Ian Kinsler freely admits that his time as the Texas Rangers’ all-time leader in stolen bases will be brief.

Elvis Andrus is stalking him in second place nine back and will likely push past Kinsler early next season if current running trends continue.

But Kinsler showed Tuesday night that he is still a threat to take a base stealing third in a critical situation and putting himself in position to score the go-ahead run in a variety of different ways.

Like a two-out balk.

Kinsler came home with the decisive run in the 10th inning on a balk against Danny Farquhar just when it looked like a threat would fizzle and the Rangers eked out a 4-3 victory over the Seattle Mariners.

The win allowed the Rangers to maintain their 2 ½-game lead in the American League West over Oakland which won a rain-shortened game at Detroit. The Rangers will go for a three-game sweep today at Safeco Field.

“That was huge” manager Ron Washington said of Kinsler’s steal. “He’s a smart base runner and he saw an opportunity there and took advantage of it. He got third base and ended up being the winning run.”

The Rangers improved to 11-7 this season against the Mariners but needed some help in the ninth from Tanner Scheppers and from plate ump C.B. Bucknor after they thought he initially had cost them to start the 10th.

Andrus appeared to have reached to open the inning on an infield hit as the throw to first by Farquhar hit him. But Bucknor ruled Andrus interfered with the throw even though replays showed his foot to be on the base line.

Washington said that the rules states both of the runners feet have to be inside the running lane.

“Nobody runs in that box but you can’t obstruct the pitcher’s view” Washington said.

But Kinsler and Adrian Beltre followed with singles and Kinsler stole third easily as Farquhar didn’t hold him closely and used a high leg kick to deliver his second pitch to A.J. Pierzynski.

There was some rumbling from Farquhar that Kinsler might have stolen a sign that a breaking pitch was coming making it easier for him to take the base.

“It didn’t matter whether it was a fastball or a curveball. I was stealing that base” Kinsler said. “I got to second and at least wanted to see a pitch and see what he would give. He gave me a high leg kick and I anticipated it on the second pitch and was able to take it.”