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Drese rising with sinker

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Rod Barajas has suddenly become a power
hitter. Ryan Drese is keeping opposing hitters off balance with his
sinker.

And the Texas Rangers are back in first place in the AL West.

Drese (4-4), who wasn't even on the major league roster to start
the season, allowed four hits over eight innings to match the
longest outing in 51 career starts, and Texas beat the Seattle
Mariners 10-2 Tuesday night.

"He's been pretty good, that goes without saying," manager
Buck Showalter said. "He kept pounding the strike zone. He's
giving himself a chance to be effective ... pretty impressive."

The Rangers won their fourth straight and are first in the AL
West at the latest point in a season since 1999 -- when they won
their last division title. Seattle had won four straight and 10 of
14, but is 9½ games back in last place.

"We all realize it," Drese said. "We understand that we're on
a roll and we want to keep it going."

Barajas homered for the third straight game, an unexpected
offensive surge for the catcher who only became the starter after
rookie catcher Gerald Laird tore a ligament in his left thumb last
month.

It was the 10th homer in 34 games for Barajas, who has started
19 of 27 games since Laird's injury. Barajas had just 11 homers in
211 games over the past five seasons with Arizona.

"Having the opportunity to perform every single day is
something I've always wished and hoped I would get," Barajas said.
"It helps when you're able to see regular pitching day-in and
day-out."

David Dellucci snapped a 1-for-35 slump with two hits, including
an RBI double that started the scoring in the Rangers' six-run
sixth.

Texas, which swept Seattle in a three-game home series in April,
went ahead to stay on Mark Teixeira's two-run single in the first
off Clint Nageotte (1-3).

Barajas homered in the second for a 3-0 lead, and also had a
sacrifice fly in the sixth. Not only is he getting consistent
at-bats, he's gotten power by using the lower half of his body.

"I've never used that before. I've always used an upper-body
swing to hit the ball," said Barajas, who has a six-game hitting
streak. "Now I'm able to use both together and be more consistent
hitting the ball. It's working in motion together and things are
going pretty well."

Nageotte had allowed just two earned runs over 11 innings in his
first two major league starts. But he had already given up
Dellucci's double when he left with no outs and the bases loaded in
the fifth.

"I put myself in a little bit of trouble, and you can't do that
here," Nageotte said. "They're in first place, and there's a
reason they're in first place."

Barajas' sacrifice fly greeted reliever J.J. Putz. Jason Conti
then singled to reload the bases before Michael Young tripled into
the right-field corner. Hank Blalock singled Young home.

Nageotte allowed seven runs on eight hits. The 23-year-old
right-hander struck out five and walked four.

Drese faced the minimum number of hitters until Ichiro Suzuki's
two-out single in the fourth. After Randy Winn led off the game
with a walk, he was erased by a double play when Teixeira snagged
Scott Spiezio's liner and stepped back on first base.

Since being recalled the second week of the season, Drese has a
3.63 ERA in 14 appearances. He has a 2.18 ERA at home, allowing
just 11 earned runs over 45 1-3 innings.

"He used all of his pitches well. He gave me some pitches to
hit and I missed them," Spiezio said. "He had a sink on the ball
... and had a little cutter he used effectively."

Pat Borders led off Seattle's sixth with a double and scored on
Spiezio's groundout. John Olerud hit his fourth homer in the
seventh.

Game notes
Dellucci grounded into a double play to end the first and
stretch his hitless streak to 14 at-bats. He then had a
fourth-inning single before his double. ... Texas has homered in 13
straight games, the longest active streak in the majors, and the
Rangers' longest since their major league-record 27 in a row in
2002. ... Seattle has a winning record in just two AL cities:
100-91 in Arlington and 20-10 in St. Petersburg, Fla., against the
Devil Rays. ... Doug Brocail pitched the ninth for Texas.