Final in 10

Series: Game 1 of 3

Texas leads 1-0 (as of 6/18)

Game 1: Friday, June 18
in 10
Game 2: Saturday, June 19
Game 3: Sunday, June 20
in 11

Rangers 8

(35-29, 15-18 away)

Marlins 1

(37-30, 18-14 home)

    7:35 PM ET, June 18, 2004

    Sun Life Stadium, Miami, Florida 

    R H E
    TEX - -
    FLA - -

    W: J. Wasdin (1-0)

    L: B. Penny (6-5)

    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 opportunities.

    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 said.

    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.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press