Padilla takes stage vs. Mariners

Padilla takes stage vs. Mariners

Vicente Padilla may not be the Rangers' No. 1 starter, but he is getting the most visibility lately.

Padilla started the week by pitching against the Boston Red Sox on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball telecast at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Now he takes the mound on Saturday against the Seattle Mariners on the Fox Game of the Week.

Actually, it's one of the backup games that will be shown regionally, and the Rangers really aren't worried about who is watching it. They'd just like to see Padilla build on his strong outing from Sunday night, when he held the Red Sox to three runs on four hits in seven innings.

It was a far better performance than his first start against the Los Angeles Angels, when he allowed six runs on nine hits in 4 2/3 innings.

"He had better command," pitching coach Mark Connor said. "He started using his curveball and getting it over the plate, and he was throwing his changeup. He was pitching the way we saw him pitch last year."

Pitching matchup
TEX: RHP Vicente Padilla (0-2, 6.94 ERA)
Padilla was 1-0 with a 3.65 ERA in two starts against the Mariners last year and is 1-3 with a 5.74 ERA against them in his career. He still needs to handle left-handed hitters. They are hitting .350 off him in his first two starts, while right-handers are hitting .250. Last year, left-handed hitters batted .305 and right-handed hitters batted .228.

SEA: RHP Miguel Batista (0-1, 15.43 ERA)
Batista gave up eight runs in 4 2/3 innings in a 9-0 loss to the A's on April 4, his first start for the Mariners since signing with them as a free agent in the offseason. He is 1-3 with a 5.20 ERA in seven games (four starts) against the Rangers. This will be his first appearance against him since July 30, 2005, and his first start since Sept. 10, 2004, when he was with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Player to watch
Catcher Gerald Laird is pretty good during the day. His .306 batting average during day games is the highest on the club. He also has a .493 slugging percentage during the day.

On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• KDFW/Ch. 4

On radio
• 1080 KRLD AM, 1270 KFLC AM (Español)

Up next
• Sunday: Texas (Brandon McCarthy, 1-1, 3.75) at Seattle (Horacio Ramirez, 0-0, -. -- ), 3:05 p.m. CT
• Monday: Off-day
• Tuesday: Texas (Robinson Tejeda, 1-1, 4.50) at Chicago (Jon Garland, 0-0, 3.65), 7:11 p.m. CT

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.