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Woods' strong outing helps lift Mariners over Rangers

Oct 1, 2006 - 10:32 PM SEATTLE (Ticker) -- Jake Woods finished the season in style.

Woods pitched six strong innings to lift the Seattle Mariners to a season-ending 3-2 victory over the Texas Rangers.

Woods (7-4) allowed two runs and eight hits, striking out six without a walk. The lefthander won three of his last four starts.

"Jake has thrown well out of the bullpen and as a starter for us," Mariners manager Mike Hargrove said. "Usually he is shaky for the first couple of innings and then he settles down and is fine. Today he was fine all the way through. I think Jake is certainly a candidate for the rotation next year. We'll see."

Woods rebounded from his worst start of the year Tuesday, when he allowed six runs and 11 hits in four innings against Oakland.

"I just wanted to go right after guys, not mess with them and get behind," said Woods, who posted his first victory in seven career appearances against the Rangers. "I wanted to make quality pitches and get guys out quick. This is going to make the drive home a lot easier."

J.J. Putz struck out the side in the ninth for his career-high 36th save.

Ichiro Suzuki hit his ninth homer for the Mariners and Richie Sexson added his 34th.

"I see it as one of my greatest accomplishments that I started off so slow and was able to bounce back and have the year that I did," said Sexson, who was hitting just .218 at the All-Star break but batted .322 with 18 homers and 48 RBI since.

Ichiro finished the season with 224 hits, leading the major leagues for the third time in his career. He led off the game with a home run for the fourth time this season.

Adrian Beltre had an RBI single in the third inning off Texas starter Robinson Tejeda (5-5) that gave Seattle a 3-2 lead.

Ian Kinsler hit a two-run homer in the top of the third which gave Texas a 2-2 tie.

Seattle catcher Kenji Johjima's single in the eighth inning was his 147th hit, breaking the American League record for most hits by a rookie catcher set by Bob Rodgers of the 1962 Los Angeles Angels.

The Mariners (78-84) finished last in the AL West for the third consecutive season. They were two games behind the Rangers (80-82).

Rangers shortstop Michael Young finished second to Ichiro with 21 hits, but expressed his disappointment at not playing in the postseason.

"I'm not interested in going home on October 1," Young said. "I am playing my whole career pretty much to try and win a World Series, and I want to get that done as quickly as I can."

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