The life of a pitcher during spring training includes a daily dose of fielding practice for moments like the one Robbie Ross encountered Thursday night at Safeco Field.

They don’t necessarily practice what to do in the event of a suicide squeeze every day, but it’s part of the lesson plan.

Ross and catcher A.J. Pierzynski executed on a squeeze attempt in the eighth inning, preventing Seattle from tying the game, and Texas Rangers pitchers danced out of trouble seemingly every inning of a 4-3 victory over the Mariners.

Joe Ortiz was the only pitcher who had it easy, working two scoreless innings in relief of starter Justin Grimm to earn his first major-league victory. Pierzynski homered off Felix Hernandez, and David Murphy and Nelson Cruz had two-out RBI hits in the fifth to snap a 2-2 tie.

Lance Berkman got in the act, too, though his key contribution won’t show up in the box score. He beat out the back end of an attempted double play in the fifth to give Murphy and Cruz a chance to deliver.

“You like to see baseball played at it’s highest level, and it came down to executing a play that helped us win the ballgame,” manager Ron Washington said of the Ross-Pierzynski gem, before then praising Berkman.

“If Berk doesn’t beat the back of that, you never know what may happen. He’s a tough competitor, man, and tonight he brought the best out of us.”

But it looked like the Mariners would get Hernandez off the hook and spoil Ortiz’s bid at his first win when they started the eighth with a bloop single by Justin Smoak and a bloop double by Jesus Montero.

Smoak scored on a grounder by Robert Andino that pushed pinch-runner Endy Chavez to third. Brendan Ryan followed, and pitching coach Mike Maddux went to the mound and cautioned Ross that a squeeze could be in play.