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Torrealba puts Texas way up with a grand slam

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers wrapped up their 52nd and final regular-season home win of 2011 by a score of 12-5 on Sunday against the Mariners at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

A crowd of 43,508 came to send the team off to Anaheim -- and then eventually the playoffs -- helping to set a franchise record for attendance in a single season.

"It's been an incredible summer for the fans, it's probably the hottest summer of my life," Ian Kinsler said. "It's been over 100 degrees I don't know how many times, but they show up and continue to support us. That's huge for us."

They saw a Rangers playoff team playing its best baseball run over a Mariners team which has gone 23-50 over the last 73 games. The Rangers held on to their one-game lead over the Tigers for the No. 2 seed in the American League and the right to open the playoffs at home.

"They didn't let the heat, they didn't let injuries get them down," Rangers CEO and president Nolan Ryan said. "I'm really proud of them and I can honestly say I'm going into the postseason very optimistic. I think this thing is gaining momentum and I'm quite excited about it."

Those in attendance also saw Derek Holland pitch five innings of three-run ball, finishing his season with a 16-5 record and a 3.95 ERA.

"He was pretty good," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He got a first-pitch fastball up to Giminez, and today the ball was flying, and then he made a mistake to Liddi. Other than that, I thought he did extremely well."

Holland is 10-1 with a 2.77 ERA since July 7. More impressively, he has all but eliminated the disastrous outings from earlier in the season that would force the bullpen to patch together extended innings.

Holland became the second confirmed member of the Rangers' postseason rotation after the game.

"We've got to get through the season, but he certainly is in the rotation," Washington said. "Where he's going to slot, we haven't decided yet."

Holland believes that whenever he pitches, he will be ready for playoff action.

"I feel good going into it," Holland said. "I feel strong, ready to just go."

He tied C.J. Wilson for the team lead in wins, largely on the strength of four homers hit by the Rangers. Yorvit Torrealba blasted a pair, one a grand slam, for the first multihomer game in his 11-year career.

"He had a good day today. We certainly needed it, because it didn't seem like Seattle was going any place," Washington said. "When he hit that ball right there, he put the game out of reach as far as we were concerned, and we just had to work on six outs. It was a great day for [Torrealba], and all the runs he drove in today were important for what we got accomplished today."

Kinsler had a two-run home run and two stolen bases, leaving him just one steal away from the 30/30 plateau.

"I think it means more to my teammates," Kinsler said. "They're the ones telling me to steal an extra base. Honestly, I couldn't care less if I end the season at 29. It really doesn't matter to me. It's just the style of game I like to play -- I like to run, I like to try to cause things to happen on the bases."

He went for the 30th steal in the sixth inning, but he was thrown out by Chris Gimenez, his first unsuccessful steal attempt in the last 29 tries.

While the Rangers sat Elvis Andrus, Michael Young and David Murphy, they still managed to get 12 runs off the Mariners. It is the second day they rode a patchwork lineup to a win, scoring seven runs in a victory on Saturday.

After Holland was pulled after five innings, Washington gave the ball to Darren O'Day and Michael Kirkman, two relievers who figure to have a shot at the final two spots in the playoff bullpen.

"We finally got those guys an opportunity to throw the baseball, and they did a good job, they really did," Washington said. "We've got three more games and we'll see what happens."

Between the two, O'Day gave up a solo home run in his inning, and Kirkman was solid in his scoreless frame. Comments