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Teixeira lifts Rangers in win08/18/2004 1:00 AM ET
By Jesse Sanchez / MLB.com
ARLINGTON -- Ho hum, the Rangers cruised past the Indians, 16-4, at Ameriquest Field in Arlington on another normal night in Texas.
That is, if you consider seven RBIs and a cycle by Mark Teixeira, the first big league win by Scott Erickson in two years, Doug Brocail's first save since 1999 and the 700th career victory for Rangers manager Buck Showalter normal.
But for most of the 24,864 who came out for the eventful evening, it was anything but another Rangers win.
"It was nice to be a part of history here today," said Rangers outfielder Kevin Mench, who fell a triple short of also hitting for the cycle. "Knowing Tex, he is just going to go out tomorrow and treat today like any other day. He had a good night and we all had pretty good nights, so it was nice to see it happen. I saw Hank [Blalock] do it in the minors, but it's not something you see all the time."
The extraordinary night had an ordinary start.
Indians starter Cliff Lee pitched a scoreless first inning to start the game and his offense scored a run in the top of the second, but he wouldn't see another inning like it.
Mench and Brian Jordan led off the bottom half of the second with a single and each would score on sacrifice flies to left field by Gary Matthews Jr. and Gerald Laird, respectively, to push the Rangers ahead, 2-1.
The home team would never look back.
In the third, Michael Young walked and Alfonso Soriano was hit by a pitch to set up the first of Teixeira's big hits -- this one, a two-run double on a line drive to the gap in right-center field to put the Rangers up, 4-1. Teixeira scored on a double by Hank Blalock for the Rangers' fifth run.
"We are always looking for a game like this when we can sit back and relax and enjoy it after playing a lot of games down to the wire," Jordan said. "To have a game like this and see guys break out and hit home runs is great for us. We needed a game like this to give some of our guys rest. It was a great game to watch."
The hits kept coming for the Rangers and Teixeira in a seven-run fourth inning that saw Texas send 10 batters to the plate. Laird walked to lead off the inning and eventually scored after singles by Young and Soriano for a 6-1 lead with one out.
Then the Teixeira show resumed with Rick White on the mound for the Tribe.
The Rangers first baseman followed Soriano with a three-run home run -- his 29th homer of the season -- and Matthews added a three-run home run -- his 10th homer of the season -- four batters later to give the Rangers a comfortable 11-run cushion and 12-1 lead.
Matthews' homer gave the Rangers 10 players this season with at least 10 home runs, tying a Major League record. Third baseman Herbert Perry is five home runs away from reaching double digits, but that is not likely to happen soon considering he was placed on the 15-day disabled list Monday.
But Teixeira was not done.
In the fifth, Young and Soriano did their thing again -- this time with back-to-back singles -- and Teixeira cleared the bases with a triple down the first base line for two more RBIs, his sixth and seventh on the night, to push the Rangers ahead, 14-1.
Teixeira scored his third run of the game when the next batter, Mench, drove him home with a monstrous home run to left field for the 16-1 lead.
Teixiera became part of Texas folklore in his next at-bat, taking Bartosh deep and putting himself into the franchise record books.
"I'm not trying to do too much," Teixeira said. "I was talking to [performance enhancement specialist] Donnie Kalkstein tonight on the bench telling him that I really wasn't feeling great before the game. I think that shows you don't have to be too excited or be trying to do too much for good things to happen."
Erickson allowed one run and three hits in six innings for first Major League victory since defeating Minnesota, Aug. 7, 2002.
"It took a long time, but it feels great," he said. "There's no better way. I couldn't be happier to get the first win of the year for a team in this situation. You go out and get a win for a team that's out of it, who cares? That's a personal thing. Personal things aside, this is more important for this team to get this win tonight. It's nice to get the win when it matters."
As for Brocail, he allowed three runs and six hits in three innings of relief for his first save since July 7, 1999, against the Yankees.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
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