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Ranger's Sele Gets 10th Victory

Aaron Sele became the AL's first 10-game winner on Thursday barely.

Sele issued a career-high seven walks and hit a batter, but the Rangers beat Oakland 3-2, thanks to plenty of help from Athletics starter Tom Candiotti.

Candiotti's wildness and the A's inability to hit in the clutch helped Texas halt its three-game losing streak on an afternoon when the temperature reached 99 degrees.

"It was a little toasty out there," Sele said. "It was hard on everybody. But it was a good win, a grind. I got in some trouble but I was able to keep throwing quality pitches to get out of some jams."

Sele (10-4) allowed six hits in struggling through 6 2-3 innings, but he hung on to give the Rangers rotation a badly needed lift. Texas starters were 1-5 with a 7.58 ERA in their previous seven games.

"Aaron made a lot of quality pitches when he had to," said Rangers manager Johnny Oates, who was ejected in the second inning by home plate umpire Ted Barrett for arguing balls and strikes. "You need to win one of these every once in a while to relax a little bit."

Sele reached 10 victories earlier than any pitcher in Rangers history. Kevin Brown won his 10th game on June 20, 1992.

"It (winning 10 games) doesn't mean anything personally," Sele said. "What matters is that the team keeps winning."

John Wetteland pitched a perfect ninth for his 20th save.

Candiotti (4-9) lost his fifth consecutive start, allowing three runs and four hits in five innings. He walked six, had two wild pitches and made an error as the A's had their four-game winning streak snapped.

Oakland stranded 15 runners, two short of the club record set in 1982.

Candiotti's knuckleball got him into trouble in the third as the Rangers scored twice for a 3-1 lead with the help of two wild pitches.

Tom Goodwin walked and went to second on Rusty Greer's single before both advanced on a wild pitch. After Candiotti loaded the bases with an intentional walk to Juan Gonzalez, he threw another wild pitch while striking out Will Clark that scored Goodwin.

Greer kept running and also scored on the play when Candiotti, who was covering the plate, failed to glove catcher A.J. Hinch's throw in an attempt to get Greer.

"I had to see if Tom was going to score," Greer said. "I had to see how the play was going to develop. I held up just a little, but I never broke stride."

"That's a great baserunning play, but that's the type of player that Rusty is," Sele said.

A's manager Art Howe said the bizarre play with two runs scoring on a strikeout was the key to the game.

"The difference was one strikeout that scored two runs," Howe said. "But we had a lot of opportunities. We couldn't get a hit ith runners in scoring position. Those are frustrating games when you outhit your opponent and have so many opportunities and don't win."

The Athletics took a 1-0 lead in the first on Kevin Mitchell's RBI double. Texas tied it in the bottom of the inning on Clark's sacrifice fly.

Oakland cut it to 3-2 in the fourth on Miguel Tejada's run-scoring single.

Notes: The Rangers purchased the contract of right-hander Todd Van Poppel from Triple-A Oklahoma. Van Poppel will start Saturday's game at Anaheim. Van Poppel grew up in Arlington rooting for the Rangers before he was selected in the first round by Oakland in the 1990 amateur draft. ... Goodwin's sixth-inning single snapped an 0-for-22 hitless string for Texas. ... Wetteland has saved each of Texas' last six victories. ... Wetteland has reached 20 saves for the seventh consecutive season, the longest streak in the majors. ... The A's are 30-28 following a 2-10 start.

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

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