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


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

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

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

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