ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Kevin Mench's botched bunt attempt
prompted a scolding from third base coach Steve Smith. Two pitches
later, Mench gave Texas an extra-inning victory.
Mench's line-drive single in the 10th inning rallied the Rangers
past Baltimore 7-6 Wednesday, ending the Orioles' four-game winning
streak.Pinch-hitter David Dellucci tied the score with a two-run homer
in the ninth off Jorge Julio. Alfonso Soriano also connected for
the Rangers, his 34th."In this ballpark, anything can happen," Mench said.Mark Teixeira led off the 10th with a double against Jason
Grimsley (1-2). Soriano was intentionally walked, bringing Mench to
the plate.When he left the dugout, Mench thought he heard Smith tell him
to bunt the runners over. Mench heard wrong.After he fouled off a bunt attempt, he was informed by Smith
that he should have been swinging away."Smitty came down and yelled at me," said Mench, who has two
career sacrifice bunts -- none this season.He fouled off the next pitch, then lashed his single to left to
score Teixeira easily."We're trying to make this month productive," Mench said.
"We've got a lot of guys who are trying to prove themselves."Joaquin Benoit (4-4) got two outs for the win.The Orioles carried a 6-3 advantage into the ninth with Julio,
the team's former closer, on the mound trying for his first save of
the season. But the Rangers tied it at 6 on pinch-hitter Hank
Blalock's RBI double and Dellucci's two-run shot.Baltimore interim manager Sam Perlozzo wasn't pleased that Julio
issued a walk to Mark DeRosa, who scored on Blalock's double.
Perlozzo also questioned the high-and-outside fastball Julio threw
to Dellucci that ended up in the seats."Nobody's perfect in baseball," Julio said. "I want to help
the team. I'm trying to do my job. It's been a bad year for me this
year."Julio, who had 22 saves for Baltimore last season, was on the
mound because regular closer B.J. Ryan got the day off after saving
the previous four games.Dellucci had his eighth career pinch-hit homer, second of the
season."I love being in that situation," Dellucci said. "I love the
competition. When you pinch hit, nine times out of 10 the game is
on the line. You're either a hero or a goat."The homers by Soriano and Dellucci gave the Rangers 145 at home,
tying the AL record established last season by the Chicago White
Sox.Texas, which leads the majors with 245 homers overall, is four
shy of the big league record in a home park set by Colorado in
1996.Seattle set the overall major league mark of 264 home runs in
1997.The Orioles snapped a 3-all tie in the seventh against reliever
John Wasdin on Brian Roberts' RBI double.Melvin Mora, who had three hits, extended Baltimore's lead to
6-3 with a two-run double in the ninth off Doug Brocail.The Orioles took a 2-0 lead in the first against Juan Dominguez
on RBI singles by Miguel Tejada and B.J. Surhoff, then made it 3-0
in the second on Mora's run-scoring double.Michael Young's RBI double in the third off Baltimore starter
Erik Bedard extended his hitting streak to 12 games and got Texas
to 3-1.In the fourth, Soriano's solo homer and DeRosa's RBI single tied
it at 3.Bedard allowed three runs and seven hits in five innings.
Dominguez gave up three runs and eight hits in six innings,
striking out six and walking one.
Baltimore 1B Rafael Palmeiro watched some of the game from
a luxury suite. Palmeiro has been at his offseason home in nearby
Colleyville rehabilitating ankle and knee injuries. He has not
played since Aug. 30. Palmeiro was not available to reporters, but
he spoke by phone with Orioles spokesman Bill Stetka. "He just
wanted to be here to show his support for his teammates," Stetka
said. ... Jason Botts made his major league debut as the Rangers'
DH, going 0-for-3 with a walk. ... The Orioles are 18-20 under
Perlozzo, who took over after Lee Mazzilli was fired on Aug. 4. ...
Baltimore's Luis Matos went 2-for-5 and has hit safely in 17
straight games against Texas, batting .485 (33-for-68) during that