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Blalock, Byrd propel Rangers past Athletics

Sep 9, 2007 - 4:47 AM ARLINGTON, Texas (Ticker) -- The Texas Rangers continued their winning ways with a 7-3 triumph over the Oakland Athletics on Saturday.

Hank Blalock and Marlon Byrd each had three hits as the Rangers won for the 11th time in their last 13 games.

Rookie A.J. Murray (1-1) pitched three innings in relief after fellow rookie Luis Mendoza, who was making his major league debut, left the game after being hit in the left knee by a line drive off the bat of Nick Swisher in the second inning.

"It's disappointing, but it's just something that happens. When it happened I felt like I broke something," Mendoza said of his injury after X-rays revealed he did not sustain a fracture in the knee.

Murray allowed two runs and three hits while striking out one and walking one en route to his first major league victory.

"I didn't expect to come in so early and I tried to get in there and keep the ball down and help the team," Murray said. "No one expects to come in the game in the third inning, but if you get the call, you have to do your job."

The Rangers jumped on top in the first inning when Ian Kinsler hit his 19th home run of the season, a solo shot, off Athletics starter Chad Gaudin. After Michael Young struck out for the second out of the frame, Byrd and Jason Botts singled. Blalock followed with a run-scoring base hit, as Texas ended the first with a 2-0 lead.

"I'm just trying to go out there and have quality at-bats and get a pitch I can handle," Blalock said. "I'm glad that I can get some hits that contribute to our wins."

Texas extended its lead to 6-0 with a four-run fourth inning. Blalock led off the inning with his seventh home run of the season. After Nelson Cruz doubled and Jarrod Saltalamacchia walked, Ramon Vazquez moved the runners up with a sacrifice bunt. The strategy paid off as Frank Catalanotto singled to center, plating Cruz.

Two batters later, Young drove in Saltalamacchia with a base hit before Byrd capped off the inning with an RBI single of his own, bouncing Gaudin from the game.

Gaudin (10-11) lasted just 3 2/3 innings, surrendering six runs and 10 hits. The righthander struck out two and walked two as his record fell to 2-9 since the All-Star break.

"He (Gaudin) gave up a homer in the first, pitched good for a couple innings and then made a mistake to Blalock," Oakland manager Bob Geren said. "His pitch count was high and we had to take him out."

The Athletics narrowed the lead to 6-2 in the fifth when Shannon Stewart hit a sacrifice fly and Marco Scutaro followed with an RBI single.

Blalock's RBI base-hit to right field in the seventh capped the Rangers scoring.

"He's been a pleasure to have back in the lineup and see him driving in runs," Rangers manager Ron Washington said of Blalock, who returned to the Texas lineup September 1 after missing more than 100 games on the disabled list.

Reliever John Rheinecker struck out the first two batters he faced in the eighth before Swisher walked and advanced to their on Jack Hannahan's single to left.

After Wes Littleton relieved Rheinecker, Young threw a ground ball by David Murphy away at first as Swisher crossed the plate, narrowing Texas' lead to four. One run was all the Athletics managed as Littleton got Kurt Suzuki to ground out to end the threat.








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    OAKLAND 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 1 0 3 8 0
    TEXAS 2 0 0 4 0 0 1 0 x 7 13 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: OAK - CHAD GAUDIN, DAN MEYER (4TH), JAY MARSHALL (8TH), COLBY LEWIS
    (8TH) AND KURT SUZUKI
    TEX - LUIS MENDOZA, A.J. MURRAY (3RD), MIKE WOOD (6TH),
    JOHN RHEINECKER (

    Sep 8 11:04 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    ERROR BY MICHAEL YOUNG ALLOWED NICK SWISHER TO SCORE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, D MURPHY ON FIRST, J HANNAHAN ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 3
    TEXAS 7 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: K SUZUKI (.250, 1-FOR-3)

    Athletics vs. RangersSep 8 10:46 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY HANK BLALOCK SCORED MARLON BYRD.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, H BLALOCK ON FIRST, D MURPHY ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 2
    TEXAS 7 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: N CRUZ (.214, 1-FOR-3)

    Athletics vs. RangersSep 8 10:27 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MARCO SCUTARO SCORED KURT SUZUKI.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, M SCUTARO ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 2
    TEXAS 6 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: J CUST (.264, 1-FOR-2)

    Athletics vs. RangersSep 8 9:47 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY SHANNON STEWART SCORED DONNIE MURPHY.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, K SUZUKI ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 1
    TEXAS 6 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR OAKLAND: M SCUTARO (.265, 1-FOR-2)

    Athletics vs. RangersSep 8 9:47 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MARLON BYRD SCORED FRANK CATALANOTTO.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, M BYRD ON FIRST, M YOUNG ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 0
    TEXAS 6 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: J BOTTS (.221, 1-FOR-2)

    Athletics vs. RangersSep 8 9:23 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MICHAEL YOUNG SCORED JARROD SALTALAMACCHIA.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, M YOUNG ON FIRST, F CATALANOTTO ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 0
    TEXAS 5 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: M BYRD (.308, 1-FOR-1, BB)

    Athletics vs. RangersSep 8 9:21 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY FRANK CATALANOTTO SCORED NELSON CRUZ.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, F CATALANOTTO ON FIRST, J SALTALAMACCHIA ON
    THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 0
    TEXAS 4 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: I KINSLER (.277, 2-FOR-2, HR, RBI)

    Athletics vs. RangersSep 8 9:19 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY HANK BLALOCK (7) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 4TH OFF CHAD GAUDIN.
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 0, TEXAS 3
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: N CRUZ (.212, 0-FOR-1)

    Athletics vs. RangersSep 8 9:10 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY HANK BLALOCK SCORED MARLON BYRD.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, H BLALOCK ON FIRST, J BOTTS ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 0
    TEXAS 2 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: N CRUZ (.212, 7 HR, 25 RBI)

    Athletics vs. RangersSep 8 8:27 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY IAN KINSLER (19) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT IN THE
    1ST OFF CHAD GAUDIN.
    CURRENT SCORE: OAKLAND 0, TEXAS 1
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: M YOUNG (.308, 7 HR, 72 RBI)

    Athletics vs. RangersSep 8 8:18 PM