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Soriano, Young team up to lead Rangers over Braves

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- Alfonso Soriano doesn't have to be concerned about his sore left hamstring as long as he only has to trot around the bases.

Soriano homered twice against Tim Hudson in the pitcher's shortest outing for Atlanta, and the Texas Rangers won 7-3 Monday night for their first victory against the Braves.

"I don't have to worry about my leg when I'm hitting homers," said Soriano, who started just his third game after missing four starts because of the hamstring.

Soriano's three-run homer in the first put the Rangers ahead to stay and extended his hitting streak to 15 games, matching his career best and the longest active in the major leagues. It was 4-0 when Soriano led off the third with his 18th homer.

"My hands and my mechanics are good," he said. "I'm seeing the ball good. Everything is working good for me now, and I'm trying to continue it the best I can."

Hank Blalock also homered for the Rangers, who extended their home winning streak to nine games in their return after a 4-8 road trip the past two weeks.

Atlanta, which has lost five straight series, had won all six previous games against the Rangers. The Braves swept three-game series in 2002 and 2003.

While Hudson struggled in his 2 2/3 innings -- against Soriano and the rest of the Texas lineup -- Chris Young (6-3) threw seven shutout innings to lower his ERA to 2.78. The 6-foot-10 right-hander had seven strikeouts, allowing just two singles and a walk.

"He's tough because you're not used to seeing a pitcher that tall," said Andruw Jones, who was 0-for-3 against Young before hitting a two-run homer in the ninth off Francisco Cordero. "It's hard to see where he's releasing his pitches."

Young threw 61 of 97 pitches for strikes, and retired 20 of the last 21 batters he faced mixing his fastball with a curveball and a changeup. His first loss in seven decisions was 2-0 at Philadelphia last week, and he has allowed more than two runs just once his last 10 starts.

"Chris Young was outstanding again," manager Buck Showalter said. "He keeps growing. Well, I don't know if he can grow, but he keeps developing."

Hudson (6-5) allowed five runs on five hits and matched a season high with five walks while throwing 76 pitches -- 38 balls and 38 strikes.

"I just didn't have good stuff at all. I wasn't making good pitches and was falling behind," Hudson said. "You can't do that, especially when you don't have good stuff."

In six seasons for Oakland in the AL West before being traded to Atlanta last December, Hudson pitched regularly against the Rangers. He was 6-4 with a 3.66 ERA in 15 starts.

Two walks and a fielder's choice grounder set up Soriano's first homer. The Rangers loaded the bases after two more walks in the second before Blalock hit a hard liner to right for the final out.

Kameron Loe replaced Young to start the eighth, and allowed Wilson Betemit's RBI double.

Blalock's two-run homer came off Jorge Vasquez in the fourth. Soriano then followed with a long flyball to left, caught by a backpedaling Ryan Langerhans, who slammed hard into the wall and fell to the ground right after catching the ball.

By then, Soriano already had the fourth multihomer game this season, and the 11th in his career. His first homer came on a hanging curveball, and the other a fastball down the heart of the plate.

"I gave him some pretty good cookies to hit," Hudson said. "The way he's hitting right now. He's not going to miss those."

During the four missed starts last week, Soriano had a pinch-hit single in his only at-bat. He is hitting .356 (21-for-59) during this hitting streak, which matches the 15-game one he had in April 2003 for the New York Yankees.

Notes

  • Atlanta is 7-15 in series openers this season, and have lost nine straight series openers on the road.
  • Rangers DH David Dellucci drew two walks, increasing his AL-leading total to 45, two short of his 2004 season total.
  • The Rangers have their longest home winning streak since winning 10 in a row in May 1998. The team record is 11.
  • Braves rookie Kelly Johnson, who is from Austin, Texas, broke an 0-for-14 slump with a first-inning single.
 
Copyright 2015 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 goes yard twice and is riding a career high-tying 15-game hitting streak.  (AP)
Alfonso Soriano goes yard twice and is riding a career high-tying 15-game hitting streak. (AP)

Players of the Game
Texas

C. Young
IP 7.0
H 2
ER 0
BB 1
K 7
Texas

A. Soriano
AB 5
R 2
H 2
HR 2
RBI 4
 

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Atlanta Braves
Rafael Furcal, SS2000010 .220
    Wilson Betemit, SS2011010 .314
Kelly Johnson, DH4010001 .059
Marcus Giles, 2B3110110 .272
Adam LaRoche, 1B4000013 .254
Andruw Jones, CF4112012 .253
Johnny Estrada, C2000010 .279
    Brian McCann, C2000000 .333
Andy Marte, 3B4010000 .167
Brian Jordan, RF3000001 .229
Ryan Langerhans, LF3110021 .248
Totals33363188 
Batting
2B - Wilson Betemit (8, Loe)
HR - Andruw Jones (16, Cordero)
RBI - Wilson Betemit (5), Andruw Jones 2 (39)
2-OUT RBI - Wilson Betemit (3)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
DP - Marte-LaRoche
E - Rafael Furcal (6, Misplayed grounder)
Atlanta Braves
Tim Hudson (L,6-5) 2.2555532 3.78
Jorge Vasquez 2.1321231 3.86
Blaine Boyer 1100020 4.50
John Foster 1100000 2.25
Kevin Gryboski 1100100 2.25
WP - Jorge Vasquez (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Tim Hudson 76-38, Jorge Vasquez 56-28, Blaine Boyer 19-11, John Foster 14-8, Kevin Gryboski 13-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tim Hudson 4-1, Jorge Vasquez 3-2, Blaine Boyer 1-0, John Foster 1-2, Kevin Gryboski 1-1
Batters Faced - Tim Hudson 18, Jorge Vasquez 13, Blaine Boyer 4, John Foster 4, Kevin Gryboski 4
Texas Rangers
David Dellucci, DH3010201 .259
Michael Young, SS3010203 .309
Mark Teixeira, 1B4200114 .286
Hank Blalock, 3B4222105 .292
    Marshall McDougall, PR-3B0000000 .000
Alfonso Soriano, 2B5224010 .292
    Mark DeRosa, 2B0000000 .152
Kevin Mench, LF4020110 .288
Laynce Nix, CF5010013 .257
Richard Hidalgo, RF3100132 .226
Rod Barajas, C4020010 .252
Totals3571168818 
Batting
2B - David Dellucci (6, Hudson), Michael Young (11, Vasquez), Kevin Mench (16, Boyer), Rod Barajas (11, Hudson)
3B - Laynce Nix (3, Vasquez)
HR - Hank Blalock (11, Vasquez), Alfonso Soriano 2 (17, Hudson, Hudson)
RBI - Hank Blalock 2 (37), Alfonso Soriano 4 (40)
2-OUT RBI - Alfonso Soriano 3 (14)
Team LOB - 12
Texas Rangers
Chris Young (W,6-3) 7200170 2.78
Kameron Loe 0.2211000 2.84
Brian Shouse 0.1000000 2.66
Francisco Cordero 1222011 4.21
Pitches-Strikes - Chris Young 97-61, Kameron Loe 11-7, Brian Shouse 1-1, Francisco Cordero 18-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Young 5-9, Kameron Loe 2-0, Brian Shouse 1-0, Francisco Cordero 1-1
Batters Faced - Chris Young 24, Kameron Loe 4, Brian Shouse 1, Francisco Cordero 5
Game Information
Attendance - 41594
Game Time - 2:44
Temperature - 87
Umpires - Home - Marty Foster, First Base - Jim Joyce, Second Base - Lazaro Diaz, Third Base - Dana DeMuth