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Cleveland at Texas

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Soriano blasts fourth homer in two games

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- While Alfonso Soriano has made it clear he doesn't like hitting in the No. 5 spot, he's doing it well for the Texas Rangers.

Soriano had his second consecutive two-homer game, this one in a victory as Texas beat the Cleveland Indians 6-1 on Saturday night. That's five home runs in three games to give him a tie for the major-league lead with 10.

Not bad for a player who keeps saying he's not a home run hitter.

"That makes sense to me. If I think I'm a home run hitter, I think about it too much," Soriano said. "I feel comfortable, I feel great."

After leading off for the Rangers his first 22 games this season, Soriano was in the No. 5 spot for the eighth consecutive game. He's adjusting to the role, though his mind-set hasn't changed.

"I feel comfortable because I think now like I'm leading off," he said. "I think about it being the first at-bat of the game. I like leading off, and that's what I have in my mind."

Soriano led off the second and sixth innings Saturday with home runs. In between, he had an RBI double in the third that gave the Rangers a 4-1 lead.

The homer in the second was Soriano's third in three at-bats, after a pair of two-run homers Friday in an 8-6 loss to the Indians.

"I don't overanalyze it. He's seeing the ball good and putting some good swings on a variety of pitches," manager Buck Showalter said. "Obviously, his contact-to-damage ratio is pretty good."

Soriano is 9-for-14 with 10 RBI his last three games. Twelve of his last 15 hits have gone for extra bases. He even made a diving catch at second base for the final out of his ninth multihomer game.

The last Texas player with consecutive multihomer games was Alex Rodriguez in August 2002 against Toronto. A-Rod, traded to the New York Yankees for Soriano, followed a three-homer game with two more shots the next night against the Blue Jays.

Soriano and Rodriguez both have 10 homers this season.

"It's a little weird, especially for me," Soriano said. "It's not my game. I like to hit home runs, but that's not really what I do all the time."

Soriano has an American League-high 21 extra-base hits, with five consecutive in as many at-bats until he popped out to short right field against David Riske to end the seventh inning.

Ryan Drese (3-3) limited the Indians to six hits in throwing the Rangers' first complete game of the season. He made 100 pitches, 63 for strikes, in his fourth career complete game.

Finally regaining control of his sinker, Drese ended his two-game losing streak.

"I was pretty much just attacking the hitters and keeping it down in the zone," he said.

"We didn't do a very good job of making Ryan put the ball up," Cleveland manager Eric Wedge said. "We were not patient like we wanted to be."

Scott Elarton (0-2) lost his 13th consecutive decision in 28 road starts since May 2001, when he won for Houston at Montreal. He is 0-4 with a 7.94 ERA in four career starts against the Rangers.

Elarton gave up six runs and eight hits, including all of Soriano's extra-base hits, over 6 1/3 innings.

Michael Young had two hits, an RBI groundout and was involved in the first six defensive outs. After all three Cleveland batters in the first grounded out to the shortstop, Young had two assists and the final putout in the second.

Travis Hafner hit a leadoff double for Cleveland in the second, but was retired trying to advance to third on Casey Blake's grounder to Young. Blake scored on Josh Bard's single for a 1-0 Cleveland lead.

After Soriano's homer in the second, Kevin Mench was hit by a pitch for the third time in five games. He scored on a sacrifice fly by Rod Barajas that broke the 1-1 tie and put Texas ahead to stay.

Young and Mark Teixeira had consecutive singles to start the third. Bard then blocked a pitch that bounced in front of the plate, but the catcher threw the ball into right field trying to get Teixeira at first, and Young scored. Soriano followed with his double.

Notes

  • Texas ended a three-game home losing streak, but is still 7-10 in Arlington.
  • Riske has pitched 14 1/3 innings in his 11 appearances this season without allowing a run.
  • Teixeira has an 11-game hitting streak.
  • Texas leadoff hitter David Dellucci had two walks, upping his majors-leading total to 31. He has reached base in 18 consecutive games.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Alfonso Soriano makes his way to home plate after the first of his two home runs. (AP)
Alfonso Soriano makes his way to home plate after the first of his two home runs. (AP)

Players of the Game
Texas

A. Soriano
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 2
RBI 3
Cleveland

J. Bard
AB 3
R 0
H 1
HR 0
RBI 1
 
Cleveland Indians
Ron Belliard, 2B4000000 .266
Coco Crisp, LF4010000 .248
Ben Broussard, 1B4020000 .267
Travis Hafner, DH3010103 .302
Casey Blake, RF4100011 .198
Grady Sizemore, CF4010000 .260
Aaron Boone, 3B3000001 .118
Josh Bard, C3011001 .200
Alex Cora, SS3000002 .242
Totals32161118 
Batting
2B - Travis Hafner (10, Drese)
RBI - Josh Bard (2)
2-OUT RBI - Josh Bard (1)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
E - Josh Bard (1, Wild throw), Alex Cora (2, Wild throw)
Cleveland Indians
Scott Elarton (L,0-2) 6.1866252 7.47
Scott Sauerbeck 0.1100010 5.00
David Riske 1.1000000 0.00
HBP - Mench (by Scott Elarton)
WP - Scott Elarton (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Scott Elarton 102-67, Scott Sauerbeck 8-5, David Riske 18-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Elarton 8-5, David Riske 2-2
Batters Faced - Scott Elarton 29, Scott Sauerbeck 2, David Riske 4
Texas Rangers
David Dellucci, DH2000211 .279
Michael Young, SS4121000 .260
Mark Teixeira, 1B4120011 .269
Hank Blalock, 3B4000025 .268
Alfonso Soriano, 2B4233002 .298
Kevin Mench, LF3100001 .298
Laynce Nix, CF4010011 .339
Richard Hidalgo, RF4000002 .167
Rod Barajas, C2111010 .218
Totals316952613 
Batting
2B - Michael Young (4, Elarton), Alfonso Soriano (11, Elarton), Laynce Nix (4, Elarton)
HR - Alfonso Soriano 2 (10, Elarton, Elarton)
SF - Rod Barajas (2)
RBI - Michael Young (18), Alfonso Soriano 3 (22), Rod Barajas (10)
PK - David Dellucci (1, Elarton)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Blalock-Soriano-Teixeira
Texas Rangers
Ryan Drese (W,3-3) 9611110 5.44
HBP - A. Boone (by Ryan Drese)
Pitches-Strikes - Ryan Drese 100-63
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ryan Drese 18-7
Batters Faced - Ryan Drese 34
Game Information
Attendance - 36311
Game Time - 2:17
Temperature - 77
Umpires - Home - Gary Darling, First Base - Larry Poncino, Second Base - Mark Wegner, Third Base - Paul Nauert