Juan Gonzalez is still a Texas Ranger—for now.
As the Rangers conclude their four-game series against the Oakland Athletics, the two-time American League MVP will likely remain on the bench as he tries to decide whether to accept or reject a trade to the Montreal Expos.
The Expos reached an agreement with Texas on Tuesday to acquire Gonzalez, but his contract contains a no-trade clause that he could invoke. Gonzalez, who is batting .286 with 18 homers, has until Saturday morning to make his decision, and he said he was not sure when he would make that choice.
While Gonzalez is available for the Rangers to use against the A’s, manager Buck Showalter has held him out of the lineup in the last two games.
“I talked to him about the whys and the factors,” Showalter said. “I told him we support him, either way, whatever decision he makes.”
With Gonzalez watching from the dugout, the Rangers have won two straight. Rafael Palmeiro homered twice and Michael Young hit a tiebreaking single in the eighth inning to lead Texas to a 9-8 victory on Wednesday.
The Rangers also avoided losing for the 19th time in June, which would match the franchise record for most losses in a month. They have five games remaining in June.
Miguel Tejada had a pair of RBI singles while reaching base five times for the A’s. He was 4-for-4 with a walk, just six days after getting a career-high five hits against Texas.
Oakland, which won Tuesday’s series opener 3-1, has lost consecutive games for the first time since June 11-12 against the Atlanta Braves.
STANDINGS: Athletics - 2nd place, 6 GB, AL West. Rangers - 4th place, 22 GB, AL West.
ATHLETICS PROBABLE STARTER: Tim Hudson (5-3, 3.28 ERA). Hudson struggled in his most recent outing. In a 6-4 loss to the San Francisco Giants on Saturday, the 27-year-old right-hander allowed six runs and 11 hits through seven innings. In nine career games against the Rangers, Hudson is 3-4 with a 4.34 ERA.
RANGERS PROBABLE STARTER: Ismael Valdes (6-3, 5.43 ERA). Valdes had won four straight decisions before having one of his worst outings of the season on Saturday. Lasting just four innings, he gave up eight runs and 10 hits in a 9-5 loss to the Houston Astros. In 10 career games against the A’s, Valdes is 2-5 with a 4.50 ERA.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Athletics - Eric Byrnes, .321 avg., 46 runs and 7 SBs.; Eric Chavez, 15 HRs; Tejada, 51 RBIs. Rangers - Hank Blalock, .336 avg.; Alex Rodriguez, 19 HRs and 7 SBs; Carl Everett, 51 RBIs and 52 runs.
SEASON SERIES: Athletics, 8-4.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Athletics - DH Erubiel Durazo is 1-for-10 with six strikeouts in his career against RHP Valdes. … In four career games at The Ballpark in Arlington, Hudson is 0-3 with an 8.71 ERA. … The A’s have outscored the Rangers 66-40 in 12 games this season. Rangers - SS Rodriguez is batting .393 (11-for-28) with three homers in his career against RHP Hudson. … 3B Blalock was back in the starting lineup on Wednesday after sitting out the previous two nights. He went 2-for-5 with two RBIs. … 1B Mark Teixeira went 1-for-3 on Wednesday, extending his hitting streak to a career-high eight games. He’s batting .367 (11-for-30) during the streak.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Athletics - 16-21 on the road; Rangers - 18-22 at home.
INJURIES: Athletics - LHP Micah Bowie (elbow), 15-day DL. Rangers - IF Herbert Perry (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Chan Ho Park (oblique), 15-day DL; RHP Jeff Zimmerman (elbow), 60-day DL; OF Rusty Greer (neck), 60-day DL.
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