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Oakland at Texas

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Cordero spoils Mench's Rangers record of homering in sixth game in a row

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- Kevin Mench set a Texas Rangers record by homering in his sixth consecutive game. His grand slam didn't matter because Francisco Cordero set a more dubious mark.

Cordero blew his third consecutive save chance -- the second in less than 24 hours, and fifth already this season -- when Dan Johnson led off the ninth inning for Oakland with a home run. Jay Payton then had a two-run single in the 10th to give the Athletics a 6-4 victory Wednesday.

"We know he's going through some struggles right now. That's just the way this game is," Mench said of Cordero. "We know he's going to bounce back."

The fifth blown save set a major league record for April, and the team record for any month of a season. That matches the number of blown chances Cordero had in all of 2004, when the hard-throwing right-hander set a Rangers record with 49 saves.

"It just seems like every time, it's just one pitch," said Cordero, who has three saves.

Texas led 4-3 until Johnson's first homer, a 410-foot shot into the Rangers bullpen in right-center field. Cordero said it was a fastball that stayed over the middle of the plate for Johnson, who was hitting only .130.

"A guy who's gotten off to a fairly rotten start ends up tying the game, and Jay Payton got his first (RBI) of the season at a time when they were big," manager Ken Macha said. "It's a pretty big win there, particularly when your pitcher goes down in the middle of the game, and they jump off to a pretty good lead."

Frank Thomas and Bobby Crosby also homered for the A's, who have won only five of their last 15 games.

Mench's homer came in the fourth inning against Kiko Calero, who had just entered when Rich Harden left because of back spasms. Macha said Harden, who struck out six in 3 1/3 innings, would return to Oakland for an MRI exam on Thursday.

The slam put the Rangers up 4-1, but they didn't score again and lost for only the fourth time in 13 games after leaving the bases loaded in the 10th.

It was Mench's second grand slam in his homer streak, and the third of his career. He has 20 RBI this season, all in the last seven games.

"I'm still missing some balls I should be hitting," Mench said. "I'm just getting back to that feel I had in spring training, just the same comfort level. ... I guess it's something special. I'm just having fun with it."

Carl Everett (April 2003), Alex Rodriguez (August 2003) and Mark Teixeira (July 2004) all homered in five consecutive games for Texas.

The major league record for consecutive games with a home run is eight, shared by Dale Long, Don Mattingly and Ken Griffey Jr. Nineteen players have homered in six games in a row, with Morgan Ensberg of Houston also doing it this season.

C.J. Wilson (1-2), who relieved Cordero to start the 10th, walked leadoff hitter Nick Swisher and Eric Chavez singled. Antonio Perez sacrificed. and Payton's single through a drawn-in infield gave him his first RBI of the season.

"I just smacked it up the middle," Payton said. "If that second baseman had gotten to that ball, I probably would have just kept running out of the stadium. Or maybe run out there and picked a fight with him."

Cordero entered to a mix of cheers a boos, having blown a save in the ninth Tuesday night before the Rangers won 6-5 on Hank Blalock's RBI single in the bottom half of the inning.

"I'm going through a really tough time, but I'm know that I'm a better pitcher than I'm showing right now," Cordero said. "I'm thinking positive. I'm sure this is going to end and I'm going to have a great season."

Justin Duchscherer (2-1) pitched two innings. Joe Kennedy worked the 10th for his first save, getting Blalock on a game-ending flyout after allowing two singles and a walk. Mench was on deck.

All of Harden's strikeouts came in a span of seven batters. The lone batter who didn't strike out was Mench, whose single in the second extended his career-best hitting streak to 11 games.

Thomas led off the fourth with his fifth homer this season and 453rd of his career, and he is tied with Gary Sheffield for 27th, one ahead of Carl Yastrzemski. His 1,475th career RBI tied Billy Williams for 46th place. Crosby hit a two-run homer in the sixth.

Notes

  • Rangers starter Kameron Loe allowed three runs and six hits in six innings.
  • It was the first extra-inning game for both teams.
  • Thomas finished 3-for-4, raising his average to .194.
 
