ARLINGTON, Texas (AP)—Alex Rodriguez hadn’t been feeling too good at the plate, with an AL-high 30 strikeouts overshadowing his eight homers.
A five-hit game certainly changed his mindset.
“I’ve been bad, I’ve been really bad, as bad as I can remember,” Rodriguez said. “I’ve been working hard, maybe too hard. This is good for the psyche.”
Rodriguez hit a two-run double that tied it at 4 in the fourth. An inning later, his three-run double into the right-center field gap capped a five-run outburst that gave the Rangers a 9-5 lead.
With an RBI single in the seventh in his last at-bat, Rodriguez matched a career high and a Texas record with five hits. His six RBIs were one short of a career best.
“It’s the worst I’ve felt going into any game. Ironically enough, it’s the best game I’ve had,” Rodriguez said. “The last two nights, I felt incredible going into the game and had pretty bad games.”
Rodriguez homered Saturday, but his third strikeout in that 7-5 loss to the Yankees ended the game with a runner on in the 10th inning. That came after striking out twice in a 3-2 loss Friday.
“Alex came out a little more hungry, a little more focused,” said Michael Young, who had three hits. “Whenever he’s challenged, he comes out a better player.”
Rodriguez raised his average from .289 to .326, and has 20 RBIs. And he has more hits (31) than strikeouts again.
Young’s two-run single in the fifth, when the first five Texas batters reached base to chase Jeff Weaver (2-1), put the Rangers ahead to stay.
The Yankees still won eight of 10 games on their road trip and have the best record in the major leagues at 20-5.
Showalter, in his first season with Texas, spent 19 years with the Yankees as a minor league player, minor league manager and was their major league manager from 1992-95. But he never faced New York while Arizona’s manager from 1998-2000.
As he did throughout the weekend, Showalter downplayed the significance of going against the Yankees.
“No, not really,” Showalter said, when asked if it was special to beat his former team. “As I was coming up the runway, I turned the page to the Blue Jays. We will keep pushing.”
“The way he was swinging the bat today, we should have walked him,” Yankees manager Joe Torre quipped. “Tough to walk a guy when a guy with 497 career homers (Rafael Palmeiro) is in the on-deck circle.”
Weaver was charged with nine runs—seven earned—on 11 hits in his four-plus innings.
“They just continuously put the ball in play, finding holes,” Weaver said. “I have been battling some poor starts.”
Rodriguez’s two-out double in the fourth came right after Johnson’s error on another Blalock grounder.
Texas starter Chan Ho Park gave up five runs on four hits, five walks and two hit batsmen. He threw more balls than strikes (48-44), and didn’t throw a strike until his 10th pitch.
“I’m not pleased, he’s not pleased, we’re not pleased,” Showalter said. “He has got to get better.”
Ventura got his fourth hit in the ninth inning and Ugueth Urbina relieved.
Raul Mondesi’s three-run homer, his seventh of the season and the majors-leading 48th for New York, put the Yankees up 4-2 in the third. Mondesi drew a leadoff walk in the second and scored on a wild pitch by Park for the first New York run.
Alfonso Soriano extended his hitting streak to 15 games with an RBI single in the sixth for the Yankees.
Texas led 2-0 in the first after Rafael Palmeiro’s RBI double that scoredRodriguez after a two-out single, and Ruben Sierra’s run-scoring single.
Dickey, the Rangers’ No. 1 pick in 1996, got his first major league win in his previous outing, three innings in relief Thursday against Boston. … The Yankees are 13-3 on the road. … Weaver had won six straight decisions, a career high. But he’s 1-5 with a 5.24 ERA in eight career games against Texas. … New York has homered in 14 straight games. The Yankees have allowed just 10homers, the fewest in the majors.