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Notes: Why wasn't today a day game?

5/5/2011

SEATTLE -- The Rangers wondered that same question, knowing that the Yankees will be checked into their team hotel in Texas before the Rangers even start a night game in Seattle.

No, this wasn't some attempt for the Mariners to make life difficult on the Rangers. Apparently, the city of Seattle will only allow the Mariners to play six afternoon games because of traffic issues downtown. So the Mariners use those dates when they have to get out of town, which makes sense.

But it means the Rangers are at a disadvantage heading into the Yankees series. The team charter will likely arrive around 5:30 a.m. (assuming tonight's game doesn't go into extra innings) and then they'll turn around and play at 7:05 p.m.

"It's the schedule," said manager Ron Washington, clearly frustrated by the situation. "We would have rather played a day game. It didn't happen."

Other notes:

* Mitch Moreland said he glanced up at the pitch count tracker at Safeco Field before his at-bat in the fifth inning and noticed Michael Pineda had thrown first-pitch strikes to all but two hitters. So he told himself that if he got anything up in the zone, he was going to "let it loose." Pineda served up a 95 mph fastball and Moreland crushed it. He knew it was out the minute he hit it, but admitted he was surprised it went as far up in the seats as it did.

* RHP Tommy Hunter will make another start, this time for Triple-A Round Rock on Monday. The club will decide what he does after that, but he could get another one before being ready to go. They are sticking with the plan to stretch him out as a starter and then determine whether he'll go to the bullpen or start.

* Darren Oliver was up and throwing late in Wednesday's game despite Washington not intending to use him. "Darren came to us and said he could go," Washington said. "He's a gamer." Of course, he wasn't needed thanks to C.J. Wilson's sterling outing.

* Speaking of Wilson, he is now 19-9 with a 3.27 ERA in his last 40 starts (253 1/3 innings). The Rangers are 29-11 in those starts, the highest winning percentage for any Major League team in one pitchers' starts (minimum 30 starts) since the beginning of last season. (Elias Sports Bureau)