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Rodriguez has six homers in past three games

8/19/2002

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Alex Rodriguez isn't going to waste time
breaking down the elements of one of the best streaks in his
career. He's just going to ride it out.

Rodriguez tied a major league record with his fifth home run in
two games and the Texas Rangers completed a three-game sweep of the
Toronto Blue Jays with a 10-7 victory Sunday night.

Rodriguez homered twice to pass Sammy Sosa for the major league
lead with 44 homers. Rodriguez also went deep three times Saturday
night and once Friday, all against the Blue Jays.

With six home runs over three games, Rodriguez matched the American League record set by Tony Lazzeri of the New York Yankees (1936), Gus
Zernial of the Philadelphia Athletics (1951) and Manny Ramirez of
the Cleveland Indians (1998).

Two other players have hit five homers over two games this
season. Boston's Nomar Garciaparra did it July 22-23, and Dodgers
slugger Shawn Green did it May 23-24.

''You just live in the moment,'' said Rodriguez, who has six
homers in nine plate appearances over three games. ''It's not
something you sit back and analyze. You just want to prolong it as
long as possible. There's a sense of clarity. Everything slows
down. Your vision is better. It's really hard to describe.''

With the score tied at 3, Mike Lamb drove in the go-ahead run in
the second inning with a groundout. Rodriguez followed with his
fifth homer over a span of seven at-bats to give the Rangers a 6-3
edge.

Rodriguez added a bases-empty shot in the seventh off Corey
Thurman to give him a major league-high 110 RBI.

''He's in a zone, but he's been in a zone for seven years so
it's not a surprise,'' Rangers manager Jerry Narron said. ''I don't
think we appreciate what we're seeing. There's no shortstop who
comes close to what he's doing. He's the best player in the game
today.''

Rafael Palmeiro followed Rodriguez in the seventh with his 34th
homer of the season and 481st of his career to extend Texas' lead
to 10-3.

Palmeiro becomes a fan when he's asked about Rodriguez's torrid
run.

''He's as hot as anyone I've seen,'' Palmeiro said. ''It's
incredible the streak he's on. Why does it have to end? Why not
keep riding it?''

Rodriguez simply wore out the Blue Jays, hitting mistakes as
well as some good pitches.

''Tonight we made a lot of mistakes,'' Blue Jays manager Carlos
Tosca said. ''We need to make more quality pitches against A-Rod
and the other sluggers that the Rangers have.''

Carl Everett went 3-for-3 and drove in two runs for the Rangers,
who won their fourth in a row.

Vernon Wells hit a two-run homer in the Blue Jays' four-run
ninth.

Aaron Myette (2-4) got off to a shaky start, allowing six
baserunners in the first two innings. But the 24-year-old
right-hander settled down, shutting out the Blue Jays over the next
three to win his second consecutive start after going winless in his
first five this season.

Myette allowed three runs on seven walks and four hits over five
innings.

The Rangers won eight of the nine meetings in the season series
with the Blue Jays, which ended Sunday.

Shannon Stewart and Vernon Wells went 2-for-5 for Toronto, which
lost its fifth in a row.

Toronto got the lead in the first on Wells' run-scoring single. Texas
grabbed a 3-1 advantage in the first against former Ranger Esteban
Loaiza (5-7) on Ivan Rodriguez's run-scoring single and Everett's two-run
double.

Loaiza allowed eight runs and eight hits over four-plus
innings.

Game notes
After the game the Rangers optioned Jason Hart to
their Triple-A farm team in Oklahoma. Outfielder Todd Hollandsworth will be
activated from the 15-day disabled list on Tuesday. Hollandsworth has been out
since Aug. 4 due to a strained quadriceps. ... In the first inning,
Myette threw 34 pitches and Toronto had four baserunners, but the
Blue Jays could only manage one run. The first inning took 37
minutes. ... The Rangers have won six of eight. ... Alex Rodriguez
already has the second highest home run total of his career,
surpassed only by the 52 of last season. He has eight multihomer games
this season, 26 for his career.