SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) — Milton Bradley's surgically repaired right knee passed a major test.
Bradley, making his first start in right field this spring, tripled and handled two chances during the first four innings of the Texas Rangers' 5-1 win over the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night.
"He looked awesome," Rangers manager Ron Washington said.
Bradley, limited to designated-hitter duty since making his Cactus League debut Friday, was replaced by Nelson Cruz in the top of the fifth.
Hank Blalock homered and drove in three runs for the Rangers, who finished 2-1 against their AL West rival.
Right-hander Miguel Batista surrendered four runs on six hits over five innings, and Adrian Beltre homered for the Mariners, who have lost four of five.
"I was healthy tonight," said Batista, who has been battling a sore back all spring. "There was no pain at all and I was able to do something I haven't done all spring training — I let the ball go tonight. Health is the big issue. I want to get that out of the way. It's the only way I can be reliable."
Bradley recorded the first out of the game when he settled under Ichiro Suzuki's high fly to straightaway right field. In the bottom of the first, Bradley followed Blalock's two-run homer with a triple off the right-field wall, barely beating the relay to the bag after a slight bobble round second.
Frank Catalanotto singled Bradley home to give Texas a 3-0 lead.
"He scared the heck out of me when he stumbled, turning that ball into a triple," Washington said. "It was him he was trying to prove it to. Where that ball was he said, 'It's a triple, not a double.'"
Beltre homered to deep left in the fourth to pull the Mariners within 3-1, but Ian Kinsler put the Rangers back in front 4-1 with an RBI double in the bottom of the inning.
Blalock added an RBI single in the seventh.
Notes:@ Before the game, the Rangers optioned RHP Eric Hurley and RHP Frank Francisco to Triple-A Oklahoma. Washington also announced RHP C.J. Wilson will be Texas' closer and IF-OF Jason Botts had made the club over outfielders Cruz, Kevin Mench and Jason Ellison. … Mariners 1B Richie Sexson, who has been nursing bursitis in his right shoulder, started Tuesday and was 0-for-2 with two walks. … The Rangers released several minor-league players Tuesday: infielders Jim Fasano, Micah Furtado and Matt Smith, left-handers Eric Cyr and Marc Major, right-hander Andy Walker and catcher Kevin Gossage. … Texas signed RHP Mark Alexander and C Caleb Moore to minor league contracts.
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press.