Smoak, Vargas lead Seattle past Texas 3-1

SEATTLE (AP) - Justin Smoak hit his fifth homer, Jason Vargas pitched shutout ball into the eighth inning and the Seattle Mariners beat the Texas Rangers 3-1 on Thursday night.

Seattle won for the seventh time in nine games, taking two of three from the Rangers to move within two games of .500 after starting the season 8-15.

Smoak is a big reason the Mariners are playing so well. The young first baseman was the centerpiece of the trade that sent Cliff Lee to Texas last July, and has been on a tear since returning from bereavement leave following the death of his father.

He homered off Colby Lewis (2-4) in the second and finished with three hits.

Vargas (2-2) allowed one run and six hits in 7 2-3 innings.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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