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Saturday, May 25, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Rangers 9, Mariners 5

By Todd Wills

The Texas Rangers won their second straight game, beginning their three-game road series against the Seattle Mariners with a 9-5 victory on Friday night.

The Rangers used home runs from Lance Berkman and Jeff Baker to power their way to their 31st victory, maintaining a 5½-game lead over the Oakland Athletics.

Berkman ends power drought: Berkman belted his first home run since May 11 with a three-run shot in the top of the third to give the Rangers a 5-2 lead. It was Berkman's first home run as a right-handed batter this season. He has three batting left-handed. It was his 364th home run.

Home run Baker: Baker makes his playing time count. He hit his fifth home run in 48 at-bats this season with a two-run shot in the top of the second to give the Rangers a brief 2-1 lead.

Grimm finishes strong: Rookie Justin Grimm allowed single runs in each of the first three innings, then regrouped to pitch into the seventh inning and get his second consecutive win. Grimm retired seven straight at one point before Michael Morse's leadoff single in the bottom of the sixth. After giving up a one-out hit to Justin Smoak, Grimm used a curveball to get Mariners catcher Jesus Sucre to bounce into an inning-ending double play. Grimm leads all American League rookies with four wins.

Moreland rakes in 2-hole: First baseman Mitch Moreland went 2-for-5 with a double and two runs scored batting second for the first time this season. Moreland inched closer to the .300 mark. He's batting .293 for the season.

Murphy comes off bench: David Murphy, who entered the game for Baker in left field, had a two-run single to give the Rangers a 9-3 lead in the top of the seventh. It gave Murphy 20 RBIs for the season.

Cotts' string ends: Neal Cotts finally gave up a hit to a left-handed hitter in the seventh inning as Kyle Seager had a single. Left-handed batters had been 0-for-33 against Cotts in Triple-A and the big leagues.

Up next: The Rangers go for two straight wins over Seattle when left-hander Derek Holland faces Mariners right-hander Felix Hernandez at 9:10 p.m. on Fox Sports Southwest and ESPN-FM 103.3 and 1540-AM.