Rangers 13, Marlins 2
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP)—The Texas Rangers hadn’t scored in more than two games so they tried a different approach at the plate Saturday night.
“We weren’t exactly crushing the ball,” said Mark Teixeira, who along with Kevin Mench homered for Texas. “But they were finding some holes and gaps. After we got a few runs, that really got us going and we started hitting the ball better.”
Gonzalez, returning to the lineup after missing four straight games with a sore right elbow, also drove in two runs, giving him 1,366 career RBIs, the most for a player born in Puerto Rico. He moved past Orlando Cepeda for 57th place on the career list.
“He’s certainly a presence we’ve missed.” Rangers manager Buck Showalter said. “When Juan is in there, it creates a lot of problems and stretches out our lineup.”
Ismael Valdes (6-2) allowed two runs and six hits over six innings to provide a lift to a rotation that had a 6.98 ERA in its last 16 starts.
Texas had been outscored 19-0 in its previous two games.
“We’ve been shut out the last two games and tonight we scored 13 runs,” Valdes said. “I’m glad it was my lucky day.”
Teixeira and Michael Young had three hits each for the Rangers, who ended a 22-inning scoreless drought in the second.
Rafael Palmeiro, honored by the Rangers in a pregame ceremony for becoming the 19th major leaguer to reach 500 homers last month, went 2-for-3 and reached base three times for Texas.
Diaz drove in the Rangers’ last run with a sixth-inning sacrifice fly on Wednesday night against the New York Mets. Previously, Texas was held scoreless for 24 innings from Sept. 17-20, 1992.
Texas kept up the pressure, opening the third with four consecutive singles, including RBIs by Palmeiro and Teixeira, for a 5-0 lead. That knocked out Phelps, who allowed five runs and nine hits over two-plus innings in his fifth major league start.
Diaz added an RBI single in the third off reliever Kevin Olsen to make it 6-0.
But Mench’s three-run shot in the fifth, his first homer of the season, extended Texas’ advantage to 9-2.
In the sixth, Gonzalez had a two-run single and Teixeira hit a two-run homer to make it 13-2.
Ivan Rodriguez , the former Rangers All-Star playing his second game as a visitor, went 0-for-4 for Florida.
“We got an old-fashioned butt-kicking,” said Marlins manager Jack McKeon. “We knew we weren’t going to keep (the Rangers) down too long. They didn’t hita lot of balls hard but they found holes. It was one of those nights.”
The game’s start was delayed 38 minutes for the Palmeiro ceremony. …Texas had lost 12 of its previous 13. … Young has five straight multihit games. … Mench’s last homer was on Aug. 21, 2002. … Texas is 2-9 in interleague play this season. Florida is 4-4 this season against the AL. … Florida backup catcher Mike Redmond made his first major league appearance at third base when McKeon cleared his bench in the seventh. Redmond said he played third in one minor league game. Redmond didn’t have a ball hit to him in histwo innings on defense.