Series: Game 2 of 5

Texas leads 2-0 (as of 6/24)

Game 1: Monday, June 24
Anaheim 5Final
Texas 8
Game 2: Monday, June 24
Anaheim 2Final
Texas 3
Game 3: Tuesday, June 25
Anaheim 5Final
Texas 11
Game 4: Wednesday, June 26
Anaheim 7Final
Texas 6
Game 5: Thursday, June 27
Anaheim 6Final
Texas 3

Angels 2

(43-31, 21-16 away)

Rangers 3

(34-41, 18-18 home)

    9:35 PM ET, June 24, 2002

    Globe Life Park in Arlington, Arlington, Texas 

    123456789 R H E
    ANA 000000110 2 - -
    TEX 10020000 - 3 - -

    W: D. Burba (4-4)

    L: J. Lackey (0-1)

    S: H. Irabu (14)

    Texas sweeps doubleheader from Anaheim

    ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- One of the worst pitching staffs in the majors is starting to show sings of improvement under new Texas Rangers pitching coach Orel Hershiser.

    Juan Gonzalez, right, congraluates Alex Rodriguez after his 22nd homer.

    Dave Burba allowed one run in 6 2-3 innings and Alex Rodriguez hit his 22nd homer as the Rangers completed a doubleheader sweep and won their season-high seventh straight game, 3-2 over the Anaheim Angels on Monday night.

    ''Orel is one of the best communicators I've been around in baseball,'' Rodriguez said. ''He's been everywhere. He's been a world champion, won the Cy Young.''

    In the opener, rookie right-hander Joaquin Benoit pitched five innings to lead Texas to an 8-5 win before being sent back to the minors for the third time this season.

    Burba (4-4) had lost his previous four decisions and hadn't won since May 11 amid speculation he was in danger of being dropped from the rotation.

    Burba gave up eight hits, but didn't allow a run until Bengie Molina's RBI double in the seventh. Jay Powell came on and struck out pinch-hitter Scott Spiezio with runners on first and third to preserve the Rangers' 3-1 lead.

    Hershiser, hired last weekend after the firing of Oscar Acosta, made several trips to the mound during the doubleheader to deliver positive messages.

    ''I thought he was going to come out in pompoms at one point,'' Burba said. ''It's been a long time since I won a game. Orel kept encouraging me. It's great to get that positive feedback.''

    Garret Anderson's RBI groundout in the eighth off John Rocker pulled the Angels within 3-2, but Rocker struck out Tim Salmon with the tying run on third to end the threat.

    Hideki Irabu got three outs for his 14th save.

    Angels manager Mike Scioscia was disappointed at the sweep by a team Anaheim had beaten in six of the first eight meetings this season.

    Benoit kept the Rangers in the first game before he was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma as Texas called up right-hander Aaron Myette to add bullpen depth.

    Rafael Palmeiro and Herbert Perry drove in two runs apiece in the opener and Rodriguez scored four runs, most by a Ranger this season.

    Palmeiro had two hits and the go-ahead sacrifice fly in the fifth inning, and Perry went 3-for-5 as the Rangers snapped Anaheim's four-game winning streak. Darin Erstad homered twice for the Angels.

    Benoit (2-0), called up from the minors before the game, trailed 3-0 after two innings in his second big league start before settling down while his teammates rallied. Benoit allowed two earned runs and five hits over five innings.

    Texas' bullpen allowed two runs and two hits over the final four innings. Francisco Cordero recorded the first out in the ninth on a grounder to first baseman Mike Lamb, with Cordero covering first. Cordero was lifted with a muscle strain behind his right shoulder after throwing one pitch to the next batter.

    The Rangers said Cordero, their most recent in a series of closers, is day-to-day.

    Irabu got the last two outs, allowing Erstad's second homer of the game. Erstad has six homers on the season and seven career multihomer games.

    After Erstad's first homer gave Anaheim a 3-0 lead in the second inning, Texas tied the game on Michael Young's two-run single in the second and Palmeiro's RBI single in the third off Aaron Sele (6-5).

    The Rangers knocked out Sele with two runs in the fifth. Palmeiro hit a sacrifice fly and Perry's RBI single made it 5-3. Sele allowed five runs and nine hits in 4 1-3 innings.

    In the second game, the Rangers got a first-inning solo homer from Rodriguez off John Lackey, making his major league debut.

    Texas made it 3-0 in the fourth on Palmeiro's RBI groundout and Bill Haselman's RBI double.

    Lackey (0-1), a West Texas native of Abilene who played one college season for nearby Texas-Arlington, allowed three runs and six hits over seven innings. Lackey had 100 friends and family in attendance.

    ''It was exciting because it was here in Texas,'' Lackey said. ''I wasn't that nervous. I felt comfortable but they're a great hitting team. I thought I pitched well.''

    Game notes

    After the first game, the Angels sent reliever Brendan Donnelly to Triple-A Salt Lake City and called up Lackey. Donnelly pitched 2 2-3 innings in the opener. Lackey will be sent back to Salt Lake City to get more experience. ... Lackey grew up a Rangers fan and attended Texas home games each summer while growing up. ... The doubleheader was the makeup for an April 7 rainout. ...The Rangers' last seven-game winning streak was May 15-27, 2000.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press