Final

Series: Game 1 of 3

Texas leads 1-0 (as of 6/23)

Game 1: Friday, June 23
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Colorado6
Game 2: Saturday, June 24
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Colorado11
Game 3: Sunday, June 25
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Colorado3

Rangers 8

(40-34, 20-13 away)

Rockies 6

(36-37, 18-18 home)

    9:05 PM ET, June 23, 2006

    Coors Field, Denver, Colorado 

    123456789 R H E
    TEX 000014300 8 12 1
    COL 102010200 6 10 0

    W: J. Koronka (6-4)

    L: J. Francis (5-7)

    S: A. Otsuka (14)

    Rangers ride Teixeira, Blalock homers to win over Rockies

    DENVER (AP) -- See the ball and hit it. That's Hank Blalock's basic approach when he steps into the box. He doesn't overthink or overanalyze what a pitcher might be throwing.

    "I just go up there and hit it," Blalock said.

    His simple approach worked during the Texas Rangers' 8-6 win over the Colorado Rockies on Friday night. Blalock had two hits -- including a home run -- and drove in a pair of runs. His seventh-inning homer was the 100th of his career.

    "That's a good accomplishment," he said.

    So was pulling out this win. The Rangers trailed 4-1 before rallying for four runs in the sixth and three more -- on back-to-back homers by Mark Teixeira (a two-run shot) and Blalock -- in the seventh.

    "I have a lot of confidence in our guys," manager Buck Showalter said.

    Jeff Francis (5-7) cruised through the first 5 2/3 innings before unraveling. The Rangers strung together five hits and a walk to turn a three-run deficit into a 5-4 lead.

    Teixeira started the rally with a double and was singled home by Blalock. Kevin Mench had an RBI single and Gerald Laird added an RBI double to tie the game.

    Francis intentionally walked Ian Kinsler and then was relieved by Scott Dohmann, who gave up a single to pinch-hitter Jason Botts.

    The two-out rally doesn't surprise Showalter. He's come to expect it from his team.

    "We're not like, 'OK, there's two outs, inning's over,'" Showalter said. "Our guys keep grinding. Hopefully this is something we all can build on."

    No one more than Teixeira, who hit his first home run since May 29 against Seattle. He went 97 at-bats without a homer.

    Just don't ask him about it. Teixeira is sick of answering questions about why he's not hitting as many home runs this season. He doesn't have an answer, and neither does Showalter.

    "He spoiled us with a tremendous year last year," Showalter said of Teixeira's 43-homer season. "He's the same guy. He still has a sincere look on his face after we win."

    Teixeira, who hit his seventh home run of the season Friday, isn't changing his approach at the plate.

    "If you try to hit home runs, your whole game is going to go into the toilet," said Teixeira, who also had a double. "You try to keep your timing the same."

    John Koronka (6-4) earned the victory, giving up seven hits and three earned runs in five innings while striking out six. Akinori Otsuka got three outs for his 15th save in 17 chances.

    After the game, Francis was shaking his head at what went wrong in the sixth. He was one out from escaping.

    "Everything happened so fast," he said. "I couldn't catch a break."

    The Rockies, trailing 8-4, made some noise in the seventh when they scored two runs on RBI doubles by Clint Barmes and Todd Helton.

    But then the Rangers took advantage of a baserunning blunder. Colorado loaded the bases and Brad Hawpe hit a one-out fly to left fielder Brad Wilkerson. Helton bluffed going home, but when Wilkerson's throw went to the backstop, Helton went down the line, stopped and headed back to third. Laird threw to shortstop Michael Young covering the bag to double up Helton.

    The only reason Laird threw to Young was because he mistook Rockies third-base coach Mike Gallego as a baserunner.

    "I thought they had two guys on third," Laird said. "It worked out well."

    Colorado manager Clint Hurdle was disappointed with the decision making on the play.

    "The unconventional 7-2-6 double play to end the inning took the air out of us," Hurdle said.

    Barmes' promotion to the No. 2 spot in the batting order paid off as he had two doubles and a bunt single. Barmes, who usually bats eighth, was hitting .197 coming into the game, and helped the Rockies get on the scoreboard in the first. After Jamey Carroll led off with a hit up the middle, Barmes followed with a well-placed bunt single to the right side of the mound.

    Barmes' hustle on the basepaths led to a run. Helton appeared to ground into a routine 4-6-3 double play, but Barmes took out Young on his slide, causing Young to throw wide of first. Carroll scored on the play.

    Young had gone 43 games without an error, a team record for shortstops.

    Game notes


    Texas right-hander Frank Francisco (right elbow surgery) had his scheduled throwing session canceled. "He had soreness in the elbow," Showalter said. ... Young has hit safely in seven straight games to raise his average from .310 to .330. He's hitting .362 in interleague play. ... Helton's four RBI were a season high. ... Carroll has hit safely in 12 straight starts.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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