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Rangers turn to long ball

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ARLINGTON, Texas — Laynce Nix, Mark Teixeira and Hank Blalock each hit home runs in the Texas Rangers' 9-2 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday night.

Nix drove in four runs, including a two-run shot in the second off Ramiro Mendoza that put the Rangers ahead to stay. He later drew a bases-loaded walk and hit an RBI double.

Teixeira, who was 3-for-4 and scored three times, put the Rangers up 5-0 with his three-run homer in the third. It was his 15th homer, matching Detroit's Eric Munson for the most among major league rookies.

Robert Ellis (1-1) worked seven-plus innings for his first victory since June 16, 2001. He gave up two runs on six hits, the last Damian Jackson's solo homer leading off the eighth.

Trot Nixon also homered for Boston, which had moved within 1 1/2 games of the New York Yankees for the AL East lead by winning 22 of their previous 32 games. Bill Mueller, a night after becoming the first player to hit grand slams from both sides of the plate in the same game, went 1-for-3 with a walk.

DEVIL RAYS 5, BLUE JAYS 3: At Toronto, Jeff Liefer hit a go-ahead two-run homer after being recalled from the minors earlier in the day as Tampa Bay beat Toronto 5-3 on Wednesday night. After Toronto starter Cory Lidle (11-9) walked Travis Lee in the fourth, Toronto left fielder Reed Johnson robbed Damian Rolls of extra bases with a spectacular diving catch. But Liefer hit the next pitch for his first homer, giving Tampa Bay a 4-3 lead.

Lidle, who icould be dealt before the trade deadline, allowed five runs on seven hits in seven-plus innings. Lidle is 1-5 in his last seven starts.

The Devil Rays are 13-12 in July. They've won the first two games of the three-game series against Toronto and a sweep will give them their first winning month since they went 14-13 in September and a few games in October of 2001.

TWINS 5, ORIOLES 1: Minneapolis, Brad Radke won for just the second time in 13 starts and Jacque Jones drove in three runs as Minnesota beat Baltimore 5-1 Wednesday night to stop a three-game losing streak. Radke (7-9) took a four-hit shutout into the eighth and wound up allowing one run and six hits in 7 1/3 innings with five strikeouts and one walk. It was the fewest he allowed since opening day.

WHITE SOX 15, ROYALS 4: At Kansas City, Jose Valentin hit three home runs in the first five innings and Paul Konerko had a grand slam and a career-high six RBIs as the Chicago White Sox routed the Kansas City Royals 15-4 Wednesday night. Chicago has won three straight, pulling within two games of AL Central-leading Kansas City, the closest the White Sox have been to first place since April 8. Chicago set season highs for runs, hits (19) and homers (six).

Valentin hit a solo homer in the second and three-run home run in the third, both swinging left-handed off Runelvys Hernandez (5-4). Valentin homered right-handed to lead off the fifth against Jeremy Affeldt, then walked twice and struck out.

Jon Garland (8-7) allowed four runs and eight hits in six innings.

INDIANS 4, ATHLETICS 2: At Oakland, Calif., C.C. Sabathia pitched seven innings for his first victory in nearly four weeks, and Angel Santos hit his first major league homer as Cleveland beat Oakland 4-2 Wednesday night. Sabathia (9-6), a native of nearby Vallejo, allowed nine hits as the Indians snapped a five-game losing streak. He was selected for the All-Star game, but he had lost his last three starts. Milton Bradley and Victor Martinez drove in runs as the Indians won in Oakland for the first time this season.

YANKEES 8, ANGELS 0: At Anaheim, Roger Clemens pitched his first complete game in more than three years, shutting out Anaheim on five hits and leading the Yankees over the Angels 8-0 Wednesday night. Clemens (10-7) ended a string 104 consecutive regular-season starts without a complete game, the longest such drought in Yankees history. Clemens pitched his 46th shutout and his first since June 29, 1999, against Detroit.

MARINERS 13, TIGERS 3: At Seattle, Randy Winn had his first two-homer game, including a grand slam, and drove in a career-high six runs to lead Seattle over Detroit Wednesday night.

Winn hit his slam and John Olerud had a three-run homer in a nine-run first, the Mariners' biggest inning since they scored 10 runs at Chicago on May 2, 2002. All-Star Jamie Moyer (14-5) won his fourth straight decision, allowing three runs and eight hits in six innings. Seattle opened a four-game lead over second-place Oakland in the AL West.