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Fassero Keeps Rangers Reeling

<i> From Associated Press</i>

The Texas Rangers couldn’t knock Jeff Fassero out of the game. Leg cramps finally did.

Fassero pitched 7 1/3 shutout innings in 96-degree heat, and Edgar Martinez and Alex Rodriguez each drove in three runs as Seattle extended Texas’ losing streak to a season-long six games with an 8-2 victory Friday night.

“He threw the ball well against a heck of a lineup,” Mariner Manager Lou Piniella said. “It was hot out there, he was sweating a lot, and he got a big knot in his calf.”

Fassero (7-5), who had won only one of his previous eight starts, gave up only six hits as the Mariners won their third consecutive game. Bothered because of leg cramps since the fifth, he was pulled with one out in the eighth and a runner on first when he told Piniella he couldn’t drive off his left leg anymore.

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“I lost a lot of fluids and four or five pounds out there,” Fassero said. “Then my leg started to cramp up and I couldn’t push off anymore. I didn’t want to take any chances.”

In his last two starts, Fassero said he has done a better job of mixing his pitches, resulting in two victories.

“I’ve been locating the fastball in and out and I’m not throwing any two off-speed pitches in a row the same,” Fassero said. “After I was able to establish my pitches, then I was able to get them to chase some pitches.”


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