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Archive for Monday, August 19, 2002

American League Roundup: A-Rod hits 5th homer in 2 games

Sizzling Ranger ties major league record in Texas’ 10-7 win over Toronto

August 19, 2002

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— Alex Rodriguez isn't going to waste time breaking down the elements of one of the best streaks in his career. He's just going to ride it out.

Rodriguez tied a major league record with his fifth home run in two games and the Texas Rangers completed a three-game sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays with a 10-7 victory Sunday night.

Rodriguez homered twice to pass Sammy Sosa for the major league lead with 44 homers. Rodriguez also went deep three times Saturday night and once Friday, all against the Blue Jays.

With six home runs over three games, Rodriguez matched the AL record set by Tony Lazzeri of the New York Yankees (1936), Gus Zernial of the Philadelphia Athletics (1951) and Manny Ramirez of the Cleveland Indians (1998).

Two other players have hit five homers over two games this season. Boston's Nomar Garciaparra did it July 22-23, and Dodgers slugger Shawn Green did it May 23-24.

"You just live in the moment," said Rodriguez, who has six homers in nine plate appearances over three games. "It's not something you sit back and analyze. You just want to prolong it as long as possible. There's a sense of clarity. Everything slows down. Your vision is better. It's really hard to describe."

With the score tied at 3, Mike Lamb drove in the go-ahead run in the second inning with a groundout. Rodriguez followed with his fifth homer over a span of seven at-bats to give the Rangers a 6-3 edge.

Rodriguez added a bases-empty shot in the seventh off Corey Thurman to give him a major league-high 110 RBIs.

"He's in a zone, but he's been in a zone for seven years so it's not a surprise," Rangers manager Jerry Narron said. "I don't think we appreciate what we're seeing. There's no shortstop who comes close to what he's doing. He's the best player in the game today."

Rafael Palmeiro followed Rodriguez in the seventh with his 34th homer of the season and 481st of his career to extend Texas' lead to 10-3.

Palmeiro becomes a fan when he's asked about Rodriguez's torrid run.

"He's as hot as anyone I've seen," Palmeiro said. "It's incredible the streak he's on. Why does it have to end? Why not keep riding it?"

Yankees 5, Mariners 2

Seattle Edgar Martinez homered, doubled twice and drove in three runs as Seattle beat Roger Clemens and New York in a matchup of AL division leaders. Joel Pineiro (13-4) outpitched Clemens (10-4), who lost for the first time after posting two victories since coming off the disabled list Aug. 6 because of right groin tightness.

Athletics 7, White Sox 4

Oakland, Calif. Terrence Long homered twice and drove in four runs to break out of a lengthy slump as Oakland completed a three-game sweep. Barry Zito (17-5) matched his career high for victories, allowing three runs on four hits in 5 2/3 innings. The A's, who have won five straight and 11 of 14, remained two games behind first-place Seattle in the AL West. Long was 3-for-4 after getting just four hits in his previous 47 at-bats. Oakland's Scott Hatteberg tied a career high with four hits.

Tigers 7, Orioles 4

Baltimore Robert Fick snapped out of a slump with three hits and two RBIs, and Detroit shook off three homers by Baltimore. Detroit had 18 hits, including three apiece by Carlos Pena and Matt Walbeck. The Tigers took two of three from Baltimore to improve to 19-46 on the road this year.

Twins 6, Red Sox 2

Minneapolis Rick Reed pitched seven strong innings, and Doug Mientkiewicz homered as Minnesota beat Boston. Mientkiewicz had three hits and two RBIs for the Twins, who won for just the fourth time in 11 games. A.J. Pierzynski also drove in two runs as Minnesota extended its lead over the Chicago White Sox to 14 1/2 games in the AL Central. The Red Sox dropped 3 1/2 games behind Anaheim in the wild-card race.

Angels 4, Indians 1

Anaheim, Calif. Kevin Appier and three relievers combined on a two-hitter as Anaheim defeated Cleveland. Ellis Burks hit a one-out single to left-center in the first off Appier and Jim Thome hit a double with one out in the ninth off closer Troy Percival for the Indians' only hits.

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