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Jays Are Cold, Rangers Aren't

There's no homefield advantage in the SkyDome these days.

Juan Gonzalez hit a two-run homer off David Wells and the Texas Rangers handed the Toronto Blue Jays their eighth straight home loss, 9-7 Saturday.

Gonzalez's shot in the second inning gave the Rangers a 5-0 lead over the Blue Jays, who haven't won at home since Aug. 1.

"We've lost eight in a row at home because we've been behind early and been playing catch up," catcher Darrin Fletcher said. "It would be nice to get ahead in a ball game early, and let them chase us for a change."

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Game Summary

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  • Wells (12-9) gave up a season high seven runs on nine hits and two walks in four innings. He left with a 5.41 ERA.

    "I don't have a remedy for why we're losing at home, we're just going through some bad times here," Wells said. "I got the ball up in the zone and they capitalized on it. I got my butt kicked. It's kind of embarrassing."

    Rafael Palmeiro drove in two runs and tied Gonzalez's team record of 38 RBIs in a month. Rusty Greer had three hits and drove in three runs.

    "We we're able to get to Wells early with some big hits. He just didn't have his A game today," Palmeiro said.

    Aaron Sele (15-7) won for the eighth time in nine starts. He struck out eight in six innings.

    "When you spot one of the better pitchers in the league a seven-run lead, they know it would very embarrassing to give it up, so they bear down, and that's what Sele did,"/B> Fletcher said.

    The Blue Jays fell three games behind Boston in the AL wild-card race. Texas has won 10 of 13.

    "We're not panicking yet, it's still August," Shawn Green said

    Jeff Fassero, acquired Friday from Seattle, made his debut for the Rangers. He pitched a scoreless eighth, but was charged with three runs in the ninth.

    Green's RBI single finished Fassero. John Wetteland got his 35th save, giving up Carlos Delgado's sacrifice fly and Darrin Fletcher's RBI double.

    "We just couldn't hit a seven-run homer," Fletcher said.

    Gonzalez hit his 29th homer during a four-run second inning that made it 5-0. Rusty Greer added a two-run single.

    Royce Clayton had an RBI double in the third and Ivan Rodriguez hit a solo home run in the fourth for a 7-0 lead.

    Toronto's Shannon Stewart tied his career high with four hits and extended his hitting streak to 25 games.

    Fletcher hit a two-run homer in the fourth for the Blue Jays, and they closed to 8-4 in the sixth on Tony Fernandez's RBI double and Tony Batista's sacrifice fly.

    Greer doubled home a run in the ninth.


  • Rodriguez, the Gold Glove and All-Star catcher, had his first passed ball of the season in the fifth inning.
  • After a cameraman focused on Wells in the dugout in the second inning, the pitcher shoved the camera aside and cursed.
  • Blue Jays assistant general manager Dave Stewart was interviewed Thursday for Milwaukee's vacant GM job.
  • Palmeiro has 126 RBIs, second most in the majors to Manny Ramirez's 131.

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