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Archive for Saturday, September 8, 2001

Rodriguez sets record for homers by shortstop

September 8, 2001

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— Alex Rodriguez is more interested in helping the Texas Rangers develop young talent and momentum for next season than he is in records.

Rodriguez broke his own American League mark for homers by a shortstop with his career-best 43rd Friday night as the Rangers beat the Kansas City Royals 8-2.

"The records are nice, but I haven't really been thinking about them all that much," Rodriguez said. "I'm focusing on the way we're playing, the way our young guys are playing. We're playing with good energy and I'm excited about that."

With the Rangers trailing 2-0 in the first inning, Rodriguez hit a solo drive off rookie Kris Wilson (6-5) into the left-field seats for the 10th homer in his last 22 games. He set the previous mark for shortstops with Seattle in 1998 and matched it the following year.

Ernie Banks of the Chicago Cubs set the major league record for homers by a shortstop with 47 in 1958. Banks also hit 45 in 1959, 44 in 1955 and 43 in 1957.

Rodriguez said he talks to Banks "three or four times a year."

"Every night I'm chasing Mr. Banks' record," Rodriguez said. "He's a good friend of mine, but I tell him I'm chasing him. It's just an honor. He's one of the true personalities in the game. I just like messing with him. It's an honor to be mentioned with Mr. Banks, but I'm 26 and I've got a long way to go in this game."

Texas has won nine of 12 and is 43-34 since June 15. The Royals have lost four of their last five.

Kansas City took a 2-0 lead in the first off Doug Davis (9-8) on RBI doubles by Carlos Beltran and Joe Randa. Davis struck out a career-high eight and walked none in seven innings, allowing two runs and six hits.

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