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BASEBALL EXTRA | ROUNDUP

Rangers Starting to Roll

May 23, 1997|From Associated Press

Juan Gonzalez homered in his first two at-bats and drove in five runs, and John Wetteland pitched a perfect ninth inning for his 11th save to lead Texas to a 10-7 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Thursday at Arlington, Texas.

"When you've got players like that, there's a confidence factor," Texas Manager Johnny Oates said about Gonzalez and Wetteland. "There's confidence knowing we have both of them on our team and the other team doesn't. They're that type of player."

Gonzalez hit a three-run homer in the first inning off Willie Adams and added a solo shot in the third, his seventh, for his 21st career multi-homer game.

Gonzalez, who sat out the first 24 games because of a torn ligament in his left thumb, added a run-scoring double in the fourth off Mike Oquist (0-1) to break a 6-6 tie.

Last year's AL MVP had been swinging at balls out of the strike zone and had only five hits in his previous six games before Thursday.

"I was more patient, waiting to swing at strikes," Gonzalez said. "Hitting with men on base, that's my job. I was just happy to get some good pitches to swing at, and I was able to stay back and get good swings. Before I was just jumping at the ball."

Despite having 40 less at-bats, Gonzalez is tied with Lee Stevens for the team lead in runs batted in with 26.

"That's his job," Oates said. "He's the MVP, he's hitting fourth in the lineup, that's the reason he is what he is. He's that type of player."

Cleveland 9, Kansas City 1--David Justice hit his 13th home run and the Indians improved to three games above .500 for the first time this season with a victory over the Royals at Cleveland.

The Indians had their biggest inning of the year, scoring eight times in the fifth. The rally included runs scoring on a bases-loaded walk, passed ball and wild pitch.

Albie Lopez (2-2) won his second consecutive start for only the second time in his career.

Boston 8, New York 2--Mike Stanley hit a three-run homer against his former team and Wil Cordero set a career high with five hits to lead the Red Sox over the Yankees at New York.

Boston had 19 hits, matching its season high set against Baltimore on April 27, and every batter had at least one hit. The Red Sox also stranded 16 runners.

Tom Gordon (3-5) won his second consecutive start following a four-game losing streak.

Gordon gave up one run and seven hits in seven innings.

David Wells (4-3) lost for only the third time in 15 career decisions at Yankee Stadium, giving up five runs and 12 hits in 5 1/3 innings.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

BESTS OF THE DAY

BATTING

Player: Juan Gonzalez

Team: Texas

Performance: 3 for 4, 5 RBIs, double, 2 home runs

Team's Result: Win

*

Player: Wil Cordero

Team: Boston

Performance: 5 for 6, run, double, 4 singles

Team's Result: Win

*

Player: Mike Stanley

Team: Boston

Performance: 1 for 2, 2 runs, 3 RBIs, home run

Team's Result: Win

*

Player: David Justice

Team: Cleveland

Performance: 2 for 3, RBI, 2 runs, home run

Team's Result: Win

PITCHING

Player: Tom Gordon

Team: Boston

Performance: 7 innings, 7 hits, 1 run, 5 strikeouts

Team's Result: Win

*

Player: Albie Lopez

Team: Cleveland

Performance: 7 innings, 4 hits, 1 run, 6 strikeouts

Team's Result: Win

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