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Blalock drives in winning run in 10th

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Pittsburgh went from losing in one windy
city to another one.

Hank Blalock's looping RBI single with two outs in the 10th
inning pushed home Laynce Nix with the winning run, and the Texas
Rangers in beat the Pirates 6-5 on Monday night in the first
interleague game of the season.

Like Nix, Blalock hit a flyball to center that was knocked down
by winds gusting near 25 mph and dropped several feet in front of
charging outfielder Tike Redman.

"The wind helps, and it helps," Rangers manager Buck Showalter
said. "It's a tough read on a full swing and the ball coming off
the end of the bat."

Redman came closer to catching Blalock's ball than the one hit
by Nix, but couldn't recover after initially taking a step back.

"I wasn't in far enough and it just fell in," Redman said. "I
thought it would be pretty easy with a big yard because I like to
run. Those would have been real easy to catch if I played here all
of the time."

Manager Lloyd McClendon, back after serving a two-game
suspension during the Pirates' last two games against the Chicago
Cubs, said Redman had "bad jumps."

Pittsburgh lost for the eighth time in nine games despite
scoring more than three runs for the first time in that span.

Blalock hit a full-count pitch against Mike Johnston (0-3) for
the game-winner. Nix had moved to third on Michael Young's
line-drive single with two outs.

"It took two bleeders to win," Young said. "That stuff
happens, and we'll definitely take it."

Texas has never lost to the Pirates. But the Rangers, who left
Pittsburgh with a three-game sweep two years ago in their only
other series, struck out a season-high 15 times against five
pitchers.

Interleague play began in 1997 when the Rangers hosted San
Francisco. Texas hosted the first of three AL vs. NL games Monday
night.

Both teams got runners to third in the ninth before
inning-ending strikeouts. And both had running catches in the
outfield.

Alfonso Soriano led off the Texas ninth with a single against
Salomon Torres, then moved up on a groundout and wild pitch before
Chad Allen struck out.

Rob Mackowiak had a leadoff single and was stranded when Redman
struck out against Francisco Cordero (2-0), who stayed in to pitch
the 10th.

Mackowiak tracked down Brad Fullmer's flyball near the fence in
the left-center gap after Soriano's leadoff hit. Nix went a long
way to get Bobby Hill's flyball in the right-center gap before
Redman struck out.

Texas starter R.A. Dickey, 0-4 in seven starts since May 2, had
a 5-3 lead after Gary Matthews Jr. hit a two-run single in the
fifth.

But Dickey was out of the game an inning later when Craig Wilson
hit a tying two-run homer, his 13th, two outs after Jason Kendall's
leadoff single.

The Pirates led 3-0 for Kip Wells, a Texas native who was 4-1
with a 1.97 ERA in eight previous appearances against the Rangers
when pitching for the White Sox from 1999-2001.

Redman and Jose Castillo, the bottom two hitters in Pittsburgh's
lineup, both drove in runs in the second, with Redman getting an
RBI single and Castillo a two-run single that made it 3-0.

But Brad Fullmer's sacrifice fly in the second pushed home
Texas' first run, and Mark Teixeira followed with his eighth homer,
a two-run shot that tied the game.

Wells struck out four of his first seven batters, walking the
other three. He struck out eight and walked five, throwing 62 of
112 pitches for strikes and allowing seven hits over 4 2-3
innings.

Game notes
Randall Simon has just one hit in 21 at-bats after going
0-2 as the Pittsburgh's DH. ... Wells is 1-3 with a 5.79 ERA his
last nine starts since going 2-1 with a 1.89 ERA his first three.
... Texas has scored 651 runs in interleague play, the most by any
team since the AL and NL teams started playing each other in the
regular season. ... Pirates SS Jack Wilson went 0-for-5 with four
strikeouts, ending an 11-game hitting streak.