ARLINGTON, Texas – Rod Barajas homered to give Texas the American League record for most home runs in a season at home, and Josh Rupe allowed two runs over five innings to win in his major league debut as the Rangers beat the Seattle Mariners 5-3 on Friday night.
Barajas’ two-run shot in the fourth off Seattle rookie Felix Hernandez (3-4) was the 146th at home by Texas, one more than the record set last season by the Chicago White Sox.
The Rangers also tied a club record, established in 2001, with their major league-leading 246th homer.
Texas is three short of equaling the big league record for homers in a home park set by Colorado in 1996.
Seattle set the overall major league mark with 264 home runs in 1997.
Rupe, called up from Triple-A Oklahoma on Monday, allowed six hits, struck out three and walked one. He became the first Rangers pitcher to win his starting debut since Justin Duchscherer in 2001.
Francisco Cordero got three outs for his 33rd save. He struck out Richie Sexson with runners on first and third to end the game.
Hernandez went three-plus innings, the shortest of his nine major league starts. The 19-year-old Venezuelan, the Mariners’ top pitching prospect, gave up five runs and eight hits, struck out four and walked three.
Seattle’s Raul Ibanez had an RBI single in the first.
Texas came back with two runs in the bottom of the inning on run-scoring singles by Alfonso Soriano and Kevin Mench.
The Rangers went in front 5-1 with a three-run fourth that included Barajas’ 19th homer and Mark Teixeira’s RBI single.
Yuniesky Betancourt’s RBI single in the sixth pulled Seattle within 5-2. Sexson’s run-scoring double in the seventh made it 5-3.
Augie Garrido, coach of the NCAA champion Texas Longhorns, was honored before the game and sat with Rangers owner Tom Hicks. Longhorns catcher Taylor Teagarden, the Rangers’ third-round draft pick in June, took batting practice before the game. Teagarden helped the Spokane Indians win the Northwest League title. … Josh Rupe‘s win gave Texas 26 victories from rookies, the most since a club-record 45 in 1986.
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