About every five days, Felix Hernandez heads to the mound, and, every time he does, fans are hopeful for something special.
Without walking a batter, Hernandez needed only 107 pitches - 74 for strikes - to win his seventh against five losses and complete his second shutout of the season.
The Rangers' only hits were singles; one in the third, one in the fifth and one in the seventh inning. At one point, in the fourth and fifth innings, Hernandez rung up four straight swinging strikeouts against the heart of the Ranger order, getting Elvis Andrus, Josh Hamilton, Andrian Beltre and Nelson Cruz to go fishing.
Hopelessly moored in last place, the Mariners - even after the win - are still 16 1/2 games behind Texas in the Wast. The Rangers lead the Angels by five games.
After staking the Brewers to 2-0 and 4-2 leads, the Pirates roared back, getting within one run when Casey McGehee singled in a run in the sixth and then took the lead for good by tacking on a pair in the seventh.
MvGehee, who was 3-for-5 with a couple of ribbies, put on the finishing touch with a solo homer in the eighth for the 6-4 victory, evening the series at a game apiece.
The Brewers dropped back another game, remaining in fourth place in the division, eight games back. Pittsburgh and Cincy remained tied for the lead.
The series concludes this afternoon at 2:10 pm EDT in Milwaukee.