Series: Game 1 of 4

Texas leads 1-0 (as of 9/9)

Game 1: Monday, September 9
Seattle 7Final
Texas 12
Game 2: Tuesday, September 10
Seattle 2Final
Texas 3
Game 3: Wednesday, September 11
Seattle 3Final
Texas 4
Game 4: Thursday, September 12
Seattle 3Final
Texas 7

Mariners 7

(84-59, 43-29 away)

Rangers 12

(66-77, 37-35 home)

    8:05 PM ET, September 9, 2002

    Globe Life Park in Arlington, Arlington, Texas 

    123456789 R H E
    SEA 221000020 7 - -
    TEX 03002304 - 12 - -

    W: D. Reyes (4-3)

    L: J. Halama (5-5)

    A-Rod drives in six, breaks own SS homer record

    ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- The records keeping coming for Alex Rodriguez.

    Alex Rodriguez

    Alex Rodriguez might be the AL's best player, but most valuable?

    Rodriguez hit a pair of three-run homers, breaking his own major league mark for shortstops with 53 home runs in a season as the Texas Rangers beat the Seattle Mariners 12-7 Monday night.

    While the Rangers head toward their third straight last-place finish, Rodriguez maintains his focus, beating his one-time teammates as the Mariners attempt to stay in contention.

    ''We have a responsibility to the rest of the American League West to continue to play hard,'' said Rodriguez. ''I have a lot of great friends over there, so it's tough to go against them, but at the same time it feels good to play well against them. We haven't played a lot of important games, but when you're playing against playoff contenders, it brings your game up a notch.''

    The Rangers homered in their 27th straight game, extending their big league mark.

    Ichiro Suzuki and Desi Relaford led off the game with homers for the Mariners. But the Rangers rallied behind A-Rod and stopped Seattle's three-game winning streak, further damaging its wild-card chances.

    Rodriguez hit 52 homers last year, setting the record for shortstops and the Rangers' home run mark.

    Rodriguez matched those records in the sixth with a tiebreaking shot off Jeff Nelson.

    ''It's really humbling to be at the top of the list on a team that has such a history of great offense,'' said Rodriguez.

    In the eighth, Rodriguez added another three-run shot and Rafael Palmeiro followed with his 40th off rookie Aaron Taylor. It was Palmeiro's 487th career home run.

    Rodriguez has 10 multihomer games, one short of the major record held by Hank Greenberg (1938) and Sammy Sosa (1998).

    Rodriguez had his fourth career six-RBI game as Texas beat Seattle for the first time in seven meetings at The Ballpark in Arlington this season.

    As the records tumble before Rodriguez, Rangers manager Jerry Narron can only shake his head in wonder.

    ''I'd say he's the best player in baseball,'' Narron said. ''I never thought I'd see a shortstop hit 50 homers. I don't know if we truly realize what we're seeing. When it's all over, if he's not the best player of all time, he'll be close to it.''

    Dennys Reyes (4-2) pitched three innings of one-hit shutout relief. John Halama (5-5) took the loss.

    John Olerud's two-run homer off Danny Kolb in the eighth pulled Seattle within 8-7 before Texas pulled away.

    The Mariners jumped on Aaron Myette in the first on Suzuki's seventh homer and Relaford's sixth. Seattle increased its advantage to 4-0 in the second on sacrifice flies by Dan Wilson and Mike Cameron.

    Texas made it 4-3 in the second on Carl Everett's RBI double and rookie Hank Blalock's two-run single. But the Mariners extended their lead to 5-3 in the third on Olerud's run-scoring double.

    The Rangers tied it at 5 in the fifth when Everett's two-run single chased starter Jamie Moyer.

    Moyer gave up five runs, six hits and four walks over 4 2/3 innings. Mariners pitches issued eight walks in the game.

    ''The secret is keeping the first and second batters off base,'' said Mariners manager Lou Piniella. ''We were able to do that early, but we paid the price later on.''

    Halama issued a sixth-inning walk to Mike Lamb to bring up Alex Rodriguez with two runners on.

    ''Walking Lamb to get to Alex, I don't think that's the right combination,'' Piniella said.

    Game notes

    Rodriguez's 50-plus homers and Palmeiro's 40 mark the first time two teammates have hit 50 and 40 homers, respectively, in two consecutive seasons. ... Ichiro snapped an 0-for-12 with his homer. He has four homers leading off the game this season, five for his career. ... Ivan Rodriguez extended his hitting streak to 12 games, longest by a Rangers player this season. ... The Rangers home-run streak started on Aug. 11. ... Seattle is 10-3 against Texas this season.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press