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September 27, 2010

Seattle spoils Rangers' AL West championship homecoming

ARLINGTON – On a night Texas raised flags commemorating its American League West championship, which the Rangers clinched Saturday in Oakland, a former player stole the spotlight.

 Seattle first baseman Justin Smoak reminded the Rangers Ballpark crowd of his potential Monday night when he ripped a three-run home run to left field giving the Mariners a 6-1 lead in the top of the fifth inning.

 Smoak, who was traded to Seattle from Texas as a part of the Rangers’ acquisition of pitcher Cliff Lee in July, finished the game 3-for-4 with 3 RBIs and two runs scored, as the Mariners (60-96) defeated Texas 7-5. With the loss, Texas is now 87-69 this season.

 Texas starter C. J. Wilson left the game after five innings and took the loss. Wilson (14-8) gave up six runs, all earned, on 85 pitches.

 The Mariners scored their first two runs in the second inning. Adam Moore doubled off the right-field wall to score Smoak. Moore then scored on a double from Greg Halman, who slapped a ball down the left field line and past a diving Michael Young.

 Seattle added another run in the third when Chone Figgins scored from third on a sacrifice fly off Franklin Gutierrez’s bat. Then Smoak delivered the crushing blow in the fifth with Jose Lopez and Gutierrez on base. The homer was Wilson’s first allowed in Arlington since the first inning of a game against Cleveland on July 6.

 Seattle starting pitcher David Pauley (4-8) gave up two earned runs on eight hits in six innings to record the win. The Rangers’ only runs against Pauley came when designated hitter Vladimir Guerrero hit a solo home run (29) in the third and when David Murphy singled to score Elvis Andrus in the fifth.

 Texas tried to come back to grab a win late in the game. Right fielder Nelson Cruz hit a three-run home run (22) in the bottom of the seventh off Seattle reliever Anthony Varvaro, but the Rangers stalled after that.

 Seattle added another run in the top of the eighth when Gutierrez scored on a wild pitch from Pedro Strop. Seattle's Brandon League retired all three Rangers he faced in the bottom of the ninth to pick up a save, his fifth of the year.

 Texas, which has six games left in the regular season (all at home), will play Seattle again Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m.

-- Brent Shirley

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