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ROUNDUP

Rogers Struggles but Wins No. 8

May 31, 2004|From Associated Press

Kenny Rogers felt fortunate to become the first eight-game winner in the major leagues.

Rogers walked seven, but the Texas Rangers beat the Toronto Blue Jays, 4-2, Sunday in Toronto to stop a four-game losing streak.

"It was as much of a struggle as I've ever had trying to find the strike zone," Rogers said. "I was extremely lucky."

Rogers (8-2) won his fourth consecutive start, yielding an unearned run and six hits in 5 1/3 innings. The walks were one shy of his career high.

"I couldn't find the right recipe, mechanically or mentally," he said. "Whatever I was doing out there was totally wrong."

Rogers, off to the best start of his career, has won six times after Texas losses. He escaped a pair of bases-loaded jams, and the Blue Jays tied a season high by stranding 14.

"It was a magic act for the most part," said Rogers, who enjoys being the ace of the staff. "Even when you don't have your best stuff, you know everybody here believes in you. I can't overstate how much that means to a pitcher."

Cleveland 4, Oakland 3 -- Matt Lawton scored on a two-out wild pitch by Arthur Rhodes in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Indians their third consecutive dramatic victory over the Athletics.

"This is probably the most exciting win of the season," said Lou Merloni, whose pinch-hit single sparked the winning rally. "To beat a team like Oakland three straight like this is just huge."

The Indians, whose bullpen has blown 12 of 17 save opportunities, have won four in a row after losing a season-high seven in a row.

Omar Vizquel, whose throwing error helped Oakland score twice in the top of the ninth, had a tying run-scoring double off Rhodes (1-3) as Cleveland swept the Athletics with two wins in their last at-bat and an eighth-inning rally.

Boston 9, Seattle 7 -- David McCarty homered in the 12th inning after Andy Dominique's first major league hit helped the Red Sox get back in the game at Fenway Park.

Curt Schilling had a perfect game for 5 2/3 innings but wound up with a no-decision after Raul Ibanez hit a three-run homer off closer Keith Foulke in a six-run eighth that made it 7-5.

Jason Varitek singled to lead off the bottom half, McCarty doubled, and Johnny Damon hit a sacrifice fly off Eddie Guardado. Dominique, in his third at-bat, then looped a pinch single to right that tied the score.

Minnesota 8, Kansas City 3 -- Alex Prieto hit his first major league homer, and Corey Koskie drove in three runs to lead the Twins at Kansas City, Mo.

Prieto hit a two-run homer in the fourth off Jimmy Gobble (2-3) after a run-scoring single by Henry Blanco. The home run came in Prieto's 37th career at-bat.

Minnesota, which lost the first two games of the series, avoided getting swept in Kansas City for the first time in 10 years. Still, at 12-15 this month the Twins are ensured of their first losing May in four years.

Baltimore 7, Detroit 3 -- Ugueth Urbina walked Brian Roberts with the bases loaded in the ninth inning to break a tie, and the Orioles completed a three-game sweep in Detroit.

The Orioles trailed, 2-1, entering the ninth against Urbina (1-2), who had not yielded a run at home this season. But he retired only one of the seven batters he faced.

Tampa Bay 7, New York 6 -- At St. Petersburg, Fla., Aubrey Huff homered twice and drove in three runs to help the Devil Rays end the Yankees' six-game winning streak. Victor Zambrano (5-4) beat the defending league champions for the third time this season. He gave up three hits and struck out seven in 6 1/3 innings.

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