SEATTLE (AP) -- Even with power numbers lower than the previous
two seasons, Michael Young of the Texas Rangers continued to
improve as a hitter this year.
Young doubled twice to set a franchise record for two-base hits
in a season, and drove in two runs in the Rangers' 6-5 victory over
the Seattle Mariners on Friday night.
Seattle's Raul Ibanez has scored a run in 12 consecutive games, matching the second-longest streak in the majors this season. Jim Thome had a 17-game streak for the White Sox in April, and Carlos Beltran scored runs in 12 straight games for the Mets in August.
Young hit his 51st double in the first inning to break Juan
Gonzalez's club record set in 1998. His more damaging hit came in
the sixth, snapping a 3-3 tie with a two-out, two-run double off
reliever Emiliano Fruto."To be in a situation where I can improve every year and set a
record with an organization that has had so many great hitters
means a lot," Young said.Young has 14 homers this year, down from a career-high 24 last
season. But he topped 100 RBI for the first time and the 52
doubles are 12 more than last season. Young is closing the season
strong, hitting . 396 over the last 12 games.Young set another franchise record Friday with his 740th plate
appearance, besting his mark of 739 in 2004."Mike just never ceases to amaze me, the things he does,"
Texas manager Buck Showalter said. "He is playing today like it's
the first day of spring training. He's got that same zest."Vicente Padilla got career-high 15th win. Padilla (15-10)
pitched 5 1/3 innings, allowing four runs and seven hits in winning
for the second time in six September starts.Padilla teased and flustered some Seattle batters with off-speed
floaters as slow as 61 mph, only to throw 94 mph fastballs on the
next pitch. He struggled with control at times walking four, but
struck out six and allowed only three hits after the first inning.
He was pulled after giving up Ichiro Suzuki's ninth triple of the
season with one out in the sixth on his season-high 118th pitch."We kind of smiled at each other when we got those runs to go
ahead," Showalter said. "I think it was indicative of the way he
has pitched for us this year."Suzuki scored on Adrian Beltre's sacrifice fly to make it 5-4,
but the Rangers added a run in the seventh on Nelson Cruz's
fielder's choice after Fruto (2-2) allowed a walk and hit a batter
to start the inning.Raul Ibanez hit his 33rd homer off Wes Littleton leading off the
ninth. Littleton got Richie Sexson to groundout, then C.J. Wilson
entered and retired the final two batters for his first save of the
season and second of his career.Beltre hit a two-run homer in the first, his 23rd. Sexson added
an RBI-double in the third for the Mariners, who will finish last
in the AL West for the third straight season.Ryan Feierabend pitched well in his second major league start
for the Mariners, throwing five innings and allowing two runs.
Feierabend walked the bases loaded in the second, but got out of
the jam without allowing any runs. Manager Mike Hargrove pulled
Feierabend before the start of the sixth with the rookie having
thrown 96 pitches."Ryan has a chance to be a really good pitcher when he gets
some experience," Hargrove said of the 21-year-old.Fruto entered and struggled, walking the first batter on four
pitches, then giving up singles to Rod Barajas and Joaquin Arias
before Young's tie-breaking double.Fruto pitched one inning, allowing four runs and three hits and
walking two."Fruto was ready to go, he just didn't throw strikes,"
Hargrove said.Cruz had a two-out RBI-single in the fourth, after Ian Kinsler
had advanced to second on a balk by Feierabend. Carlos Lee also had
a two-out RBI-single in the fifth.Fruto pitched one inning, allowing four runs and three hits and
Texas won its 41st road game, just the fifth team in
franchise history to have a winning road record. ... Padilla won 14
games in 2002 and 2003 with Philadelphia. ... Ibanez extended his
hitting streak to 12 games.