MIAMI (AP) -- The Florida Marlins wouldn't stay down despite
trailing by five runs against one of baseball's toughest pitchers.
Alex Gonzalez led off the seventh with a go-ahead home run, and
Kenny Rogers failed to win for the first time in nine starts as the
Marlins defeated the Texas Rangers 6-5 on Saturday night.Gonzalez homered to left on a 2-1 pitch off reliever Juan
Dominguez (0-1), capping the Marlins' comeback from a 5-0 deficit.
It was Gonzalez's fourth homer of the season."We know we can score a lot of runs," Gonzalez said. "We have
power, we have speed. You can never give up."The Rangers have lost a season-high five straight games."We had a stretch where we won 10 in a row ... stuff like this
happens," third baseman Hank Blalock said. "It's been a long road
trip. What's important is that we end it on a good note (Sunday)
and forget about what has happened up until now."John Riedling (3-1), the fourth of six Florida pitchers, got the
win. Todd Jones struck out the side in the ninth for his 11th save
in 13 opportunities.Rogers retired the first 11 Marlins before walking Miguel
Cabrera. Carlos Delgado followed with his 13th home run, just the
third surrendered by Rogers this season and the first to a
left-handed batter.It also was Delgado's first homer in 40 career at-bats against
Rogers."When I'm facing him, I just try to make contact," Delgado
said. "I don't try to hit the ball too hard because his ball moves
quite a bit."The Marlins scored three runs off Rogers in the sixth to tie it
at 5.With one out, singles by Juan Pierre and Luis Castillo put
runners on first and second. After Cabrera struck out, Delgado
lined a 3-2 pitch to right for a double to score Pierre. Mike
Lowell followed with a two-run double off the left-field scoreboard
to knock out Rogers.Florida's three-run sixth came after Rogers tripled in the top
half of the inning and was stranded on base. It was his eighth
career hit in 56 at-bats (.143) and first career triple -- and may
have caused his struggles in the bottom of the inning."Sure, (the triple) may have had something to do with it,"
Texas manager Buck Showalter said. "I would hope it did."Rogers, who this season has limited his dealings with the media
to one Dallas-area reporter, allowed five runs in 5 2/3 innings and
remained 8-2. His consecutive-start winning streak tied Milwaukee's
Warren Spahn in 1963 for the third-longest in major league history
among pitchers over age 40.Roger Clemens had the longest streak, 11 straight with the New
York Yankees and Houston in 2003-04. Spahn also won 10 in a row
with Milwaukee in 1961.Kevin Mench's first career grand slam gave Texas a 4-0 lead with
one out in the second. Mench lined a 1-1 pitch 388 feet into the
left-field second deck.Rogers made it 5-0 with a fielder's choice groundout in the
fourth.Al Leiter lasted just 4 1/3 innings, throwing 114 pitches. He
allowed five runs, seven hits, four walks and struck out six.Leiter began the game with a 10.44 ERA at home, the highest of
any major league pitcher with at least five home starts.The Rangers stranded nine runners between the fourth and seventh
innings."It's frustrating when you don't get the big hit, but there's a
reason you're in a five-game skid," shortstop Michael Young said.
"You're not capitalizing in those situations."
A three-man umpiring crew worked the game. Crew chief Randy
Marsh was absent because of a family medical emergency. ... Negro
League star Buck O'Neil "threw out" the ceremonial first pitch
before Saturday night's game. O'Neil, 94, actually wound up three
times -- beginning on the mound and getting closer to the plate each
time -- before finally placing the ball in Dontrelle Willis' glove.
... Alfonso Soriano started for the first time since Sunday, when
he suffered a sore left hamstring at Kansas City. ... Rogers' ERA
rose to 2.02.