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Sele And Rangers Stifle Sox


No question, Rafael Palmeiro is having a special year for the Texas Rangers. And the Rangers are going along for the ride.

Palmeiro homered and drove in two runs and Aaron Sele scattered eight hits as the Rangers beat the playoff-hopeful Boston Red Sox 6-0 Sunday night for the third straight time.

"I'm just enjoying the streak I'm in right now," said Palmeiro, who tied single-season club records for homers and RBIs by a left-handed hitter. "I don't know anything about these records until you guys (reporters) tell me. I have no idea why (he's on such a streak). I just want to keep winning."

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Game Summary

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  • Palmeiro's sixth-inning solo homer was his 37th of the season, matching his Rangers record for a left-handed hitter set in 1993. His 117 RBIs equals Al Oliver's team left-handed mark set in 1980.

    Palmeiro also set a team record with 29 RBIs in August, and tied Juan Gonzalez's 1992 team record with his 12th homer in August. His 351st homer, which extended the Rangers' lead to 4-0, tied him with Dick Allen for 53rd place on the all-time list.

    In his last seven games, he has seven homers and 17 RBIs. Over the three-game series with Boston, Palmeiro finished with four homers and nine RBIs.

    "Good month?" commented Rangers manager Johnny Oates on Palmeiro's August. "How about a good year. He's right on everything, whether it's a knuckleball or a fastball. It's a great time for him to have it."

    Meanwhile, Sele allowed eight hits, struck out five and walked two as the Rangers dropped the Red Sox one game behind Oakland in the AL wild-card race. Oakland beat Toronto 4-3.

    usty Greer also drove in two runs for the Rangers, who finished the season series against the Red Sox with a 5-4 edge against a possible playoff opponent.

    Oates said Sele's strong outing was the key to completing the three-game sweep.

    "When you play good ballclubs, it's all about how well you pitch," Oates said.

    Sele (14-7) beat his former team for the second time in five career decisions. Sele, traded from Boston to Texas before the 1998 season, pitched his second shutout of the season and fourth of his career.

    He was supported by several outstanding defensive plays and the Rangers turned double plays in the fourth and fifth.

    Sele said beating his former team was nothing special.

    "I look at it like they're just another good hitting team," said Sele, 4-1 in August. "You've got to keep the ball down against them. I just try and take the personality out of it and just pitch to them."

    The Red Sox were 1-for-18 with runners in scoring position in the series.

    "Sometimes you can score runs easy," said Boston manager Jimy Williams. "And sometimes it's like pulling teeth out of a duck."

    Boston lost its fourth in a row and fifth in six games as knuckleballer Tim Wakefield (4-9) came out of the bullpen to make his first start since June 8. Wakefield allowed six runs and eight hits over seven innings. He struck out four and walked two.

    Texas (75-50) improved to 25 games over .500 for the first time since Oct. 1, 1977.

    The Rangers took a 2-0 lead in the first on Greer's run-scoring single and Palmeiro's sacrifice fly.

    Texas made it 3-0 in the fourth when Lee Stevens doubled and scored on Royce Clayton's single.

    After Palmeiro's sixth-inning solo shot, Ivan Rodriguez added a sacrifice fly and Greer had an RBI triple in the seventh to extend Texas' lead to 6-0.

    Notes

  • Sele has won seven of his last eight decisions.
  • Red Sox DH Reggie Jefferson was scratched from the starting lineup due to the flu. He was replaced by Butch Huskey. ...The Rangers are 27-11 since the All-Star break.
  • Jeff Burroughs (1974) and Gonzalez (1996) previously had 28 RBIs in August for the Rangers.
  • Tom Goodwin of the Rangers stole two bases in the seventh, his first steals since June 8. Goodwin appeared in one game between June 12 and Aug. 5 after straining his left hip flexor.

    ©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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