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03/26/08 1:00 AM ET

Blalock catches fire against Mariners

Rangers third baseman goes 4-for-4 with homer, three RBIs

at Surprise, Ariz.
Tuesday, March 25

Rangers at the plate: Hank Blalock put on a terrific display of power in batting practice, then he followed it up with a big night at the plate. He hit a two-run home run in the first inning and finished 4-for-4 with three RBIs. Milton Bradley followed Blalock's home run with a drive into the right-center gap and legged out a triple. He scored on a single by Frank Catalanotto.

Mariners at the plate: Adrian Beltre hit his second home run of the spring in the fourth inning. It was only the Mariners' second home run in their last seven games and their 17th this spring. Beltre walked in his next two plate appearances and singled in the eighth. Yuniesky Betancourt was 1-for-3 with a double.

Rangers on the mound: Kazuo Fukumori, getting a rare start, led a parade of relievers by pitching two scoreless innings. In an anticipated first-inning matchup, Fukumori retired Ichiro Suzuki on a fly ball to right field. Fukumori started because Kevin Millwood did his work on Tuesday in a Minor League game, throwing 82 pitches over six innings.

Mariners on the mound: Miguel Batista allowed four runs in five innings. He gave up three in the first but came back with four strong innings after that. He walked three and struck out three and now has a 5.32 ERA in five starts. Arthur Rhodes struck out two in a scoreless inning of work and has not been scored upon in four appearances.

Cactus League records: Mariners 10-15; Rangers 15-10.

Up next for the Mariners: Left-hander Erik Bedard makes his final Opening Day tuneup at 1:05 p.m. PT on Wednesday against the Royals in Surprise. Bedard has had a rough go of it in his first Arizona Spring Training, but neither he nor manager John McLaren or pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre seem alarmed at the 9.50 ERA Bedard currently lugs around with him. Right-handed reliever Sean Green and Rhodes also are slated to pitch, and this could be Rhodes' last opportunity to earn a spot on the Opening Day roster.

Up next for the Rangers: Right-hander Vicente Padilla makes his last start of Spring Training when the Rangers play the Padres at 3:05 p.m. CT on Wednesday in Peoria, Ariz. Reigning Cy Young Award winner Jake Peavy pitches for the Friars. Padilla has not given up an earned run in a Cactus League game and opponents are hitting .200 off him.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.