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Wednesday, Apr. 4 8:05pm ET
Pudge, Galarraga each homer in win
RECAP | BOX SCORE | GAME LOG

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) – Even an ugly victory looks good to Texas starter Darren Oliver.

Oliver, who was 2-9 last season and lost his last six decisions, threw five shutout innings in his first start of 2001 as the Rangers beat the Anaheim Angels 7-3 on Wednesday night.

While he allowed just three hits, Oliver walked five and had to get out of bases-loaded jams in each of the first two innings. The Angels stranded eight runners against him.

"You definitely have got to go out there and be able to get out of those jams," Oliver said. "I'm just trying to be aggressive, keep the ball down in the zone. I felt like I had some decent velocity, that's always a plus."

Oliver won for the first time since May 31 at Detroit. He struck out six while throwing 52 of his 93 pitches for strikes.

Anaheim had the bases loaded with one out in the first before Garret Anderson lined into a double play. The Angels had the bases loaded again with one out an inning later before Oliver struck out 1-2 hitters Darin Erstad and Benji Gil.

"Darren struggled with his command for five innings, but he made a lot of quality pitches when he had to," Texas manager Johnny Oates said. "He kept us in the game. The bottom line is he put zeros up."

Angels manager Mike Scioscia knows those lost opportunities likely cost the game.

"Anytime you have an opportunity early and let a pitcher off the hook, you can't expect to have the table set like it was," Scioscia said. "I'm sure that gave him confidence. It could have been big for us if we get a hit or two."

Andres Galarraga hit his first AL home run, and Ivan Rodriguez also homered for the Rangers.

Galarraga's three-run homer off loser Pat Rapp in the bottom of the fifth put the Rangers ahead 6-0. In 15 NL seasons before joining the Rangers as a free agent, Galarraga had 360 homers.

Rapp gave up six runs on five hits over five innings in his Angels debut, marking the fifth straight season he has started with a different team. He struck out two and walked four.

Mark Petkovsek, who played for the Angels the last two seasons, pitched 2 2-3 innings in relief of Pat Mahomes, who pitched the sixth but left after being hit on the right forearm. X-rays were negatives, and Oates said it was only a bruise.

Petkovsek was only a strike away from the save when Orlando Palmeiro hit a pinch-hit two-run homer in the ninth to end the shut out, and Tim Salmon followed with a solo shot. Jeff Zimmerman got the final out for the Rangers.

Just like in his first home game for the Rangers the day before, Alex Rodriguez was 1-for-4. He singled and scored on Ivan Rodriguez's single in the third, popped out twice to second base and struck out.

On the season, A-Rod is 4-for-12 with five strikeouts.

The Rangers scored in the first two innings after walks and sacrifice flies. In the first, Rusty Greer drew a leadoff hit and scored on Rafael Palmeiro's flyball, and an inning later Ken Caminiti walked and scored on Ruben Mateo's flyball to center.

Before Galarraga's 411-foot homer to center in the fifth, Randy Velarde hit a double and Palmeiro walked. Ivan Rodriguez's solo homer came in the seventh.

Game notes
Rapp is 3-5 in his career against Texas with an 11.13 ERA (47 earned runs in 38 innings). ... After being struck by the ball hit by Benji Molina, Mahomes scrambled to get the ball and throw to first for the second out. He then finished the inning. ... Galarraga tied Joe DiMaggio for 52nd place on the career home run list. ... Angels DH Glenallen Hill, acquired from the New York Yankees last week, is 0-for-8 with three strikeouts and has hit into two double plays. ... Wally Joyner, making his first appearance since coming back to the Angels, grounded out in the ninth as a pinch hitter. He played for the Angels from 1986-91.

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