't beat up on them too bad. I was like, 'Well, I want to go out there and shut them down,' and that's what I tried to do today. I just had a different attitude out there, but calm." Wilson not only took the loss but also had his 19-inning scoreless streak come to an end when the Mariners broke through in the third inning. Wilson is 16-7 with a 2.97 ERA in 32 starts. Wilson struck out Trayvon Robinson to start the third but then walked Casper Wells on a 3-2 pitch. The Mariners' No. 9 hitter entered the game with six hits in his last 54 at-bats. "In that situation, I made a good pitch -- a swing-and-miss slider that I thought he swung at," Wilson said. "I don't know if he did or not." Wilson retired Ichiro Suzuki on a liner to left, and then strange things started to happen. Brendan Ryan hit a soft line drive just over shortstop Elvis Andrus' head for a single. Dustin Ackley then hit a slow chopper to second baseman Ian Kinsler, who rushed his throw to first. The ball sailed wide of first baseman Mitch Moreland, allowing Wells to score. "Errors happened," manager Ron Washington said. "We just couldn't shut them down after that." Ryan went to second on the play. Miguel Olivo then hit a grounder into the left-side hole that Andrus backhanded deep on the outfield grass but had no play. That put runners on the corners and Ryan then scored on a wild pitch with Olivo moving to second. Mike Carp followed with a grounder up the middle. Andrus was in position to make a routine play until the ball hit the second-base bag and bounded into left field. That allowed Ackley to score. "That's the first time that's happened to me in my career," Andrus said. "There is nothing you can do. I've seen that happen before but never to me." Wilson then hit Wily Mo Pena before striking out Kyle Seager to end the inning. That began a stretch in which Wilson retired 10 of 11 batters faced. But Wells broke that up by hitting a 3-2 slider over the left-field fence in the seventh. "He just happened to be the guy that was the nexus of evil," Wilson said. "Sometimes it's the cleanup hitter, sometimes it's the No. 9 hitter." The Rangers had only one real threat. Endy Chavez and Kinsler led off the sixth inning with singles, but Andrus, after fouling off two bunt attempts, grounded into a double play. "We were down three runs," Washington said. "I was trying to get away from what happened -- a double play -- with the meat of the order coming up. We just didn't get it done. The bottom line is execution." Beavan retired Josh Hamilton on a popout and did not allow another baserunner. He retired the side in the seventh and eighth before Brandon League took over and struck out the side in the ninth.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.