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09/15/10 1:43 PM ET

First-place Rangers can dent Felix's Cy hopes

The playoffs are just around the corner and the Rangers are keeping their eyes on the postseason prize. For their part, the Mariners also have a watchful eye on their most precious possession, Felix Hernandez.

On Friday, Hernandez's bid for the American League Cy Young Award will continue when he takes the hill at home against the first-place Rangers and starter C.J. Wilson.

"[Hernandez] threw on his sixth day the last time, will throw on the sixth day this time and with Monday being an off-day, there is a chance he will throw on the sixth day again," Mariners interim manager Daren Brown said. "We are trying to take care of him. I have said it over and over -- he is important to where we are going, what we're doing and he's somebody we are going to take care of."

Don't expect the Rangers to treat Hernandez with kid gloves. The Rangers have a comfortable lead in the AL West, but they want to add to it. Texas will finish the season with 17 consecutive games against division foes.

Hernandez's streak of 17 straight quality starts was ended by the Angels in his last start when he allowed seven runs -- four earned -- in 6 1/3 innings. Despite the outing, he has allowed just five earned runs over his past seven starts, good for a 0.88 ERA.

As for Wilson, he was 4-0 with a 2.11 ERA in six starts in August, winning Player of the Month honors for the Rangers, but is 0-1 with a 10.80 ERA in two starts in September.

In his last outing, Wilson was charged with four runs on six hits in three innings.

"He was just inconsistent and didn't make any adjustments," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He was trying to stay on the outside part of the plate, and those guys got a whiff of that and laid off those pitches. He just didn't have command."

Wilson is 4-4 with a 3.09 ERA in nine road starts this season.

Rangers: Murphy joins double-digit homer club
David Murphy became the fifth Texas batter to reach double digits in home runs with his 10th home run this week. Ian Kinsler has nine home runs. The club has not had as many as six players with at least 10 home runs since 2000. ... Michael Young has been elected to the Arizona Fall League Hall of Fame, joining the Cardinals' Chris Carpenter in this year's class.

Mariners: Ichiro keeps hits coming
Ichiro Suzuki leads the Majors with 189 hits and has led the Majors in hits six times, including each of the last four seasons. If he finishes on top in the category, he will join Ty Cobb, Pete Rose, Stan Musial and Tony Gwynn as the only players during the modern era to lead Majors in hits in five or more seasons in a career. Ichiro is also the only player to lead the Majors in hits four consecutive seasons.

Worth noting
The Rangers have had sole possession of first place in the AL West for 100 consecutive days and have spent 135 total days in first, the third most in a season in club history. ... If Seattle infielder Chone Figgins, who has 39 stolen bases this season, reaches the 40-steal mark, he'll be just the eighth AL player since 1960 to have five or more seasons of 40-plus stolen bases. ... Mariners pitcher David Aardsma is one save away from becoming the fourth Mariner with consecutive 30-save seasons.

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


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