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News » Rangers-Mariners Preview 2009-05-05

Rangers-Mariners Preview 2009-05-05

Rangers-Mariners Preview 2009-05-05
The Texas Rangers were the best hitting team in baseball last season, due in large part to Josh Hamilton.

Despite Hamilton being on the disabled list, the Rangers haven't missed a beat this year.

Texas looks to keep rolling as it goes for a sweep of a two-game road series against the AL West-leading Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night.

Texas (13-12) led the majors with a .283 batting average and 901 runs in 2008, while slugging 194 homers to rank third in the AL. Hamilton played a big part, hitting .304 with a team-high 32 homers and league-best 130 RBIs.

The All-Star center fielder was hitting .242 with two home runs and 10 RBIs this season while playing through a strained left rib cage, which eventually landed him on the disabled list.

The Rangers, though, haven't slowed down, winning five of seven without Hamilton. They're batting .287 with eight homers and 36 runs in that stretch.

Hamilton played catch Monday in his first baseball activity in a week.

Michael Young, who went 2-for-4 with a homer and two RBIs in Monday's 6-5 win over Seattle, has batted .433 (13-for-30) with two homers and five RBIs in the last seven games. The second baseman has a .324 average with seven homers and 16 RBIs on the season.

The Rangers are tops in baseball with 46 home runs and tied with Boston for third in the AL with a .277 average.

The heavy hitting has helped lift Texas into second place in the division, 1 1/2 games behind the Mariners (15-11).

Seattle will look to Erik Bedard (2-1, 2.61 ERA) to silence the Rangers' bats. The left-hander is 4-2 with a 3.35 ERA in nine starts against Texas.

Bedard labored through his last start Wednesday, allowing three runs and six hits, walking three and hitting two batters in five innings as Seattle lost 6-3 at Chicago. Bedard, who didn't get the decision, went 2-1 with a 1.29 ERA in his previous three starts.

"The whole day it was a struggle to throw strikes - just trying to get through it," he told the Mariners' official Web site after throwing 38 of his 92 pitches for strikes.

The Rangers will counter with Vicente Padilla (1-2, 7.43), who's 3-0 with a 1.96 ERA in his last six starts against Seattle. The right-hander has been even better in three starts at Safeco Field, going 2-0 with a 0.48 ERA and 17 strikeouts in 18 2-3 innings.

Padilla, though, has struggled of late with an 0-2 record and 8.14 ERA in four starts since winning his season debut. He didn't get much help Thursday, allowing three runs and eight hits in six innings but suffering a 4-2 loss to Oakland.

Seattle hopes Ken Griffey Jr. can return after missing Monday's contest with a flareup of a colon condition called diverticulitis that was diagnosed in late 2006. Griffey stated that it feels like someone kicked him in the side, but it usually clears up within a couple of days.

He's batting .190 with two homers and five RBIs. Griffey hasn't faced Texas since going 5-for-13 with two homers and four RBIs with Cincinnati in three games from June 15-17, 2007.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: May 5, 2009

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