Though the Texas Rangers are out of the playoff picture, their offense hasn’t slowed down.
The Rangers look to stay hot at the plate when they continue their three-game series with the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday at Ameriquest Field.
The Rangers (77-74) won their third straight game on Monday, beating the Mariners 8-1 in the series opener. Texas, which is 10 games behind first-place Oakland in the AL West, has outscored its opponents 28-8 during its winning streak.
Michael Young, Carlos Lee and Hank Blalock each doubled, extending the Rangers’ team record for doubles to 340 with 11 games left. The major league record of 373 doubles is shared by the 1930 St. Louis Cardinals and the 1997 and 2004 Boston Red Sox.
Young, last season’s AL batting champion, went 2-for-4 and ended the night with a major league-best 205 hits—two more than Seattle’s Ichiro Suzuki, who went 0-for-4. Young also matched Rafael Palmeiro (1991) for second on Texas’ all-time list with 49 doubles this season. Juan Gonzalez hit 50 in 1998.
Young and Gary Matthews Jr., who went 3-for-5, each had more than one hit for the third straight game. Young is batting 29-for-72 (.403) with 10 multihit games in September, while Matthews is three runs shy of becoming Texas’ second leadoff hitter with 100 runs scored, joining Oddibe McDowell, who had 101 in 1986.
Yuniesky Betancourt drove in the lone run for the Mariners (71-79), who have dropped six of nine.
Jarrod Washburn (8-14, 4.58 ERA) will look to get Seattle back on track on Tuesday. He allowed six runs and a season-high 10 hits in 4 1-3 innings of Thursday’s 10-8 loss at Kansas City—the second time in three starts he has given up six runs.
“(Washburn’s) velocity was good,” manager Mike Hargrove said Thursday. “But everything was belt high and right down the middle. We kept waiting for him to get the ball down, but obviously, it wasn’t going to happen tonight.”
Washburn is 7-6 with a 3.98 ERA in 22 career appearances, including 20 starts, against the Rangers. The left-hander is 2-4 with a 6.05 ERA in 11 career appearances, including 10 starts, at Ameriquest.
Texas will counter with rookie Edinson Volquez (1-5, 6.15), who lost his fourth straight start on Thursday, allowing two runs in five innings of a 2-1 loss to the Los Angeles Angels. He has allowed three or fewer runs three times during his current losing streak.
Thursday’s start—the first of his career in which he did not walk a batter — was the first in 12 days for Volquez, who was working with pitching coach Mark Connor.
“We just wanted to get him in the strike zone and stay in there,” manager Buck Showalter said. “You could tell what some of things he and Mark were working on. He had good command of his fastball and against an aggressive club was down in the strike zone.”
Volquez is 1-0 with a 1.17 ERA in two career appearances, including one start, against the Mariners. The start came on Aug. 12, when the 23-year-old right-hander threw seven scoreless innings in a 5-4 win—still the only victory of his career.
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