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Rangers Rock Red Sox

Against the Boston Red Sox, the surging Texas Rangers used the same formula that's worked for them all year.

"We kept the game close long enough for the offense to do its thing," said Rangers starter Rick Helling (10-7).

Rafael Palmeiro's three-run homer in the seventh and Rusty Greer's two-run shot in the eighth the second homer of the night for both led Texas to a 9-2 victory Saturday night over the Red Sox.

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Game Summary

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  • "We're just going to keep playing the schedule," Boston manager Jimy Williams said. "They've got good players."

    The Rangers have won six of seven to move 24 games over .500, the first time they've done that since a club-record 26 above .500 at the end of 1977 (94-68).

    Palmeiro and Greer hit solo shots to help the Rangers to a 4-1 lead.

    Helling (10-7) held Boston to one run and six hits in six-plus innings. Nomar Garciaparra, the AL's leading hitter, had half the hits, going 3-for-3 with a double.

    "It's funny how this game works. The results looked pretty good, but stuff-wise, I didn't feel that great," Helling said.

    The Red Sox got to Helling for two doubles and a triple.

    Tim Crabtree came in after Helling's leadoff walk to Trot Nixon in the seventh, and the Red Sox loaded the bases on singles by Jose Offerman and Darren Lews.

    After left-hander Mike Venafro gave up a sacrifice fly to pinch-hitter Mike Stanley, All-Star reliever Jeff Zimmerman got Garciaparra on a popup and Troy O'Leary on a fly to shallow left field.

    "To have the bases loaded with their 3-4-5 hitters coming up, and to get out of it with just one run, that has to be pretty good," Texas manager Johnny Oates said.

    "Overall, we have to be very pleased with our bullpen this year. The numbers say they match up with anyone in the league."

    In the Texas seventh, reliever Rheal Cormier fumbled Rusty Greer's grounder and Stanley then dropped the throw at first. Juan Gonzalez singled and Palmeiro followed with his 36th homer to make it 7-2.

    An inning later, Greer followed with a two-run homer.

    "It's the nature of the game to have stretches where we play some good baseball and bad baseball. Right now, we're swinging the bats pretty well," Greer said.

    Palmeiro has six homers in his last six games, 11 in August and 350 for his career, passing Albert Belle for 54th on the career list.

    Five of Texas' six hits off Red Sox starter Brian Rose (6-5) were for extra bases two homers and three doubles. Greer's leadoff homer in the fifth padded the Rangers' lead to 4-1 and chased Rose.

    Offerman led off the first with a triple and scored on Lewis' groundout, but the Rangers took a 2-1 lead in the bottom half on RBI doubles by Ivan Rodriguez and Juan Gonzalez.

    Palmeiro's solo homer in the third inning put Texas up 3-1.

    Greer's second homer of the game was a two-run shot in the eighth off Bryce Florie. He has 15 homers this season.


  • It was the fifth straight start that Rose has failed to last more than four innings.
  • Offerman's first-inning triple was his 10th of the year, most in the AL.
  • Helling made his AL-high 27th start of the season.
  • Boston third baseman Donnie Sadler was shaken during a collision with catcher Jason Varitek on Lee Stevens' pop foul to Varitek for the final out of the fifth inning. In the sixth, Sadler was in the on-deck circle when Reggie Jefferson pinch-hit for him with two out and runners on first and second.
  • Rangers center fielder Tom Goodwin made a fine catch in the second, crashing into the wall to grab a 400-foot drive by Varitek.

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