SEATTLE — Once again, the Texas Rangers’ performance amounted to a big zero.

The Rangers did little against Felix Hernandez and were shut out for the second straight day in losing to the Seattle Mariners 5-0 Thursday.

A day after being held to one hit, Texas managed just three hits in eight innings off Hernandez. The Rangers were blanked for the fourth time on their 10-game road trip, and were shut out in back-to-back games for the first time since July 2013 at Cleveland.

“At this point of the year you don’t feel good about any loss,” Texas Manager Jeff Banister said. “We are 5-5 on this trip and we get the opportunity to go home, sleep in our own beds and get up in the morning and play in our house.

“We got to find a way to get this offense going in the right direction,” he said.

The Rangers’ lead for the second AL wild-card spot was cut to one game over idle Minnesota. Texas missed a chance to gain on AL West-leading Houston and fell 21/2 games behind the idle Astros.

Nelson Cruz hit his 40th home run after missing the previous six games because of a strained right quadriceps. He matched his career high with a two-run shot off Derek Holland (3-2) in a three-run seventh. He also hit 40 last season with Baltimore.

“The first-pitch fastball to Cruz was really the one that did us in. I felt Derek pitched a little better than the line looked,” Banister said.

Hernandez (17-8) struck out eight and walked four. He tied Houston’s Dallas Keuchel for the most victories in the AL.

Mitch Moreland, who had two hits for Texas, said Hernandez “was on his game. When he is like that it is going to be tough.”

“He had everything working for him,” he said. “He was getting ahead, keeping the balls down, throwing every pitch for strikes. His off-speed was on. One of those days it’s tough to stand in the box and battle with him when he is on like that.”

Holland worked seven innings, allowing all five runs and nine hits.

INDIANS 7, TIGERS 5: Michael Brantley homered twice, including a tiebreaking two-run drive in the eighth inning, and Cleveland won at home to gain ground in the AL wild-card race.

With the score 5-5, Francisco Lindor walked on a 3-2 pitch with two outs against Blaine Hardy (4-3), and Brantley homered into the right-field seats.

Cody Allen (2-4) pitched 12/3 innings and struck out AL hitting leader Miguel Cabrera to end the game.

With their sixth straight home win, the Indians closed within four games of Texas for the AL’s second wild card.


ROCKIES 4, PADRES 3: Nolan Arenado hit his NL-leading 38th homer and Colorado center fielder Charlie Blackmon made a leaping catch to help preserve the Rockies’ win at San Diego.

Blackmon reached above the wall to rob pinch hitter Brett Wallace of a tying home run with one out.

Carlos Gonzalez hit his 37th homer for the Rockies and Daniel Descalso hit a tiebreaking shot leading off the eighth. Corey Dickerson also connected for Colorado.

Descalso homered off Joaquin Benoit (6-5), who hadn’t pitched since Saturday because of back spasms.

Justin Miller (1-0) struck out the side in the seventh. John Axford closed for his 21st save in 26 chances.

REDS 11, CARDINALS 0: Todd Frazier and Brandon Phillips both homered and drove in three runs as last-place Cincinnati sent the NL Central-leading St. Louis Cardinals to their most-lopsided loss of the season.

The Cardinals opened their longest road trip of the season – 11 days, 10 games – with their fourth loss in five games.