Texas hurler Mat Harrison ran his record to an impressive 8-3 mark shutting out the San Francisco Giants 5-0 Friday night at AT&T Park.
Harrison tossed his third career shutout, and his first since 2009.
“He had a great night,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said. “He stayed ahead of hitters all night, pounded the strike zone and the defense was outstanding. They were picking the ball up all night.”
Harrison (8-3) dominated hitters with an arsenal of off-speed pitches that seemed to have Giants hitters baffled and frustrated all night. His sinker was especially effective allowing only five singles and no walks while striking out four.
“It felt good,” Harrison said. “A lot of games I’ve run into trouble in the sixth and seventh innings, bad walks, and it’s knocked me out of the game. Tonight I was able to pitch through it.
“That’s the best stuff I’ve had this year, considering throughout the game everything felt right. My fastball was down, my sinker was moving and my changeup was really good. I can’t say enough about the job [catcher] Yorvit Torrealba did. We were on the same page all night and the defense was outstanding. It was unbelievable how great they were behind me.”
The Rangers led off their half of the first with Ian Kinsler swatting his seventh homer of the season that landed several rows over the left field wall for the early 1-0 lead before Barry Zito (5-3) found his groove striking out Josh Hamilton and inducing Michael Young into a force out to end the inning.
“Kinsler getting that leadoff home run really set the tone for us,” said Ranger outfielder Craig Gentry.
Texas added an insurance run in the top of the fourth after Nelson Cruz notched his 15th double of the year to center field, going to third on a grounder to short off the bat of Yorvit Torrealba. Craig Gentry lined a single to left scoring Cruz for the 2-0 lead.
Hamilton brought the crowd to their feet with his 22 dinger of the year on a long fly ball to the center field stands that still hasn’t landed.
The Rangers added two more runs with Kinsler singling home Gentry in the top half of the sixth knocking Zito out of the box, and Gentry again in the mix in the top of the ninth with a floater to right field scoring Young before Harrison grounded into a double play ending the scoring for the Rangers.
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