Rafael Palmeiro didn't even have time to get in any practice swings. Once in the batter's box, however, he made the most of his second real cut.
Palmeiro, making a rare pinch-hitting appearance, hit a three-run homer and Ivan Rodriguez homered twice Monday night as the Texas Rangers snapped Cleveland's six-game winning streak with a 13-5 win over the Indians.
"I went into the back to see if I could hit, and before I took a swing I heard I was on deck," Palmeiro said. "I wasn't warmed up, so I just went out to see what I could do."
Rodriguez, who homered twice on Sunday in Chicago, hit a solo homer in the first and connected for a two-run shot, his 28th, in the ninth.
"I'm not looking for home runs," he said. "They're just coming."
Mike Munoz (2-1) got the win in relief. Texas' bullpen shut out the Indians over the final five innings and have given up just two runs in their last 24.
Richie Sexson had three RBIs for Cleveland, which hadn't been beaten so soundly since a 21-1 loss in New York on July 24.
"When we end a winning streak, we just don't end it, we blow it rigt out of the water," said Indians manager Mike Hargrove.
Baerga, a three-time All-Star second baseman with the Indians from 1990-96, was reacquired on Monday from San Diego to provide veteran experience and exuberance to a team counting down the days until the real season starts in October.
Starting at third base and batting eighth, Baerga received a standing ovation from the Jacobs Field fans some of the same ones who hated to see him traded away in 1996 when he came to bat in the third.
|Carlos Baerga went 2-for-4 in his return to Cleveland.|
"It was really special," said Baerga. "Just to be in the clubhouse before the game. I couldn't believe it. I was saying, `Am I dreaming, or is this true?"'
Texas trailed 5-3 in the seventh when McLemore hit his fifth homer of the season. Burba was gone after allowing a single to Rodriguez. Ricardo Rincon (2-3) struck out Rusty Greer, but gave up singles to Juan Gonzalez and Lee Stevens that tied it 5-all.
"You can talk about those homers, but that little ground ball by Lee Stevens was the big hit of the game," said Texas manager Johnny Oates. "That kept up going and got the matchup we wanted, Raffy against the right-hander."
Steve Reed came on and after missing a high fastball, Palmeiro, batting for Roberto Kelly, drove a 2-1 pitch over the wall in right-center. Palmeiro has faced Reed twice, and has a three-run homer both times. It was Texas' first pinch-hit homer this year and th third of Palmeiro's career.
"I was looking for a pitch up because there was a guy on third base," Palmeiro said. "I got a ball in my zone, I think it was a slider and I hit it pretty good."
Sexson capped a five-run third inning with a three-run double to the gap in right-center off Texas starter Rick Helling, giving the Indians a 5-2 lead.
Clayton's sixth homer with two outs in the sixth brought Texas within 5-3.
©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed