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Byrd’s blast helps Rangers edge M’s

Rangers first baseman Hank Blalock prepares to tag Kenji Johjima after Johjima overran the bag. (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)
Rangers first baseman Hank Blalock prepares to tag Kenji Johjima after Johjima overran the bag. (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)
By Associated Press

ARLINGTON, Texas – Marlon Byrd’s three-run homer in the fifth inning broke a tie and sent the Texas Rangers on to a 5-4 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Friday night.

Seattle took a 2-0 lead in the first on a homer by Jose Lopez, but Taylor Teagarden had a sacrifice fly in the second and added a solo homer in the fifth to tie it.

Texas then got two-out singles from Omar Vizquel and Michael Young before Byrd ripped the first pitch from Jason Vargas (3-5) into the seats in left for his 11th homer.

Heavy rain began falling in the bottom of the seventh, and the game was delayed for 2 hours, 18 minutes.

Vicente Padilla (8-5) allowed three runs and six hits in six innings in his first appearance since July 17, his last start before he was diagnosed with swine flu.

Vizquel had three hits as the Rangers won for the 10th time in 12 games to improve to 58-43, their second-best record after 101 games in franchise history. Texas’ best mark after that many games is 60-41 in 1999, the last time the Rangers made the playoffs.

C.J. Wilson pitched the final 11/3 innings for his 12th save.

Padilla was scratched from a start Tuesday night because he was still weak from the illness, and he missed a scheduled start July 22 with flu-like symptoms.

Subsequent lab tests revealed that Padilla had H1NI influenza A.

After retiring the first two Mariners in the first, Padilla walked Russell Branyan and gave up a first-pitch homer to Lopez.

Seattle, which has lost six of its past eight and is 3-8 against Texas this season, got a sixth-inning RBI single from Ken Griffey Jr. to narrow the deficit to 5-3.

Lopez’s RBI single in the eighth off Jason Grilli got the Mariners within 5-4.

Vargas, who gave up five runs and seven hits in five innings, has lost five of his past six decisions.


The Mariners plan on activating infielder Adrian Beltre from the 15-day disabled list Tuesday. Beltre is recovering from left shoulder surgery. … Seattle lefty Erik Bedard played catch and will do the same Sunday as he rehabs from a sore left shoulder that landed him on the 15-day DL for the second time this season. Bedard will throw a bullpen session Tuesday. … Branyan was back in the lineup after missing four games with a back injury.

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