A-Rod ends slump; Unit outduels Millwood in Yanks' win

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Alex Rodriguez looked more like himself
in his return to Texas.

The slumping two-time AL MVP had two hits, scored the go-ahead
run and was error-free in the field in the New York Yankees' 6-2
victory over the Rangers on Monday night.

"I've been feeling better. I was swinging a little too hard in
Toronto, trying to do too much," Rodriguez said of going 0-for-4 in a 13-5 loss on Sunday. "Hopefully, I
can come back and shut some people up."

Yanks manager Joe Torre thinks A-Rod is starting simply.

"He had good at-bats, he hit good pitches. He had a good
night," he said. "Now the key is just to put
something together. And it doesn't have to be hits. The quality of
the at-bats is something he's looking to have right now."

Lustily booed by the fans of his former team -- the one that gave
him the record $252 million contract -- Rodriguez snapped an
0-for-11 streak with a single in the fourth and then scored the
go-ahead run.

"I liked the seventh better," Rodriguez said, referring to his
RBI double. "I've been feeling better. I've was swinging a little
too hard in Toronto, trying to do too much. It was nice to
contribute to win."

Rodriguez finished 2-for-5. He has only six hits his last 32
at-bats, and on Saturday he struck out four times in a game for the
first time since 1995.

Randy Johnson (11-8) struck out seven to win the matchup of the
last two pitchers to throw no-hitters. Like Kevin Millwood (10-6),
Johnson pitched only six innings.

Johnson threw 101 pitches, allowing two runs and seven hits with
two walks. The 42-year-old threw 129 pitches in his last start
Wednesday, when he struck out a season-high 11 in a loss to

"Tonight was the residual of that game. My slider wasn't as
effective," Johnson said. "I gave up too many hits. ... It's a
game I'm glad is over. Getting through today was the biggest

There have been more than 5,700 major league games since
Johnson's perfect game for Arizona against Atlanta on May 18, 2004.
Millwood threw his no-hitter for Philadelphia against San Francisco
on April 27, 2003.

Millwood allowed five runs, two earned. He struck out two and
walked two.

"I'm not very satisfied," Millwood said. "I felt like there
were some opportunities if I made one pitch, I get out of the

Rodriguez, the converted Gold Glove shortstop who had five
errors in a five-game stretch at third base last week, cleanly
fielded the three balls hit his way by the Rangers -- two of them
infield singles.

"He looked very comfortable," Torre said. "Maybe it's just
being familiar in this ballpark."

A-Rod played in Texas from 2001-03, winning the AL MVP for a
last-place team his final season before being traded to the Yankees
just before spring training in 2004. Rodriguez is in the sixth
season of his 10-year contract.

Buck Showalter missed his second consecutive game, a precaution
advised by a team doctor after the Texas manager sat out a game in
Chicago and spent a night in the hospital for dehydration.
Showalter had said two hours before the game that he planned to be
on the bench.

Mark Teixeira led off the Texas second with his 14th home run, a
420-foot line shot that hit the top of a scoreboard in left field.
He had an RBI single in the fifth, but made the third out on the
same play when he overslid second base.

Melky Cabrera, moved from eighth to leadoff in the Yankees
batting order after Johnny Damon was scratched because of a sore
back, went 3-for-4 with a triple, double, two runs scored, a walk
and a stolen base.

"Hopefully, this is the only game I'll miss," Damon said.

"Put him in the spotlight and he seems to really enjoy being
the guy you can count on. He got us off to a good start," Torre
said. "It was a good night all the way around."

Derek Jeter had an RBI triple and a double, and Aaron Guiel hit
his fifth homer for the Yankees, who had lost four of their
previous five games.

Rodriguez started the fourth with a single, and scored on a
two-run double by Miguel Cairo that made it 3-1. Bernie Williams
reached on a fielding error by first baseman Teixeira, making both
runs unearned.

An inning later, Rodriguez reached on a fielder's choice, a
grounder to third. Mark DeRosa threw home trying to prevent a run,
but short-hopped the throw for an error. Cabrera, who led off with
a double, scored another unearned run to make it 4-1.

The Yankees got their first run in the third after consecutive
triples by Cabrera and Jeter.

Rodriguez caught a foul pop in the fifth, and an inning later
made a clean pickup of an unexpected bunt by Gerald Laird, the
speedy catcher who beat out the throw with a headfirst slide. A-Rod
also fielded a slow, high-hopping infield single by DeRosa in the

Game notesHideki Matsui took easy swings off a tee and during a soft toss session with a mini-bat during his second workout Monday at the Yankees' minor-league complex. Johnson has 4,493 strikeouts, third on the career list
behind Nolan Ryan (5,714) and Roger Clemens (4,529). ... SS Michael
Young, in the Rangers' first home game since he was the All-Star
game MVP, was 2-for-5 and made a nifty defensive play, sprinting
into short center and catching a popup with his back to the
infield. ... The switch-hitting Teixeira has seven homers against
left-handed pitchers, seven against right-handers. ... Both teams
had 10 hits and left 10 runners on base.