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Rangers Finally Win Back to Back

June 15, 1997|From Associated Press

ARLINGTON, Tex. — Dean Palmer had four runs batted in and Rusty Greer kept up his torrid hitting as the Texas Rangers won consecutive games for the first time in more than a month, defeating the San Diego Padres, 8-6, Saturday night.

Texas took a 5-0 lead in the first inning on a bases-loaded, double-play grounder by Gonzalez, a three-run homer by Palmer and a solo shot by Mike Simms three pitches later. It was Palmer's sixth homer, his first since May 11, and Simms' fourth.

The Padres scored runs in the third and fourth, but the Rangers answered each time. Steve Finley's run-scoring fielder's choice in the third was countered by an RBI fielder's choice by Palmer, then Chris Gomez's sacrifice fly was matched by one from Ivan Rodriguez.

San Diego got within 7-6 in the fifth on an RBI double by Finley, a wild pitch, an error by shortstop Bill Ripken and a sacrifice fly by Quilvio Veras.

Greer scored Texas' final run in the seventh when he doubled, took third on a fly out by Gonzalez and came home on a wild pitch by Todd Erdos. Greer hit two home runs in Friday's victory over San Francisco.

"Hey, we fought back from 6-1 and we had our opportunities to tie," said San Diego's Tony Gwynn, who had two hits to improve his average to .398. "We just got beat. Their bullpen did a good job."

The Rangers last won back-to-back games May 18 and 20.

"We're getting closer and closer each day," said Texas Manager Johnny Oates, who was involved in the first meeting of reigning managers of the year with San Diego's Bruce Bochy. "I feel the intensity and confidence two games in a row can bring."

John Wetteland pitched the ninth for his 14th save.

San Diego starter Danny Jackson (1-3), who was acquired Friday night in a six-player trade with the Cardinals, gave up seven runs on seven hits in five innings.

"I didn't make a couple of pitches I needed to get out of jams," Jackson said.

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