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News » Mariners-Rangers Preview 2008-07-30

Mariners-Rangers Preview 2008-07-30

Mariners-Rangers Preview 2008-07-30
Texas Rangers infielder Ramon Vazquez had more than his share of miscues in the field in his last game. Like so many of his other meetings with the Seattle Mariners, however, his bat did much more damage.

After overcoming three errors and delivering the game-winning hit in a wild victory, Vazquez looks to continue his hot hitting against Seattle as the Rangers and Mariners continue a four-game series Wednesday night.

Starting in place of the injured Hank Blalock, Vazquez committed three errors at third base Tuesday night, including one that gave Seattle a 10-9 lead in the top of the ninth inning. In the bottom half, though, Vazquez hit a two-run double to right-center field and the Rangers (55-52) salvaged an 11-10 win.

"It's awesome. I was glad to do something to end the game," said Vazquez, who finished 4-for-5 with four RBIs. "It would have been a tough one leaving this game if we would have lost."

Vazquez, who broke into the majors with the Mariners in 2001, is 15-for-29 (.517) with one homer and eight RBIs in nine games against them this season, and the Rangers are 7-2 in those contests. Texas is winless in three games against Seattle (40-66) when Vazquez doesn't play.

Vazquez's big night Tuesday was just a portion of the Rangers' high-powered offense. The club got 18 hits for its seventh straight double-digit hit total, including 12 from the bottom four hitters in the order, who combined for nine RBIs and six runs scored.

"Oh my gosh," No. 6 hitter Marlon Byrd told the team's official Web site. "This team has been doing it all year long. We would have loved to have shut it down in the ninth, but to come back like that and get the win, it's a high you try to roll on for awhile."

Tuesday's wild finish overshadowed a major milestone for Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki, who recorded his 3,000th professional hit with a single in the first inning. Suzuki has 1,723 hits in 1,224 games during his eight seasons with the Mariners and had 1,278 hits over 951 games in nine seasons with the Orix Blue Wave of Japan's Pacific League.

"I'm glad that's behind him," Mariners manager Jim Riggleman told the team's official Web site after his club lost for the 14th time in 19 games since July 6. "It's a great accomplishment, and I'm looking forward to his 2,000th hit (in the majors). Hopefully, they will come in wins, not what we've been coming through lately."

Suzuki is 17-for-31 (.548) lifetime against Texas starter Vicente Padilla (12-5, 4.56 ERA), who's looking to win his third straight start since the All-Star break. Padilla gave up five runs in six innings against Oakland on Friday, but got six runs of support in the 14-6 victory.

The right-hander is 3-5 with a 4.98 ERA in 12 career games against the Mariners, including 1-0 with a 2.00 ERA in three 2008 starts against them - all Rangers wins.

Miguel Batista (4-11, 6.67) will start for the Mariners in search of his first win since he pitched two scoreless innings of relief to get the decision in Seattle's 3-2 victory over Detroit on July 5.

The right-hander is 0-1 with an 8.74 ERA in five games - three starts - since then. He gave up two runs in 5 1-3 innings of Seattle's 5-4, 10-inning loss to Toronto on Friday.

Batista is 4-4 with a 5.12 ERA in 13 career games against Texas, including 0-2 with a 7.64 ERA at Rangers Ballpark.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: July 30, 2008

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