Alex Rodriguez gets all A’s in Oakland

OAKLAND, Reuters

Alex Rodriguez, baseball’s US$252 million man, homered twice and drove in five runs, to lead the Texas Rangers to a 10-8 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Sunday. In the three-game series, which Texas swept, Rodriquez went 6-for-10 with four home runs and 13 runs batted in. “I’ve been working hard on my stroke,” said Rodriguez, who left the Seattle Mariners to break the bank in the off season. “Usually, I don’t have this success against this team. It’s a welcome change, it’s nice.” Randy Velarde had three hits against his former team and Ivan Rodriguez slugged a two-run homer. The Rangers scored five times in the fifth inning to take an 8-5 lead. Alex Rodriguez three-run shot to left-center field and Ivan Rodriguez’s two-run homer were the crushing blows. In Baltimore, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays slammed four home runs and beat the Baltimore Orioles 7-4. Greg Vaughn broke out of his 3-for-27 slump with four hits, including two homers on the day. John Flaherty and Fred McGriff also homered. Greg Myers and Jerry Hairston homered for the Orioles. In Boston, the Boston Red Sox put together four straight hits off starter Andy Pettitte and scored three runs in the seventh inning in a 5-4 victory over the New York Yankees. Paul O’Neill hit a two-run homer for the Yankees. Rolando Arrojo pitched the Red Sox out of a jam in the ninth inning. Rich Garces (1-0) picked up the win in relief of Hideo Nomo, who gave up three runs — two earned — and three hits over six innings,. In Detroit, the game between the Cleveland Indians and Detroit Tigers was postponed due to rain. In Minneapolis, Eric Milton struck out 10 over seven innings and Corey Koskie went 4-for-4 with an RBI as the Minnesota Twins completed a three-game sweep of the Chicago White Sox with a 4-3 victory. At 9-2, the Twins are off to the best start in their history. Yet only 9,141 fans showed up on Sunday. In Toronto, the Kansas City Royals ended their five-game losing skid with a 4-2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays. Royals’ reliever Roberto Hernandez, who had given up nine runs in 1-1/2 innings before Sunday, loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth inning but got Alex Gonzalez to hit a grounder for the final out of the game. In Anaheim, Bret Boone stroked a two-run single in a big eighth inning as Seattle Mariners rallied for a 7-5 victory over the Anaheim Angels. The Mariners, whose hopes for a successful season were believed shot when their superstar shortstop Alex Rodriguez left them for US$252 million, have won nine of their first 12 games for the best start in club history. The Mariners trailed Anaheim 3-1 entering the eighth inning before scoring six runs. Boone’s single off Shigetoshi Hasegawa (1-1) snapped a 3-3 tie. Boone and John Olerud each had three hits for the Mariners.