Bradley homers, Padilla solid as Rangers top slumping M's

SEATTLE (AP) -- Vicente Padilla knew he had a challenge in his matchup against Seattle Mariners ace Erik Bedard.

But the Texas Rangers right-hander had a distinct advantage. He faced the Mariners offense, which hasn't been scoring much lately.

Padilla allowed two hits over seven innings to outpitch Bedard and Milton Bradley homered as the Rangers beat the struggling Mariners 2-0 Wednesday night.

"I know and he knows it is a low-score game," said Padilla, through an interpreter. "If he gets a run against him, it's going to be tough because I also have to do my job. Today, I had the luck on my side. They scored for me and he couldn't come back."

Padilla (5-2), who has won three straight starts, walked two and struck out a season-high eight. He has allowed just one run in his last three starts, spanning 21 2/3 innings. He lowered his overall ERA to 3.02.

The Mariners, on the other hand, have scored one run over their last 23 innings. Since the third inning Monday, the Mariners have produced one run on 10 hits in 78 at-bats for a .128 average. They have had two hits in their last 16 opportunities with runners in scoring position and averaged 2.13 runs over their last six games.

Bedard (2-2), the victim of the sputtering offense, allowed two runs on six hits in his seven innings.

"I pitched good but it doesn't really matter," Bedard said. "We need a win and that is all that counts."

The Mariners have lost seven of eight.

"It's a grind right here. We're not swinging the bats very well," Mariners manager John McLaren said. "And it seems like when we do hit the ball hard it's right at somebody. We are going through a real tough stretch right now."

Padilla had much do to with the Mariners' muted bats. He opened the game by hitting Ichiro Suzuki but he didn't allow him to advance past first. In the second, Yuniesky Betancourt had a one-out single to center but he was eliminated on a double play.

The next 12 batters were retired by Padilla until Suzuki's two-out single in the sixth. The hit raised Suzuki's average against Padilla to .571 (16 of 28). But Padilla struck out Jose Lopez to end the inning.

Padilla ran into trouble of his own making in the seventh, walking the first two batters Raul Ibanez and Adrian Beltre, on 3-2 counts. He then struck out Jeff Clement, Betancourt and Wladimir Balentien.

"His best inning was the seventh when he got in trouble," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "Then he really started hitting his spots. He had a lot of work to get out of that."

Padilla, who used his mid-90s fastball for much of the game, said once the two runners reached he couldn't mix in his breaking pitches.

"I felt a little pressure because the score was not easy," Padilla said. "I had to careful with my pitches. I had to trust my fastball."

Bedard, who allowed a couple harmless singles through three innings, yielded a one-out single to Bradley in the fourth. With two outs, Brandon Boggs hit a run-scoring triple into the left-center gap. Bradley scored easily and Boggs reached third without a throw.

"It was up and probably middle," Boggs said of the fastball. "He was probably trying to do a waste pitch, trying to get me to chase but it wasn't up high enough. I got on top of it."

Bradley hit an 0-1 pitch from Bedard into the left-field bullpen with two outs in the sixth for his fourth home run.

C.J. Wilson came on in the ninth to pick up his eighth save in nine opportunities.

The two hits were a season low for the Mariners. It's the second time they have been shutout. It's also the second shutout for the Rangers, both involving Padilla, who threw a complete game against Minnesota on April 27.

Game notes
McLaren was tossed in the second inning by home umpire Mark Wegner for arguing balls and strikes. It was his second ejection this season. He said Wegner "thought I said something I didn't say." ... Mariners 1B Richie Sexson was a late scratch from the starting lineup because of a personal/family issues. ... Rangers SS Michael Young left the game in the bottom of the first because of injury to his left hip flexor. He was replaced by Ramon Vasquez. Washington expects him back in the lineup Thursday. ... LHP Kason Gabbard, on the disabled list with a stiff back, will come off the DL Thursday to start for the Rangers. RHP Scott Feldman will start Friday against Oakland and Kevin Millwood will start Saturday. ... Rangers OF Marlon Byrd, on the DL with left knee inflammation, will begin a rehab assignment Saturday with Triple-A Oklahoma City.