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Originally published Saturday, April 20, 2013 at 9:42 PM

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Seattle offense struggles again in loss to Texas

Seattle's offense came up empty again against the Texas Rangers.

The Associated Press

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Seattle's offense came up empty again against the Texas Rangers.

Derek Lowe pitched four scoreless innings in relief of injured starter Nick Tepesch and the Mariners were shut out for a second straight game in their 5-0 loss to the Rangers on Saturday night.

After Texas ace Yu Darvish slowed down Seattle on Friday night, the Mariners mustered five singles and had their scoreless streak extended to 19 innings.

The Mariners have struck out 52 times in their last four games.

"We have faith in each other," Seattle third baseman Kyle Seager said. "We hit some balls hard and didn't have any luck. It's just one of those things."

Seattle put two runners on base in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings. The Mariners came up with nothing as they went 0 for 5 for the second game in a row with runners in scoring position.

The Mariners have scored only 19 runs in their last 10 games.

"We hit some balls hard tonight," Seattle manager Eric Wedge said. "We're in one of those zones right now where if you do hit it hard, it's right at them. We're going through some tough times offensively right now."

Seattle starter Brandon Maurer (1-3) gave up the homers to Pierzynski and Murphy, the only two hits the rookie allowed in 6 2-3 innings. The 22-year-old struck out two and walked three.

After rocky outings in his first two career starts, Maurer has given up four earned runs in his last 12 2-3 innings.

"I was really proud of him," Wedge said. "It's a tough ballpark, tough club and he threw a great game. He was efficient and got us deep in the ball game."

Tepesch came out of the game with two outs in the second inning after he was hit just above the right wrist by a line drive, sustaining a bruise.

Lowe (1-0) came in from the bullpen and allowed only one Seattle batter to reach when he hit Kendrys Morales with a pitch leading off the third.

The 39-year-old Lowe turned to his sinker against the aggressive Mariners lineup. He needed only 31 pitches to record 12 outs.

"To throw 31 pitches in four innings, that's not just the pitchers," Lowe said. "It takes two to tango, so to speak. I tried to throw as many sinkers down in the zone as I possibly could."

Jesus Montero's liner caromed off the Tepesch's wrist and into shallow right field.

The 24-year-old right-hander, who was bleeding just above his wrist, began immediately shaking his arm after he was struck. He threw a couple of warm-up pitches, but the Rangers opted to bring Lowe into the game.

In his third career start, Tepesch allowed two hits in 1 2-3 innings. Texas manager Ron Washington said he expects the rookie to make his next start.

"It could have been a lot worse," Tepesch said. "I'm just fortunate the results weren't too bad."

Tanner Scheppers went 1 1-3 innings and Jason Frasor pitched the ninth to preserve Texas' fourth shutout of the season.

The Rangers broke the game open with three runs in the eighth. Lance Berkman had a two-run single and Pierzynski capped the inning with an RBI single.

"We need to get that swagger back, that confidence back," Wedge said. "Each guy to a man just has to do what they do to help us get there. That's all you can do."

Texas picked up its first hit when Pierzynski homered to center off Maurer with one out in the fourth.

Seattle centerfielder Franklin Gutierrez reached out over the wall and nearly bumped gloves with the fan who caught Pierzynski's home run ball.

Wedge said that Gutierrez told him he thought he was going to make the catch, but he admitted that the play was not fan's interference.

Maurer retired the next 10 batters he faced until Murphy homered with two outs in the seventh. That chased the rookie and Charlie Furbush came on in relief.

NOTES: Justin Grimm, who is replacing the injured Matt Harrison in the rotation, will make his second start of the season for the Rangers on Sunday. He will oppose Mariners right-hander Aaron Harang (0-1). . Seager extended his hitting streak to nine games. . Texas SS Elvis Andrus is 5 for 35 in his last nine games.

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