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Updated: Tuesday, June 14, 2005 12:31 AM EDT



  R H E  
Braves 3 6 1 WP: Young (6-3)
LP: Hudson (6-5)  
Rangers 7 11 0
Chris Young, Soriano lead Rangers past Braves

ARLINGTON, Texas (Ticker) -- Chris Young is much more than just a basketball player.

Young worked seven scoreless innings and Alfonso Soriano homered twice and knocked in four runs as the Texas Rangers coasted to a 7-3 victory over the Atlanta Braves .

A former college basketball center at Princeton, the 6-10 Young (6-3) quickly has developed into one of the Rangers' top starters in his first full season in the major leagues.

" Chris Young was outstanding again," Texas manager Buck Showalter said. "He's been preparing for this since last year - as soon as he decided not to back up (NBA center) Vlade Divac."

Young worked out of trouble in the first inning, then retired 20 of his final 21 batters. The righthander gave up just two singles, walking one and striking out seven in lowering his ERA to 2.78.

Braves outfielder Andruw Jones , who went 0-for-3 against the Rangers' starter, said Young's size was a challenge.

"It's tough because you're not used to seeing a pitcher that tall," Jones said. "It's hard to see where he's releasing his pitches."

Atlanta manager Bobby Cox agreed with Jones.

"With the angle he throws at, we couldn't do anything against him," Cox said. "He changes speeds and throws strikes. When you do that in this ballpark, you're pitching some dynamite baseball."

Young indicated he was helped by the early lead.

"The guys set the tone the way they were swinging the bats," Young said. "It made it real easy for me. I just had to go out and throw strikes."

Soriano helped make it another short night for Braves starter Tim Hudson (6-5). The star second baseman belted a three-run homer in the opening inning and added a solo shot, his 17th of the season, in the third that ended with Texas holding a 5-0 lead.

"I don't know why, but I'm hitting the ball hard," said Soriano, who has a 15-game hitting streak. "I don't have to worry about my leg (injured June 5 at Kansas City) when I hit a home run."

"He gave us a quick 3-0 lead right there," Showalter said. "With a guy like Hudson out there, you like to put something up there (on the scoreboard)."

Hudson said the Rangers took advantage of his mistakes.

"I'm not missing crazy bad," Hudson said. "But they put some good at-bats on me. He's (Soriano) swinging a pretty hot bat right now, and I gave him some pretty good cookies to hit."

Hank Blalock added a two-run homer for the Rangers, who beat the Braves for the first time in seven all-time meetings.

Hudson was roughed up for five runs and five hits in 2 2/3 innings. The righthander also walked five and threw just 38 of 76 pitches for strikes.

"He struggled from the get-go," Cox said. "He threw too many pitches in two few innings."

Five days ago, Hudson lasted just four innings against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Jones hit a two-run homer in the ninth against Francisco Cordero for Atlanta, which lost for the sixth time in eight games.

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