Rangers 7, Cardinals 2

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ARLINGTON, Texas (AP)—Hank Blalock made sure Ryan Drese’s recent string of tough luck came to an end.

Blalock hit his second career grand slam and drove in five runs, Drese pitched seven strong innings to win for the first time in more than a month as the Texas Rangers beat the St. Louis Cardinals 7-2 on Saturday night.

Drese (3-3) won for the first time since beating Tampa Bay on May 5. Texas scored just 18 runs in six starts since his last victory.

“Ryan has pitched well enough to have more wins in his corner,” Texas manager Buck Showalter said. “I’m glad we were able to get him one.”

Drese allowed two runs— one earned, and allowed four hits against a St. Louis offense that came in tied for the NL lead in runs scored.

Marlon Anderson’s solo homer ended Drese’s shutout bid with two outs in the sixth. The Cardinals scored an unearned run in the seventh when Jim Edmonds scored from second on Drese’s throwing error.

Blalock had an RBI single in the third inning and his grand slam off St. Louis starter Chris Carpenter (7-2) in the fourth gave Texas a 7-0 lead. It was Blalock’s 14th homer of the season.

Blalock’s other grand slam came Sept. 20, 2003, against Anaheim.

“It was definitely nice to have a big, early lead,” Drese said. “I felt good from the get-go. I was able to get some outs with some key pitches.”

The Rangers roughed up Carpenter, who had won his last six decisions. He allowed a season-high seven runs in 5 2-3 innings in his first loss since April 14 against Houston.

It was Carpenter’s shortest outing since going five innings against Philadelphia on May 4.

“I made a lot of mistakes in the four-run inning and I didn’t get a chance to make any adjustments until the damage was done,” Carpenter said.

Albert Pujols was St. Louis’ designated hitter for the second consecutive game since missing four with a strained hamstring. He was 0-for-4, and is 1-for-9 the past two games.

Rod Barajas doubled and Michael Young walked to open the third. Blalock singled to score Barajas, and Young also scored when the ball rolled under Anderson’s glove in left field for an error.

Fullmer singled in Blalock later in the third to put Texas ahead 3-0.

Gary Matthews Jr., Barajas and Young opened the fourth with consecutive singles. Blalock cleared the bases with a shot that just cleared the right-field fence.

Drese threw a complete game Sunday against the New York Yankees, but lost 2-1. This was the third time this season he’s pitched seven innings or more.

After Reggie Sanders doubled with two outs in the second, Drese retired 12 of 13 batters before Anderson’s homer.

“(Drese) stopped us from scoring,” St. Louis outfielder Jim Edmonds said. “Whatever his strength was, he went to it. He moved the ball around and kept people off balance.”

St. Louis manager Tony La Russa left Saturday’s game before it ended to attend his daughter’s college graduation Sunday in California. He’ll also miss Sunday’s game and will return when the Cardinals play Oakland on Tuesday.

Third-base coach Jose Oquendo and pitching coach Dave Duncan will co-managethe team in La Russa’s absence.


Texas Tech men’s basketball coach Bob Knight, Dallas Cowboys coach Bill Parcells and Dallas Mavericks coach Don Nelson were at the game. … Texas activated outfielder Kevin Mench (left oblique strain) from the 15-day disabled list before the game. He was 0-for-4. The club designated outfielder Chad Allen for assignment to make room for Mench. … St. Louis starting pitchers haveallowed 60 homers—the most in the majors.

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