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Wetteland Gets Monkey Off Back

John Wetteland seldom has had a save that was this satisfying.

After blowing three straight save chances, the Texes Rangers closer retired three of four batters in a 5-4 win over the San Francisco Giants on Sunday.

"That was no monkey," Wetteland said. "It felt like two gorillas off my back."

Wetteland, who got his 27th save in 34 chances, allowed four runs in 1 1/3 innings during Saturday's 8-6 loss to Arizona.

He stayed primarily with his fastball Sunday, allowing a one-out single to Scott Servais.

"I had the results tonight," Wetteland said. "What was frustrating was that for the most part I was throwing the ball well. But even if you are, there are no guarantees. There were some smiles out there tonight."

Wetteland needed just 13 pitches to retire the side.

"He bounced back tonight," Rangers manager Johnny Oates said. "He needed a save, I needed a save and this ballclub needed a save."

Rangers starter Mike Morgan (10-6) won for the fourth time in five decisions and became Texas' first 10-game winner of the season. He allowed three runs and seven hits in 6 1-3 innings, struck out two and walked one.

The 39-year-old right-hander got 10 straight groundouts between the second and fifth innings and took a 4-0 lead into the sixth before J.T. Snow's two-run homer.

"I was throwing the kitchen sink at them tonight," said Morgan, who had his longest start since throwing a complete game on June 28. "Splits, sliders, sinkers, curves, whatever worked. I tried to Houdini them."

Giants starter Mark Gardner (3-8) gave up five runs, five hits and four walks in six innings.

Umpires were the center of controversy in the seventh, when Stan Javier singled with one out and Rich Aurilia followed with a drive to left-center that hit high on the outfield wall.

Aurilia went to second, then circled the bases when third-base umpire Mark Johnson signaled a home run. Johnson then changed his decision back to a double when he was informed by second-base umpire Durwood Merrill that the ball hadn't gone out of the park.

"Durwood had a real good view," Rangers left fielder Rusty Greer said.

Replays showed the umpires made the correct call, but Aurilia wondered why Johnson called it a homer even though he didn't have a good look at where the ball landed.

"If it's the right call, it's the right call. But if you don't see it, don't make the home-run call to make it reversed," Aurilia said. "I'm not saying we would have won or lost, but it would have been a big run."

Dusty Baker's 1,000th game as Giants manager results in a loss.>
Dusty Baker's 1,000th game as Giants manager results in a loss.(AP)

After Servais' RBI groundout off Mike Venafro cut the Giants' deficit to 5-3, Marvin Benard hit an inning-ending groundout with a runner on third. Ellis Burks added an RBI double in the eighth off Jeff Zimmerman.

Todd Zeile's sacrifice fly and Gregg Zaun's RBI single gave Texas a 2-0 lead in the second, and the Rangers added two runs in the fifth on Roberto Kelly's sacrifice fly and Greer's run-scoring single.

Royce Clayton added an RBI double in the sixth.


  • Zimmerman didn't allow a run in two-thirds of an inning, stretching his scoreless streak to 24 innings, a team-record for relievers. The previous mark of 23 2/3 innings was set by Jim Kern in 1979. Zimmerman also had his 20th straight scoreless outing.
  • Dusty Baker became the second Giants manager to reach 1,000 games since the team moved to San Francisco after the 1957 season, following Roger Craig (1,152). John McGraw is the franchise leader, managing 4,405 games for the New York Giants.
  • Rangers catcher Ivan Rodriguez was rested, replaced in the starting lineup by Zaun.
  • The Rangers will recall rookie Ryan Glynn from their Triple-A farm Oklahoma farm team to start Monday night's game against the Giants.

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

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