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Sele, Rangers Shutout Jays


The Texas Rangers had gone 127 games since their last complete-game shutout, and Aaron Sele needed one of the sharpest performances of his career to end that streak.

Sele pitched a six-hitter and struck out 10 Saturday night as the Rangers beat the Toronto Blue Jays 6-0.

"It's hard for me to remember a better-pitched game," Rangers manager Johnny Oates said. "He changed speeds, his location was good and he kept the curveball down."

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Game Summary

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  • Sele (12-6) won his fifth consecutive decision, allowing six hits in his first complete game and shutout of the season. Sele walked none in his third career shutout.

    "If you can get a few runs, you can stay in those games," said Sele, who got his first complete game since May 23, 1998. "There've been times when I've had better stuff, but the results don't show up."

    The Rangers' last complete-game shutout was by Rick Helling last Sept. 7 against Minnesota.

    Sele worked out of a two-out, bases-loaded jam in the seventh, getting Shannon Stewart on a fly ball to end the inning. That was the Blue Jays' best scoring chance.

    Ivan Rodriguez had a three-run homer for the Rangers, giving him five homers and 16 RBIs in his last nine games. Rodriguez also was praised by Oates and Sele for the game he called behind the plate.

    "You've got to tip your hat to Pudge," Sele said. "He was mixing up pitches, moving around back there. Plus he had that big home run."

    Mark McLemore paced Texas' 13-hit attack with three hits, including a triple nd a double, to help the Rangers to their 16th victory in their last 19 games.

    The Rangers, 18-4 since the All-Star break, took control in the sixth, extending their 3-0 lead when Royce Clayton and Tom Goodwin singled, and Rodriguez hit his 22nd homer, a new career high.

    Rodriguez's previous career-high for homers was 21, set last season. He is one short of 20 stolen bases as he attempts to become the first catcher in major league history with at least 20 homers and 20 steals in one season.

    Texas took a 2-0 first-inning lead against Pat Hentgen (7-8) on RBI singles by Rafael Palmeiro and Todd Zeile. Hentgen continues to struggle in the first inning 28 of his 77 earned runs allowed have come in the first.

    Texas made it 3-0 in the third on Lee Stevens' RBI single. When the Rangers loaded the bases with two outs, Hentgen was replaced by Roy Halladay, who retired Tom Goodwin on a groundout.

    Hentgen allowed three runs and eight hits over 2 2-3 innings, matching his shortest outing of the season.

    "I tried to make some pitches inside and left them over the plate," Hentgen said. "When I made the mistakes, they hammered them. I was having trouble getting into a good groove."

    Notes

  • Rangers left fielder Rusty Greer was out of the starting lineup with a sprained left ankle suffered while running the bases in the ninth inning of Friday night's game. He also has a bone bruise and is day-to-day.
  • Center fielder Curtis Goodwin, picked up on waivers from the Chicago Cubs on Friday, was in the starting lineup for the Blue Jays on Saturday night. Goodwin went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.
  • Toronto first baseman David Segui left the game after the first inning with a fractured finger on his right hand.
  • Rodriguez grounded into his league-leading 23rd double play.

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

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