Blalock's 4-for-5 day includes go-ahead HR

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Hank Blalock matched a career high with
four hits, including the go-ahead homer in the eighth inning, and
the Texas Rangers beat Houston 8-7 Saturday for their eighth
straight win.

Blalock went 4-for-5 and his 18th homer came with two outs off
Dan Miceli (3-3). He's hitting .528 (28-of-53) over his last 15

Houston, which claimed the Lone Star Series the last two
seasons, lost for the second time in less than 24 hours since
acquiring outfielder Carlos Beltran from Kansas City in a three-way
trade in which they gave up closer Octavio Dotel.

Kevin Mench also homered and Alfonso Soriano had four singles
for the Rangers, who lead the AL West.

Texas has the longest winning streak in the majors. San
Francisco carried a seven-game winning streak into its game
Saturday night at Oakland, which along with Anaheim trailed the
Rangers by 2{ games.

The Astros tied the game at 7 when Lance Berkman's three-run
double capped a four-run outburst in the seventh inning. Adam
Everett's RBI single had chased starter John Wasdin.

Carlos Almanzar (6-0), the sixth Texas pitcher, pitched one
inning and has the most wins without a loss in the majors.
Francisco Cordero pitched the ninth for his 22nd save in 24

Beltran was 1-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to 11 games. In
his debut Friday night, he had two of Houston's three hits and
scored the only run in a 3-1 loss to the Rangers.

Houston's four-run seventh helped Tim Redding avoid his fourth
straight loss over five starts. He gave up six runs on 10 hits, six
from the last eight hitters he faced.

After Michael Young's leadoff single in the fifth, Blalock had
his second double -- a hard shot down the line that bounced under
first baseman Mike Lamb's glove and into the right-field corner to
break a 3-3 tie. Soriano followed with a single to chase Redding.

Mike Gallo then faced only three batters, giving up Brad
Fullmer's second RBI single on his first pitch, and hitting Mark
Teixeira on the second. David Dellucci's sacrifice fly made it 6-3.

Mench led off the sixth with his seventh homer.

The Rangers took a 2-0 lead after consecutive singles by Blalock
and Soriano in the first. Fullmer had his first RBI single and
Soriano scored when Teixeira grounded out to Lamb, who recovered
after bobbling the ball.

Lamb's sixth homer tied the game at 2 in the fourth, two innings
after Jeff Bagwell had a leadoff double and scored on a single by
Brad Ausmus. Lamb played first while Bagwell was the DH.

The Rangers regained the lead on Dellucci's RBI single in the
fourth, but Craig Biggio led off the fifth with his ninth homer to
make it 3-3.

Game notes
Rangers C Rod Barajas stretch his hitting streak to a
career-best 10 games with a fourth-inning single. ... Pregame rain
kept the teams from on-field batting practice for the second
straight day. It was raining at the start and end of the game, but
there were no delays.