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Gonzalez, Rangers Blast Tribe


Oakland is motivating Texas in the AL West race,

"Winning games now might be a little more important to us than to them," Royce Clayon said Tuesday night after the Rangers routed the Cleveland Indians 15-4.

Juan Gonzalez hit a three-run homer and Tom Goodwin had four of the Rangers' 19 hits.

Texas maintained a 5 1/2-game lead over the second-place Athletics, while Cleveland continued to coast toward its fifth consecutive AL Central title.

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Game Summary

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  • Aaron Sele (13-7), staked to a 6-0 lead before his first pitch, got his sixth win in seven decisions. Sele, who contained Cleveland with slow breaking balls, allowed all four runs and seven hits in seven innings.

    Texas, which rallied for a 13-5 win Monday night, scored 23 runs in a seven-inning span, taking a 12-1 lead after three innings. The last team to reach double digits in consecutive games against Cleveland had been Seattle on April 8-9, 1997.

    "The last two games have not been pretty," Indians manager Mike Hargrove said. "Giving up 28 runs is not exactly something you strive for."

    Mark Langston (1-2) lasted just one inning, his shortest outing since Aug. 20, 1997, against the New York Yankees. Langston, who left with a strained quadriceps, allowed six runs five earned and six hits as his ERA rose to 5.34.

    "He pulled it on the last pitch he made in the inning," Hargrove said. "To finish off an inning like that with an injury is tough to take."

    Carlos Baerga, re-signed by Cleveland on Monday, hit a two-run homer in the sixth. Rafael Palmeiro hit his 32nd homer for Texas.

    Texas took a 6-0 lead in the first on Todd Zeile's two-run double, Royce Clayton's RBI double, run-scoring singles by Roberto Kelly and Goodwin and a run-scoring wild pitch.

    "Todd had the biggest bat of the night with that double," Texas manager Johnny Oates said. "Bases loaded and two outs and he delivers. That got us going."

    Gonzalez hit his 28th homer off Tom Martin in the second for a 9-0 lead.

    Luis Alicea, who had made two outs in the first inning and was hitting .179, joined the onslaught with a two-run homer in a three-run third that made it 12-1. The homer was Alicea's second in 135 at-bats this year.

    Einar Diaz had an RBI double in the Cleveland second. He also doubled and scored Omar Vizquel's single to in the fifth.

    Goodwin's fourth hit, an RBI single, made it 13-2 in the sixth. Another run scored in the inning on Alicea's fourth groundout.

    Palmeiro homered in the seventh.

    "Beating the Indians is not the forefront of our focus," Oates said. "Our focus is to win the division."

    Notes

  • Texas has 17 homers in its last five games.
  • Texas scored 10 or more runs for the 15th time this season and third game in a row.
  • Every Texas starter had at least one hit by the third inning.
  • Diaz is batting .429 (18-for-42) with two outs and runners in scoring position.
  • Baerga's homer was his first with the Indians since July 24, 1996.
  • Goodwin's last four-hit game had been Aug. 3, 1997, also against Cleveland.
  • Palmeiro is hitting .476 (10-for-21) against Cleveland this season and Ivan Rodriguez, who went 3-for-5, is hitting .522 (12-for-23).

    ©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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