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BASEBALL EXTRA | ANGEL SCOUTING REPORT / MINNESOTA

Rodriguez's Power Knocks Out Twins

September 12, 1997|From Associated Press

ARLINGTON, Texas — Ivan Rodriguez, who doesn't consider himself a power hitter, muscled three homers out of The Ballpark in Arlington on Thursday night.

Rodriguez's power display backed the shutout pitching of Roger Pavlik and three relievers as the Texas Rangers snapped a five-game losing streak with a 7-0 victory over the Minnesota Twins.

"I never try for home runs," said Rodriguez, who signed a five-year, $42 million contract on July 31 to become the richest player in club history. "It's not easy to hit three homers in one game, and I didn't try to do it. I was just trying to hit the ball hard, and the ball found the holes ... in the seats."

Rodriguez had two-run homers in the third and sixth off Brad Radke (18-9) and added a solo shot in the eighth for his 19th of the season. His five RBIs tied a career high set in 1993.

"Pudge can do whatever he wants to," Rangers manager Johnny Oates said. "He can hit 35 homers and hit .260, or he can hit 25 and hit .300. It depends on what he wants to do. He can go to the plate looking to hit the ball in the seats, but he hates making outs."

Pavlik (3-4) won for the first time since April 24 in his second start since missing almost four months following right elbow surgery. Elbow soreness knocked him out of the Ranger rotation following a start on May 6.

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