<
>

Teixeira blasts 3 HRs, 7 RBI in Rangers rout of Orioles

BALTIMORE (AP) -- Mark Teixeira has been insisting for months
that his swing is no different from a year ago, when he hit 43
homers and drove in 144 runs.

He backed up that assertion Thursday night against the Baltimore
Orioles.

Teixeira hit a career-high three homers and drove in seven runs,
and the Rangers hit six home runs in a 15-1 rout.

Teixeira had only nine homers and 49 RBI before the All-Star
break, leading to speculation that he had lost his power stroke. He
scoffed at the suggestion earlier this season, and hammered home
the point after battering the Orioles.

"Same thing I've said all year: my swing has not changed one
bit. I've looked at hours and hours of video," Teixeira said.
"There's a fine line between a home run and a line drive. Tonight
I just kind of found that home run stroke."

Teixeira hit a sacrifice fly in the first inning, a solo homer
in the sixth, a two-run shot in the eighth and a three-run drive in
the ninth. The seven RBI tied a career high.

He has 12 homers, including four in his last two games. It was
his 12th career multihomer game, the first this season.

"I don't know if I'd call it a breakout performance, but it's
nice to have a good game here in Baltimore," said Teixeira, who
was born and raised in Maryland. "It's a big win for us. Coming
off a break, we're tied for first place and we scored a lot of
runs."

Texas totaled 19 hits and reached a season-high in home runs.

Brad Wilkerson hit his 14th homer and drove in four runs, and
Rod Barajas also homered for the Rangers, who got at least one hit
from every starter. Mark DeRosa went 4-for-4 with a home run and
two walks.

But this game was all about Teixeira, who had only four homers
on the road before Thursday.

"You feel really good for him. You know how much he wants it
and he's been such a big contributor for us this year, defensively
and with the bat," Texas manager Buck Showalter said. "But it's
such a level that he's spoiled us last year, it's hard to stay
there. Tonight was a big reminder of what he's capable of."

Vicente Padilla (9-5) gave up one run and four hits in seven
innings to win his third straight start. The right-hander struck
out three and walked three.

The game was tied at one before Texas got seven hits in a six-run
sixth.

Teixeira hit a leadoff homer and Ian Kinsler drew a one-out walk
before Kevin Mench hit a ground-rule double. Wilkerson then chased
Daniel Cabrera (4-7) with a two-run double for a 4-1 lead.

Wilkerson was tagged out at the plate trying to score on
Barajas' single off Chris Britton, but Gary Matthews Jr. followed
with a single and DeRosa hit a three-run shot to left.

Wilkerson's two-run homer in the seventh off Sendy Rleal made it
9-1.

"Once we get going, it's hard to stop us," Wilkerson said.

Cabrera allowed four runs, six hits and five walks in 5 1/3
innings. The right-hander is 0-5 in his last six starts and leads
the AL with 75 walks in 85 2/3 innings.

"I try to make a pitch, and nothing was working," Cabrera
said. "I know I've got to do something. It's been six starts. I
don't know the last time I pitched good."

Texas went up 1-0 in the first when Cabrera hit Matthews with a
pitch, walked DeRosa and yielded a sacrifice fly to Teixeira.

Baltimore tied it in the third when Nick Markakis doubled and
scored on a single by Brandon Fahey.

Cabrera received some fine defensive support in the fifth. After
Fahey made a nice running grab of a foul liner hit by Matthews,
DeRosa singled before Brian Roberts snapped up a sharp grounder by
Michael Young and started a 4-6-3 double play.

"We had ourselves a ball game for a little while," Orioles
manager Sam Perlozzo said, "and then the wheels fell off."

Game notes
Baltimore's Ramon Hernandez hit his 20th double, one more
than he had all last season with San Diego. He's tied with Miguel Tejada for the team lead. ... Young, the All-Star game MVP with a
two-run triple in the ninth, went 1-for-5 and hit into two double
plays. ... It was the 35th time this season the Orioles have
allowed at least four runs in an inning, the most in the majors.