Series: Game 1 of 3

Texas leads 1-0 (as of 4/11)

Game 1: Friday, April 11
Game 2: Saturday, April 12
Game 3: Sunday, April 13
in 13

Rangers 4

(4-6, 2-2 away)

Mariners 2

(4-6, 1-3 home)

    10:05 PM ET, April 11, 2003

    Safeco Field, Seattle, Washington 

    123456789 R H E
    TEX 000220000 4 8 0
    SEA 000101000 2 5 0

    W: C. Park (1-2)

    L: F. Garcia (1-2)

    S: U. Urbina (4)

    Palmeiro passes Gehrig with his 494th homer

    SEATTLE (AP) -- Rafael Palmeiro's magic number is six.

    Rafael Palmeiro

    Palmeiro hit his 494th homer, passing Lou Gehrig for 19th place on the career list, and the Texas Rangers overcame Chan Ho Park's wildness to beat the Seattle Mariners 4-2 Friday night.

    After the game, the 38-year-old slugger was asked if passing Gehrig put his chase to join baseball's 500-homer club in perspective.

    ''I guess it does, but right now it's still blurry,'' Palmeiro said. ''I'm not really too worried about that right now. It's nice and all, but I just want to keep doing what I'm doing and not worry about the numbers.''

    He hit a two-run shot in the fifth inning, leaving him six home runs shy of becoming the second player to reach the 500-mark this season. The Chicago Cubs' Sammy Sosa did it April 4.

    Palmeiro hit his fourth homer of the season and his 11th at Safeco Field -- the most for any visiting player -- off Freddy Garcia (1-2) after Alex Rodriguez walked. It was Palmeiro's 41st career homer against the Mariners.

    Palmeiro didn't have any explanation for his success at Safeco.

    ''It is a big park,'' he said. ''It's a good pitcher's park. It's a good place to pitch. That's the way the game is, man. I don't try to look into it too much or explain it.''

    Rodriguez, who at 27 became the youngest player to hit 300 homers April 2, reached out and shook Palmeiro's hand as he walked through the locker room with a large ice bag attached to his right knee.

    ''He's better than ever,'' Rodriguez said, shaking his head. ''He keeps right on going. Raffy's amazing. He works so hard in the offseason. He takes a lot of pride, he plays hurt. He might hit 600.''

    Park (1-2), who lasted only 5 2/3 innings and gave up 10 earned runs in his first two starts against Anaheim and Seattle, pitched five innings and stranded 10 Mariners. He gave up just one run on three hits, seven walks, a hit batsman and a balk, striking out five.

    Ugueth Urbina worked the ninth for his fourth save in as many tries. The Mariners drew a season-high 11 walks, but stranded a season-high 14 runners.

    Texas manager Buck Showalter said Park would remain in the rotation for now.

    ''This is hopefully something that Chan Ho and we can build on,'' he said. ''He got some breaks, but certainly he deserved them as hard as he worked tonight.''

    Chad Kreuter, who caught Park when he won 18 games with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2000, was behind the plate Friday night.

    ''I'm thrilled that he went five,'' Kreuter said. ''I would have liked to have seen him go six or seven. But all the damage that he avoided, he made great pitches and got out some big hitters in the middle of that lineup.''

    The Rangers took a 2-0 lead in the fourth on four hits and a wild pitch from Garcia.

    Rodriguez opened with an infield single and Palmeiro singled him to third. On a 1-1 pitch to Juan Gonzalez, Garcia threw a wild pitch to score Rodriguez and send Palmeiro to second.

    Garcia struck out Gonzalez and got Ruben Sierra to ground out, moving Palmeiro to third. He scored on Carl Everett's infield single.

    In the fourth, the Mariners ended a drought of 15 consecutive scoreless innings. Park walked Randy Winn to lead off the inning and balked him to second. John Olerud singled in Winn to end Seattle's 0-for-19 string with runners in scoring position.

    The Mariners got their second run on Winn's sacrifice fly in the sixth after a double by Dan Wilson and a single by Ichiro Suzuki.

    Garcia, Seattle's opening day starter, went five innings and gave up four runs on seven hits.

    The Mariners have a total of three runs and 18 hits in their past three games, all defeats.

    ''You are going to go through periods like this,'' manager Bob Melvin said. ''It gets frustrating. You just to have to swing your way out of it.''

    Mike Cameron expected the Mariners to lack power this season.

    ''We are not a team that will hit three or four home runs a game,'' he said. ''So we have to have quality at-bats and put the ball in play.''

    Game notes

    Rodriguez, who left Seattle as a free agent after the 2000 season to sign his $252 million contract with Texas, was booed each time he came to the plate. But the boos were mixed with some applause, and there were no signs and no fake money was thrown from Safeco Field's upper decks, which happened during Rodriguez's first two seasons in Texas when he returned to Seattle. ... Park lowered his ERA from 15.88 to 8.44. ... The Texas bullpen has allowed one run in its last 9 1/3 innings.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press