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.
Texas' lead for the second AL wild-card spot was cut to one game over the Twins, and it fell 2 ½ games behind AL West-leading Houston.
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."
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. … One of those days it's tough to stand in the box and battle with him when he is on like that."