OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) The Oakland Athletics have helped Alex
Rodriguez get his groove back.
Rodriguez homered and had six RBIs, including the go-ahead run
in the ninth inning, as the Texas Rangers beat the Athletics 9-8 on
Saturday for Oakland's sixth straight loss.
A-Rod, who signed a 10-year, $252 million contract with Texas in
the offseason, went 3-for-5 Saturday and is 4-for-7 with eight RBIs
in two games against the A's. His average has jumped from .297 to
"For some reason, I didn't have good first weeks. Part of it is
getting to know new teammates and part is we didn't finish the
spring like we wanted," he said. "Now we're in the regular season
and we're finally into a routine. I feel like I'm getting my groove
With the score tied at 8, Rodriguez singled up the middle off
Jim Mecir (0-3) to drive in Chad Curtis.
"I just tried to put the ball in play," Rodriguez said.
"(Mecir) made a good pitch and I was fortunate enough to stay
inside of it."
The A's had erased an 8-2 deficit by tying it with a three-run
eighth inning. Johnny Damon's two-run double off Mike Venafro got
Oakland within one, before Miguel Tejada's single off Jeff
Zimmerman scored Damon.
Zimmerman (1-1), who faced two batters, earned the win. Tim
Crabtree pitched the ninth for his fourth save and the Rangers
evened their record at 6-6.
The A's, last year's AL West champions, dropped to 2-9 -- their
worst start since opening at 2-10 in 1998.
"That was a little frustrating," A's manager Art Howe said.
"But I'm proud of the way the guys played.
With Texas leading 3-0, Rodriguez capped a five-run fourth
inning with his second homer of the season. The three-run homer,
his second in as many days, to left field came on a 3-0 pitch from
A's starter Barry Zito.
Doug Mirabelli hit a two-run homer earlier in the same inning,
which ended when Ivan Rodriguez struck out and was ejected by plate
umpire Laz Diaz for arguing the call.
In the bottom half of the fourth, last season's AL MVP Jason
Giambi hit his first home run, a solo shot into the left-field
bleachers. One out later, Chad Curtis misplayed Terrence Long's
single and Adam Piatt scored to narrow it to 8-2.
Texas starter Kenny Rogers allowed five runs on nine hits over 6
1-3 innings and kept his undefeated run at the Coliseum alive with
Rogers has not lost at the Coliseum in 31 games, including 30 as
a starter, since Aug. 7, 1994, when he was previously with the
Rangers. He was 15-0 while playing for the Athletics in 1998-99.
Zito, who stayed in because the A's have exhausted their
bullpen, went six innings, allowed eight runs -- seven earned -- on
eight hits. He struck out nine and walked two.
Bo Porter hit an RBI double off Zito in the second. Rodriguez
added a two-run single to left in the third.
Ramon Hernandez hit an RBI double for the A's in the sixth and
Miguel Tejada added a solo homer in the seventh. It was the
10,000th home run in franchise history, making the A's the eighth
club to reach the plateau.
Giambi also scored in the seventh on Mario Valdez's grounder to
|Alex Rodriguez strokes a ninth-inning single to score teammate Chad Curtis with the game-winning run.|
The A's recalled RHP Luis Vizcaino from Triple-A Sacramento
and optioned OF Ryan Christenson to Triple-A Sacramento. Vizcaino
relieved Zito on Saturday ... The Rangers' 13-1 victory Friday
night was their largest winning margin since beating the Angels
18-4 on June 30, 1999. ... The Rangers have not allowed an unearned
run in their first 12 games. The Rangers allowed a major
league-high 98 unearned runs in 2000. ... Scott Sheldon stole the
first base of his career in the fourth.
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NY Yankees 3
Kansas City 4
Tampa Bay 5
Chi. White Sox 4
NY Mets 0
St. Louis 4
Chicago Cubs 7
San Francisco 6
San Diego 5
Los Angeles 4