ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Mark DeRosa figures he's just got the
good fortune of batting behind so many quality hitters in the Texas
Rangers lineup. Except they wouldn't be scoring as much without the
utility player turned everyday right fielder.
DeRosa went 3-for-4 with his second six-RBI game this week,
helping the Rangers take full advantage of Seattle's early erratic
pitching and fielding in a 14-7 victory over the Mariners on Friday
"The credit has to go to the guys coming up ahead of me,"
DeRosa said. "It seems like I'm coming up every time with the
bases loaded or two guys in scoring position. I'm trying not to
really think about it. I just want to bear down and have good
DeRosa had two-RBI hits in each of the first two innings, when
the Rangers batted through their order both times and led 10-0. The
No. 6 hitter in the order -- behind five current or former All-Stars
-- DeRosa added a solo home run in the third to make it 12-1 and
later had a sacrifice fly.
The six RBI matched DeRosa's career high, set only two days
earlier when he had a pair of three-run homers in a 14-0 victory at
Oakland that started the Rangers three-game winning streak -- after
they had lost four in a row. He also had a five-RBI game last week
against the Los Angeles Angels.
"I harken back to watching him last year, in the middle of the
summer just working his butt off at four or five different
positions, being ready for when we need him, and preparing for the
opportunity that he's gotten," manager Buck Showalter said. "You
love to see that rewarded with the type of year he's having."
DeRosa has started at six different defensive positions, but
Friday was his 45th start in right field. Third in the AL batting
race going into the game, he raised his average to .333. His 12
homers and 60 RBI are already career highs.
Carlos Lee and Gary Matthews Jr. also homered for the Rangers.
Matthews was 3-for-3, including a two-run single, with two walks.
The Rangers sent 11 batters up in the first inning and scored
seven times with only two hits -- helped by four walks and two
errors. Gil Meche (9-7) then walked the first two batters in the
second and was done for the night before DeRosa's two-run double.
"We'll take them any way we can get them," Showalter said.
"We have that potential to put a lot of numbers on the boards. ...
I'm as proud of the walks as anything, setting up some big
Kip Wells, making only his second start for Texas since being
traded from Pittsburgh, didn't even factor into the decision. The
right-hander twisted his left foot on an awkward follow-through,
and left with no outs in the fourth inning.
Wells, who skipped his scheduled start Monday because of
shoulder stiffness, allowed five runs and eight hits. Showalter
said Wells appeared OK but that the foot would be re-evaluated
Wes Littleton (2-0), the third reliever for Texas, pitched two
scoreless innings for the win.
Meche allowed nine runs -- only four of them earned -- and walked
six in his shortest outing of the season. Only 24 of his 54 pitches
were strikes. The right-hander is winless his last five starts, 0-3
with an 8.45 ERA in that span.
"It was a matter of not being able to find anything," Meche
said. "I couldn't find my release point. I was thinking where's my
hand, where's my arm. ... The focus should be to get the ball and
throw it. you shouldn't have to be thinking about mechanics."
The Rangers had the bases loaded in the first after Meche walked
three of the first four batters. Hank Blalock then reached on an
RBI fielder's choice, and all runners were safe because of first
baseman Ben Broussard's throwing error.
Lee led off the third with his second homer for Texas, the first
at home. The two-time All-Star outfielder hit 28 homers in 102
games for Milwaukee before being traded two weeks ago.
Wells allowed hits to each of the bottom three hitters in the
Seattle's lineup in the fourth before getting hurt on a pitch to
Ichiro Suzuki, who reached on an error by second baseman Ian
Josh Rupe replaced Wells and allowed a three-run homer to Raul
Ibanez, the third batter he faced, that got the Mariners within
12-7. That came an inning after Ibanez had an RBI single.
Rangers 1B Mark Teixeira walked twice and had a double to
extend his on-base streak to 35 games, the longest in the AL this
season. It's the eighth-best streak in Rangers history. Julio
Franco holds the team record with 46 in a row in 1993. ... Blalock
was 2-for-5, and has a 12-game hitting streak.