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Padres Rout Rangers 17-8

The San Diego Padres finally got the hang of American League-style baseball: Pretend it's slo-pitch softball and keep scoring runs.

Steve Finley matched his career-high with five RBIs and the Padres scored 11 runs over the final two innings against Texas' bullpen to rout the Rangers 17-8 Sunday.

"They (the Rangers) have a very explosive lineup and can break through at any time," Padres manager Bruce Bochy said. "So your offense needs to match them. They have a quality team."

Finley went 4-for-5 with three doubles for the Padres, who scored six runs in the eighth and five more in the ninth to blow it open.

Greg Vaughn homered and drove in four runs for San Diego, and the Padres also took advantage of nine walks to salvage the finale of a three-game series.

"You can never relax against those guys," said Vaughn, who has 16 homers and 42 RBIs in his last 39 games. "One through nine, they can hurt you."

The Padres still haven't been swept this season, and Padres right fielder Tony Gwynn could find consolation in that fact.

"We lost the first two but I thought we matched up pretty well with them," Gwynn said. "You make a mistake and they capitalize. I feel fortunate to walk out of here with a win today. It was nice to be able to break the game open."

With the score tied 6-6 in the eighth, Texas reliever Danny Patterson (1-2) walked Vaughn with one out. Wally Joyner then singled and pinch-hitter Ken Caminiti walked to load the bases.

After Patterson walked Ruben Rivera to force in the go-ahead run, he walked Ed Giovanola to force in another, making it 8-6. Pinch-hitter Mark Sweeney followed with a two-run single off Tim Crabtree, and Finley's two-run single off Scott Bailes gave the Padres a six-run cushion.

Patterson walked four in the eighth, the most in his 80 major league games.

"It was an exhibition of how not to pitch," Patterson said. "I just couldn't find the zone. It was purely mechanical. My arm feels fine."

Finley hit a two-run double off Al Levine to cap the Padres' ninth.

Dan Miceli (5-2) pitched 1 2-3 innings of hitless relief for the Padres, who had lost four of their previous five.

Juan Gonzalez had a run-scoring single for the Rangers to raise his major league-leading RBI total to 77. Gonzalez remains ahead of Hack Wilson's pace when Wilson set the major league record with 190 RBIs in 1930. Wilson had 67 RBIs in his first 61 games in 1930.

Vaughn's 21st homer, a three-run shot, had given the Padres a 6-3 lead in the fifth.

But Will Clark's three-run homer off Carlos Reyes tied it in the seventh.

"It got us back in the ball game," Clark said. "With our offense and our history of coming back, that's where you want to e."

Padres starter Mark Langston allowed nine baserunners over the first four innings, but left the game in the sixth with a 6-3 lead. Langston allowed three runs and seven hits over 5 1-3 innings.

Trailing 3-2, the Padres took a 6-3 lead in the fifth against Bobby Witt. Andy Sheets walked and scored on Finley's double to tie it at 3. Texas manager Johnny Oates ordered an intentional walk to Gwynn, and Vaughn made the Rangers pay, homering into the left-field seats.

Witt allowed six runs and five hits in 6 1-3 innings.

Notes: The Rangers placed second baseman Mark McLemore on the 15-day disabled list with a pulled left hamstring. McLemore injured his leg while running the bases Saturday night and was replaced by Alicea. To replace McLemore, the Rangers re-called Levine from Triple-A. ... Texas have their starting second baseman and starting shortstop, Kevin Elster, on the DL. ... Goodwin had gone 86 games without an error. ... Texas signed its second-round draft pick, outfielder Cody Nowlin of Clovis, Calif. ... Vaughn has at least one homer in each of the Padres last 11 series.

©1998 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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