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08/04/10 9:52 PM ET

Texas' formidable lineup faces Felix

A day after venting their frustration following another lack-luster offensive performance, the Rangers busted out for 11 runs against the Mariners.

And while Texas will face one of the game's premier pitchers Thursday in Felix Hernandez, the righty hasn't necessarily been a thorn in the Rangers' side throughout his career.

Even with Seattle's woes, Hernandez is having another stellar season, posting a 2.90 ERA and 7-8 record. But Hernandez has struggled against the Rangers more than any club in his five full season in the big leagues, going 8-11 record with a 4.16 ERA in 25 starts.

The 11 losses are the most Hernandez has endured against any other club, including one on June 8, when he was tagged for seven runs.

"He has the kind of stuff that he can get back in the count when he gets behind, but it one of those things tonight when he couldn't," Mariners catcher Rob Johnson said after the outing.

Opposing Hernandez is Tommy Hunter (8-1, 3.31), who is coming off his first loss of the season, a three-inning outing against the Angels in which he gave up eight runs. Afterward, when asked which pitches weren't working, Hunter said, "They hit all of them. They hit them all. Changeup got hit -- single up the middle. Curveball -- home run. Fastball -- home run. That's what happens with big league hitters."

Hunter will look for a return to form Thursday against the Mariners, whom he held to three runs -- two earned -- in six innings on June 10.

Rangers
With the auction of the Texas franchise being waged between a group headed by Pittsburgh attorney Chuck Greenberg and club president Nolan Ryan against the tandem of Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and Houston businessman Jim Crane, Rangers players were focused on the task at hand Wednesday at Safeco Field. "It may seem generic, but we've got a ballgame tonight," third baseman Michael Young said. "We're staying focused on that. This club has done a good job this season on staying focused on the job at hand and blocking other things out. At the same time, we're all interested in who gets the team and all the details to follow."

Mariners
Count Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu as a big fan of Mike Sweeney, whom Seattle traded to the Phillies early Wednesday. "The passion, and how much he cared about other people rather than himself," Wakamatsu said of what made Sweeney a special player. "He played reckless, regardless of his body. He loved the game and loved the fact that he wanted to give something back. He knows how fortunate he is to have the career he's had, and he genuinely cares about other people. That's a special trait." ... Reliever Shawn Kelley will pitch two innings in a rehab outing at Everett on Thursday and his comeback status will be reevaluated afterward.

Worth noting
Nelson Cruz's third-inning RBI single was Texas' first RBI hit by someone other than Vladimir Guerrero since Cruz had an RBI in the fourth inning Friday against the Angels. ... Mariners catcher Josh Bard was limited to "emergency" duty on Wednesday because of neck stiffness and could miss another game or two. ... Ichiro Suzuki's four stolen bases Wednesday tied his career high. The last time he stole four bases in a game was July 20, 2004, vs. Boston.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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