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Bench-clearing melee mars Rangers' victory vs. Angels

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Bad feelings had been brewing between
the Los Angeles Angels and Texas Rangers for 10 days.

A volatile series finally turned violent when Adam Kennedy
charged the mound after being hit by a pitch from Texas' Scott
Feldman, triggering a bench-clearing brawl in the Rangers' 9-3
victory over the Angels.

The melee came a night after Rangers starter Vicente Padilla was
ejected for hitting two Angels with pitches and nearly plunking a
third.

And Kennedy was hit an inning after the Angels had two pitchers
and manager Mike Scioscia ejected because two Rangers' hitters were
nailed.

Feldman threw his glove down as Kennedy charged the mound and
Feldman hit Kennedy in the armpit with a punch.

Rangers third baseman Mark DeRosa sprinted toward the mound and
tackled Kennedy as both benches and bullpens emptied. Angels
right-hander John Lackey ran from the dugout and had to be
restrained from going after Texas players.

The umpires restored order about four minutes later.

Kennedy said he was left with no choice but to go after Feldman.

"All the points had been made," Kennedy said. "You have a
choice to go or not go and I decided to go. You wish it didn't have
to happen that way. It's unfortunate because there'll be fines and
suspensions."

Rangers manager Buck Showalter was tossed out for a second
straight game. Kennedy and Feldman were also ejected.

Feldman claimed the pitch got away from him.

"With the situation that occurred earlier, I can see why I got
tossed for that," Feldman said. "I was just trying to go inside.
... I wasn't shocked. I looked up and (Kennedy) was coming at me."

In the bottom of the eighth, Angels reliever Kevin Gregg threw
well behind Ian Kinsler, and plate umpire Sam Holbrook warned both
dugouts. Gregg and Scioscia were ejected when the next batter,
Michael Young, was hit in the back with a pitch.

Gregg, working his fifth inning of the night, said he did not
mean to hit Young.

"I was 90 pitches deep on a bum knee," Gregg said. "I was
amped up and I just threw one that got away from me."

"There was no intent," said Scioscia, who closed the clubhouse
for 25 minutes after the game to calm his team and get his players
refocused on the AL West race.

Brendan Donnelly relieved and he was thrown out after four
pitches when he plunked Freddy Guzman. Bench coach Ron Roenicke,
who took over for Scioscia, also was ejected.

"Baseball is baseball," Donnelly said. "Things have a way of
working themselves out."

Young figured the brawl would result in multiple suspensions.

"I hope they go easy on us," Young said. "But I doubt they
will."

The Angels-Rangers feud started on Aug. 6 when Adam Eaton was
thrown out of a game for throwing at Juan Rivera.

Eaton (3-2) was back on the mound Wednesday night, but didn't
come close to hitting anyone, during seven strong innings.

Rookie Nelson Cruz hit his first grand slam in an eight-run
third inning for the Rangers to back Eaton.

Cruz, acquired from the Milwaukee Brewers along with Carlos Lee
in a six-player trade on July 28, hit the Rangers' eighth grand
slam of the season off Gregg. Cruz's long fly just cleared the
left-field wall and stretched the lead to 9-0.

"I was real excited to help the team win," Cruz said. "I was
glad I got the opportunity. This should get me confident."

Kinsler also homered in the third for the Rangers, who've won
six of seven.

Angels rookie left-hander Joe Saunders (4-1) was beaten for the
first time in his seventh major league start. He had won all four
of his starts this season with a 1.67 ERA since being called up
from Triple-A Salt Lake on Aug. 1.

He allowed eight runs and five hits in 2 2/3 innings against
Texas. He walked five and struck out one.

Eaton (3-2) allowed two runs and four hits in his fifth start
since returning from a torn tendon in his right middle finger that
landed him on the disabled list on April 1. He struck out five and
walked two on a 101-degree night.

Eaton retired 14 straight until a sixth-inning walk to Chone
Figgins. Maicer Izturis, who had three RBI, followed with a homer
to end Eaton's shutout bid.

Game notes
The Rangers matched the 1999 team record for grand slams in
a season. ... The eight-run third equaled Texas' biggest inning of
the season. ... Jose Molina of the Angels had his career-best
12-game hitting streak snapped. ... The Rangers sent 12 to the
plate in the third. ... Vladimir Guerrero of the Angels went
2-for-4 and has hit safely in 24 straight road games against the
Rangers, every game he's played at Ameriquest Field.