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A-Rod's 33rd homer leads Rangers to win

8/18/2003

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- The Chicago White Sox were more than
ready to leave Texas at the end of a tough 1-6 road trip.

Alex Rodriguez hit his 33rd homer and added a tiebreaking
two-run triple in the seventh inning as the Rangers completed a
three-game sweep of the White Sox with a 6-4 victory Sunday night.

The White Sox lost their fifth in a row and fell three games
behind first-place Kansas City in the AL Central.

Chicago opens a seven-game homestand Monday night against
Anaheim. The White Sox, 26-39 on the road, have won 14 of their
last 18 at U.S. Cellular Field.

"It was a bad trip," White Sox manager Jerry Manuel said.
"But the good thing is we're only three games back with a lot of
games left. I can't say that loud enough. I know we've got a good
run left in us."

The Rangers stretched their winning streak to five and pushed
their record in August to a major league-best 12-4. They improved
to 57-67, moving 10 games under .500 for the first time since they
were 26-36 on June 10.

"You want to find things to play for in August and September,"
Rodriguez said. "We want to make a difference. We owe it to
everyone in the pennant races to play hard."

Rodriguez, energized by the young players the Rangers are going
with during the second half of the season, is 22-for-54 (.408) with
eight homers in August.

"I've been inspired," Rodriguez said. "It's been exciting to
watch. We have a lot of energy out there. We're having some good
at-bats. Our young guys have been pretty patient at the plate."

With the game tied at 4, the Rangers put runners at first and
second in the seventh on singles by Einar Diaz and Donnie Sadler.

Rodriguez then hit a sinking liner to center field off Damaso
Marte (4-2) that got past a diving Carl Everett and rolled to the
warning track as both runners scored.

"He (Marte) missed his location and the ball was hit hard,"
Manuel said. "When you make a mistake like that, you can't expect
the ball to be caught."

Marte allowed two runs and three hits over one inning.

Jay Powell (3-0) allowed one hit in three scoreless innings of
relief, and Francisco Cordero got three outs for his 11th save in
18 chances.

Joe Crede homered for the White Sox.

In a matchup of rookies making their second major league starts,
Chicago's Neal Cotts lasted 5 2-3 innings and Texas' Juan Dominguez
was gone after four.

Cotts allowed four runs and five hits, struck out six and walked
two.

Dominguez gave up four runs and four hits, struck out five and
walked two.

In the third, Cotts walked Shane Spencer and then allowed RBI
doubles to Mark Teixeira, Marcus Thames and Diaz as Texas went in
front 3-0.

Crede's 13th homer leading off the third pulled the White Sox
within 3-1.

The White Sox went in front 4-3 with a three-run fourth. Magglio
Ordonez led off with a single and went to third on Everett's
double. Paul Konerko grounded to Rodriguez at shortstop, who threw
to third in an attempt to retire Everett while Ordonez scored the
inning's first run. The throw beat Everett, but third base umpire
Dan Iassogna called him safe, ruling that Everett slid in under
Sadler's tag at third base.

Jose Valentin's RBI double tied it, and Crede's groundout drove
in Konerko to make it 4-3.

Rodriguez's homer leading off the sixth tied it at 4.

Game notes
After the game, the Rangers outrighted RHP Robert Ellis to
Triple-A Oklahoma. That opens a roster spot for RHP Ismael Valdes,
who comes off the 15-day DL to start Monday night at Detroit.
...Everett's second hit of the night was the 1,000th of his career.
... Rangers third base coach Steve Smith was ejected by Iassogna in
the bottom of the fourth when he argued with Iassogna over the tag
play in the top of the inning. First base coach DeMarlo Hale moved
to third and bench coach Don Wakamatsu took over at first. Smith
has been ejected three times this season. ...The Rangers had their
first sweep of three or more games against Chicago since taking
three from the White Sox from May 26-28, 1992 in Arlington.