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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Kevin Mench passes old record-holders Carl Everett, A-Rod and Mark Teixeira with this homer.  (AP)
Kevin Mench passes old record-holders Carl Everett, A-Rod and Mark Teixeira with this homer. (AP)

Players of the Game
Texas

K. Mench
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 4
Oakland

J. Payton
AB 5
R 1
H 1
HR 0
RBI 2
 
Oakland Athletics
Mark Kotsay, CF5000010 .266
Nick Swisher, LF4110111 .333
Eric Chavez, 3B5120011 .293
Frank Thomas, DH4131001 .194
    Antonio Perez, PR-DH0000000 .000
Jay Payton, RF5112012 .179
Bobby Crosby, SS4122111 .224
Dan Johnson, 1B4121002 .145
Jason Kendall, C3000102 .214
Mark Ellis, 2B3000122 .181
Totals3761164712 
Batting
2B - Eric Chavez (5, Loe), Dan Johnson (2, Loe)
HR - Frank Thomas (5, Loe), Bobby Crosby (2, Loe), Dan Johnson (1, Cordero)
SH - Antonio Perez (1)
RBI - Frank Thomas (11), Jay Payton 2 (2), Bobby Crosby 2 (6), Dan Johnson (3)
2-OUT RBI - Bobby Crosby 2 (3)
CS - Nick Swisher (1, 2nd base by Mahay/Laird), Jay Payton (1, 2nd base by Wilson/Laird)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Kendall-Crosby
Oakland Athletics
Rich Harden 3.1233360 4.06
Kiko Calero 0.2111121 1.04
Brad Halsey 3300020 1.42
Justin Duchscherer (W,2-1) 2100010 2.19
Joe Kennedy (S,1) 1200110 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Rich Harden 78-50, Kiko Calero 19-12, Brad Halsey 39-28, Justin Duchscherer 25-13, Joe Kennedy 31-17
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Rich Harden 3-0, Brad Halsey 2-3, Justin Duchscherer 1-4
Batters Faced - Rich Harden 14, Kiko Calero 4, Brad Halsey 10, Justin Duchscherer 7, Joe Kennedy 6
Texas Rangers
Gary Matthews Jr., CF5020001 .250
Michael Young, SS4120111 .376
Mark Teixeira, 1B4100123 .264
Phil Nevin, DH4000120 .280
    Adam Hyzdu, PR-DH0000000 .250
Hank Blalock, 3B4110113 .345
Kevin Mench, RF4124001 .343
Adrian Brown, LF3000112 .250
Gerald Laird, C4010032 .333
Drew Meyer, 2B3010021 .273
   a- D'Angelo Jimenez, PH1000000 .195
Totals3649451214 
a-lined out for Meyer in the 10th
Batting
HR - Kevin Mench (6, Calero)
RBI - Kevin Mench 4 (20)
CS - Gary Matthews Jr. (2, 2nd base by Halsey/Kendall), Michael Young (2, 2nd base by Harden/Kendall), Gerald Laird (1, 2nd base by Halsey/Kendall)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Young-Meyer-Teixeira
Texas Rangers
Kameron Loe 6633322 5.20
Ron Mahay (H,1) 1100020 0.00
Joaquin Benoit (H,4) 1100010 3.86
Francisco Cordero (BS,5) 1111011 11.70
C.J. Wilson (L,1-2) 1222110 10.13
WP - Kameron Loe (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Kameron Loe 106-64, Ron Mahay 16-9, Joaquin Benoit 15-12, Francisco Cordero 14-9, C.J. Wilson 19-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kameron Loe 6-10, Joaquin Benoit 1-0, Francisco Cordero 1-1, C.J. Wilson 1-0
Batters Faced - Kameron Loe 27, Ron Mahay 3, Joaquin Benoit 3, Francisco Cordero 4, C.J. Wilson 5
Game Information
Attendance - 23756
Game Time - 3:20
Temperature - 64
Umpires - Home - Tim Tschida, First Base - Ted Barrett, Second Base - Laz Diaz, Third Base - Rick Reed