Wasdin wins first start in six years

MIAMI (AP) -- Texas right-hander John Wasdin has spent the better
part of his career toiling in the minor leagues, waiting for

So he knows the importance of making a good impression.

He did that Friday night against the Florida Marlins. Wasdin
allowed six hits and a run in seven innings, winning his first
start in nearly six years and helping the Rangers snap a four-game
losing streak with an 8-1 victory over the Marlins.

Wasdin (1-0), making his second start of the season and first
since April 25, walked two and struck out one. He won his first
start since July 29, 1998, as a member of the Boston Red Sox.

"Hopefully I'm back on the radar screen," said Wasdin, called
up from Triple-A Oklahoma before the game.

His last victory came as a reliever with Baltimore in August
2001. Wasdin had pitched just five games since the 2001 season,
giving up 23 hits and 16 runs in 9 2-3 innings.

He was much more effective against first-place Florida.

"He looked really good against one of the better clubs in
baseball, and that says a lot," Rangers manager Buck Showalter

In his first game for Florida, Billy Koch allowed a run and two
hits in the ninth inning. Koch was acquired from the Chicago White
Sox on Thursday for minor league infielder Wilson Valdez.

Hank Blalock had four hits, Michael Young added three singles
and Alfonso Soriano drove in a pair of runs. Brad Fullmer's ninth
homer, a three-run shot in the seventh, put the game out of reach.

The Rangers hit Marlins starter Brad Penny hard, handing him his
third loss in as many starts.

Young opened the game with a single up the middle and ended
Penny's night with an RBI single in the seventh.

In between, Penny (6-5) struck out 10 but also allowed four runs
on eight hits and a walk. Three batters after Penny left the game,
Fullmer hit a shot to right off Ben Howard to make it 7-0.

The Rangers have now homered in a season-high 10 straight games.

Hee Seop Choi gave Florida its only run with his 12th homer in
the seventh.

"We can't wait every night until the seventh inning to score
runs," Marlins manager Jack McKeon said. "It puts a strain on
your pitching. You've got to give these guys some help."

Texas scored two of its first three runs thanks partly to
well-executed hit-and-run plays.

In the first inning, Young moved to second on a hit-and-run with
Blalock and then scored on Soriano's slow roller to third.

Rod Barajas, back in the starting lineup after missing two games
because of a sprained right thumb, lined a single to left with two
outs in the fourth. Jason Conti followed with an RBI double in the
gap in left-center, making it 2-0.

The Rangers extended the lead to 3-0 in the seventh with another
hit-and-run. Conti walked to lead off the inning and was running on
Young's bloop single to shallow center. Juan Pierre nearly got to
the ball by diving, but it bounced under his glove.

Conti never slowed down from first and easily beat the relay
throw home.

Blalock followed with a single, and then Soriano added an RBI
single off Howard just before Fullmer's homer.

"We're going to hit our share of home runs, but there are a lot
of ways to score runs," Showalter said. "The main thing we want
is for our guys to be aggressive. We don't want to feel like one
guy has to carry the weight."

Game notes
Rangers RHP Carlos Almanzar left in the eighth after being
hit by a liner on his throwing hand. X-rays were negative, and he
is day to day. ... Penny struck out the side twice, in the second
and the sixth. ... Conti's double was his first hit of the season,
snapping an 0-for-7 start. ... The Rangers improved to 3-10 in
National League parks since Showalter took over in 2003. ... This
was the first meeting between Texas and Florida in Miami.