Sosa steps up, helps Rangers snap six-game skidMay 30, 2007 - 6:23 AM OAKLAND, California (Ticker) -- Not much has gone right for the Texas Rangers this season. However, one of the brighter spots so far has been the re-emergence of Sammy Sosa.
Sosa had three RBI and Marlon Byrd had three hits as the Rangers posted a 4-0 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday.
Starter Mike Wood (1-1), allowed five hits and five walks to pick up his first win for the Rangers, who had a six-game losing streak snapped.
Signed to a minor league contract in the spring just for a chance to make the team that he broke into the majors with in 1989, Sosa has been one of the team's most consistent run producers. He is tied for the team lead in homers and has tallied 40 RBI, the best mark on the team.
Sosa broke open a scoreless tie in the sixth off Athletics starter Lenny DiNardo (1-2). The 38-year-old slugger cleared the bases with a three-run double, taking advantage of a walk and a fielding error by Oakland, staking Texas to a 3-0 advantage.
"I have a chance to drive in some runs and I came through for my team," Sosa said. "We really needed to win this one today and take the monkey off our backs. Hopefully, everybody can relax, especially the manager."
"We haven't been able to catch many breaks and we caught a break tonight and took advantage of it," Rangers manager Ron Washington said.
Byrd followed with an RBI single to center to plate Sosa, increasing the Rangers lead to 4-0. The single was the last of three hits for the 29-year-old, who has recorded a hit in each of the four games he has played this season for Texas since having his contract purchased from the minors on Saturday.
Relievers C.J. Wilson and Joaquin Benoit yielded three hits and a walk over the next 3 1/3 innings before turning the game over to closer Eric Gagne, who worked around one hit in two-thirds of an inning to notch his third save in as many chances.
"It's always special to pitch against the A's because that's the team I came up with," Wood said. "But it was weird, I came out of the chute overthrowing. I was a little excited. That's when I backed off. My sinker was low and I couldn't make the adjustment. But once I got out of that inning, I was able to raise the level."
"We just waited to have an opportunity," Sosa said. "We won the game and especially against the Oakland A's - a team that plays very hard everyday - a good team and when you do that you have to feel that you're competing."
The pivotal moment was in the sixth, as DiNardo and the Oakland defense seemed to melt down after surrendering just three hits in the first five frames. Matt Kata led off the inning with a walk and moved to second following a fielding error from DiNardo that allowed Kinsler to reach base.
"I threw the ball OK until the last inning," DiNardo said. "I (messed up) by walking the first guy and that's never a good thing. Then, I botched the double-play ball. I was thinking double play all the way but I rushed myself and started thinking before I got the ball in my glove. I flushed that down the toilet right after it happened and was thinking about the next guy."
A wild pitch from the A's starter let Kinsler and Kata to move up to second and third, respectively, leading to an intentional walk to Mark Teixeira. Sosa then singled to left-center and advanced to second when left fielder Shannon Stewart permitted the ball to roll past his glove as he was attempting to field it.
"Sammy did a good job of hanging in there and making sure DiNardo gave him a strike," Washington said. "He did and he hit it pretty good to left field and the left fielder messed it up and gave us an opportunity to score some runs, and then Marlon Byrd came up and got another base hit up the middle with two outs, something we've been missing a lot, two out base hits. So we finally put a solid game together."
Travis Buck and Stewart each tallied two hits for the Athletics, who were shut out for the first time this month.
"I thought DiNardo did an outstanding job; he pitched well enough to win," A's manager Bob Geren said. "Offensively, we just didn't seem to have any luck whatsoever, all the way down to the last out of the game. We got walks, we hit the ball hard but it didn't work out for us."
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
- - - - - - - - - - - -
TEXAS 0 0 0 0 0 4 0 0 0 4 6 0
OAKLAND 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 9 2 (FINAL)
BATTERIES: TEX - MIKE WOOD, C.J. WILSON (6TH), JOAQUIN BENOIT (8TH), ERIC GAGNE
(9TH) AND GERALD LAIRD
OAK - LENNY DINARDO, COLBY LEWIS (6TH), RON FLORES
(7TH), JAY WITASICK
May 30 12:47 AM
AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
SINGLE BY MARLON BYRD SCORED SAMMY SOSA.
SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, M BYRD ON FIRST, 2 OUT
CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 4
OAKLAND 0 TOP, 6TH
DUE UP FOR TEXAS: G LAIRD (.222, 0-FOR-2)
Rangers vs. AthleticsMay 29 11:43 PM
AT OAKLAND - SCORING UPDATE
SINGLE BY SAMMY SOSA SCORED MATT KATA, IAN KINSLER AND MARK
SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, S SOSA ON SECOND, 1 OUT
CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 3
OAKLAND 0 TOP, 6TH
DUE UP FOR TEXAS: V DIAZ (.264, 0-FOR-2)
Rangers vs. AthleticsMay 29 11:39 PM
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