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American League Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, May 25th (All times Eastern)

Texas Rangers (31-17) at Seattle Mariners (20-28), 10:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Texas - Derek Holland (3-2, 3.30) Seattle - Felix Hernandez (5-3, 2.07)

(Sports Network) - The Texas Rangers attempt to keep pace as the American League's top team on Saturday night as they continue their three-game road series with the Seattle Mariners.

Seattle grabbed hold of an early lead on Friday night following a Kendrys Morales' RBI single in the bottom of the first, but the Rangers responded with a two-run homer from Jeff Baker in second inning and a three-run shot from Lance Berkman in the third on their way to a 9-5 victory.

All 10 Rangers to step to the plate on the night recorded at least one hit.

The run support was more than enough for Justin Grimm (4-3), who, despite allowing 10 hits, gave up just three earned runs over 6 1/3 innings of work.

Joe Nathan extinguished a fire in the ninth inning, recording one out for his 15th save.

For the Mariners, who have lost seven in a row, Joe Saunders (3-5) found himself on the wrong end of the decision after allowing eight hits and six earned runs in five innings. He was previously 9-0 in his career at Safeco Field.

Kyle Seager finished 3-for-5 in the losing effort, while Morales, Raul Ibanez, Justin Smoak and Brendan Ryan all chipped in two hits apiece.

Derek Holland gets the nod for visitors on Saturday, and the Rangers have won four straight games in which he has started. Holland is 3-2 with a 3.30 ERA on the year, although he has allowed four earned runs in each of his past two outings.

The left-hander surrendered eight hits and three walks against the Tigers on May 19, failing to make it out of the fifth inning.

Holland is 7-2 career against the Mariners and has been especially strong at Safeco Field (2-0, 0.92 ERA).

Seattle will counter with its ace Felix Hernandez. The 2010 Cy Young Award winner and three-time All Star is up to his same old tricks this season, as he sits with a 5-3 record and a 2.07 ERA while striking out 72 batters in 69 2/3 innings.

Despite his outstanding campaign, Hernandez is fresh off his roughest outing of the year, allowing eight hits and six runs (5 earned) in a May 19 loss to Cleveland.

"It was one of those days for Felix," Seattle manager Eric Wedge said. "You're going to have games like that."

Hernandez has faced Texas more than any other team during his career, but his 35 starts have yielded a sub-.500 record (12-17).

The Rangers have won six of eight versus the Mariners this year.

05/25 10:33:15 ET