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BASEBALL EXTRA | ANGEL SCOUTING REPORT / MINNESOTA

Gonzalez Is Hurting Other Teams Now

September 14, 1997|From Associated Press

ARLINGTON, Texas — If Juan Gonzalez hadn't missed the first 24 games of the season because of a thumb injury, he might have had a chance to be joining Ken Griffey Jr. and Mark McGwire in pursuit of Roger Maris.

Gonzalez and rookie Fernando Tatis each homered twice Saturday night to lead the Rangers to a 9-3 rout of the Minnesota Twins as Texas matched its season high with five homers.

Gonzalez's two-run shot in the first was the 250th of his career. He added a solo homer, his 37th this season, in the sixth and tripled in the fifth.

"It's a matter of staying healthy and playing 162 games," said Gonzalez, who has 52 homers and 160 runs batted in in his last 162 games. "I've missed 29 games this year. If I had those, I might be up with those guys. Another year maybe it's possible [to go for the record]."

The Rangers have won three consecutive games and the Twins have lost nine of 11. Texas is 8-2 against Minnesota.

Gonzalez became the 123rd player in major league history to reach 250 homers, connecting in the first after Tom Goodwin had reached on a throwing error.

"He's a special player," Ranger Manager Johnny Oates said. "Offensively he can put up some numbers. You wonder what he'd do if he was able to stay healthy in his career. His last 162 games have been unbelievable."

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

NEXT SERIES FOR ANGELS

WHO: Minnesota Twins

WHERE: Anaheim Stadium

WHEN: Monday, 7 p.m.

Tuesday, 7 p.m.

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