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Archive for Friday, July 14, 2006

Teixeira blasts three

Slugger keys Texas’ 15-1 romp

July 14, 2006

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— Mark Teixeira has been insisting for months that his swing is no different from a year ago, when he hit 43 homers and drove in 144 runs.

He backed up that assertion Thursday night against the Baltimore Orioles.

Teixeira hit a career-high three homers and drove in seven runs, and the Rangers hit six home runs in a 15-1 rout.

Teixeira had only nine homers and 49 RBIs before the All-Star break, leading to speculation that he had lost his power stroke. He scoffed at the suggestion earlier this season, and hammered home the point after battering the Orioles.

"Same thing I've said all year: My swing has not changed one bit. I've looked at hours and hours of video," Teixeira said. "There's a fine line between a home run and a line drive. Tonight I just kind of found that home run stroke."

Teixeira hit a sacrifice fly in the first inning, a solo homer in the sixth, a two-run shot in the eighth and a three-run drive in the ninth. The seven RBIs tied a career high.

He has 12 homers, including four in his last two games. It was his 12th career multihomer game, the first this season.

"I don't know if I'd call it a breakout performance, but it's nice to have a good game here in Baltimore," said Teixeira, who was born and raised in Maryland. "It's a big win for us. Coming off a break, we're tied for first place and we scored a lot of runs."

Texas totaled 19 hits and reached a season-high in home runs.

Brad Wilkerson hit his 14th homer and drove in four runs, and Rod Barajas also homered for the Rangers, who got at least one hit from every starter. Mark DeRosa went 4-for-4 with a home run and two walks.

But this game was all about Teixeira, who had only four homers on the road before Thursday.

"You feel really good for him. You know how much he wants it and he's been such a big contributor for us this year, defensively and with the bat," Texas manager Buck Showalter said. "But it's such a level that he's spoiled us last year, it's hard to stay there. Tonight was a big reminder of what he's capable of."

Vicente Padilla (9-5) gave up one run and four hits in seven innings to win his third straight start. The right-hander struck out three and walked three.

Athletics 5, Red Sox 4, 11 innings

Boston - Bobby Kielty's tie-breaking single drove in Jason Kendall in the 11th inning. Kielty stole second and scored on Frank Thomas' single off Julian Tavarez (1-3) to send Boston to its first home loss in 10 games since June 11. The Red Sox left at least one runner on base in 10 of the 11 innings.

Indians 6, Twins 4

Minneapolis - Casey Blake, Jhonny Peralta and Travis Hafner homered against Francisco Liriano, leading Cleveland over Minnesota. Liriano (10-2), the AL's ERA leader at 1.83 coming in, lost for the first time in seven starts, allowing one-fourth of the 12 home runs he has given up in his 117-inning career.

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