Joe Cowley of the Chicago White Sox struck out the first seven batters he faced, but Steve Buechele hit a home run and Pete O'Brien a two-run double that lifted the Texas Rangers to a 6-3 victory last night in Arlington, Tex.

Cowley (1-2) fell two shy of the major league record of nine strikeouts to start a game, set in 1884 by Hall of Famer Mickey Welch of the National League's New York Gothams, a team that later became the Giants.

Cowley, a right-hander, broke the American League record of the first six in a row held by Bert Blyleven, Ray Culp and John Hiller. Blyleven struck out the first six in 1970 with Minnesota; Culp did it the same year with Boston, and Hiller did it in 1968 with Detroit.

Cowley's strikeouts came against Oddibe McDowell, Scott Fletcher, O'Brien, Pete Incaviglia, Gary Ward, George Wright and Buechele. Cowley struck out Buechele on a 1-2 checked swing for the record.

"I didn't know it was going on," Cowley said. "I just made a few mistakes. I would rather give up the record for the win."

Ed Correa (3-3) allowed six hits over 6 2/3 innings for the victory. He struck out eight and walked three. Mitch Williams went the last 2 1/3 innings for his first save.

*Red Sox 13, Indians 7: Jim Rice drove in five runs and Don Baylor hit a three-run homer as Boston rode a pair of five-run innings to its fourth consecutive victory and 10th in 11 games, a triumph in Cleveland.

Oil Can Boyd (6-3) yielded four runs on six hits in the first seven innings to win his fourth consecutive start. It was the Indians' fifth straight loss.

Mel Hall hit two home runs for the Indians.

Marty Barrett, Wade Boggs and Bill Buckner each singled to load the bases with none out in the Red Sox' five-run sixth inning. Rice singled for two runs, and Baylor's home run off Don Schulze (3-2) put Boston ahead by 5-2.

The Red Sox broke the game open with five more runs in the seventh. Buckner hit a sacrifice fly, and Rice followed with a two-run double.

Reliever Jim Kern hit Baylor with a pitch, the 200th time Baylor has been hit in his career, extending his AL record. After Dwight Evans walked, Steve Lyons' infield hit drove in a run, and Reggie Ritter yielded a sacrifice fly to Marc Sullivan. After the game, Ritter was sent down to AAA Maine.

*Blue Jays 14, Twins 8: George Bell and Jesse Barfield each hit bases-empty homers, Tony Fernandez hit a two-run triple and Lloyd Moseby had a three-run double as Toronto won at Minnesota.

Jim Clancy (5-3) gave up 11 hits, struck out six and walked two over seven innings for the victory.

Bert Blyleven (4-4) took the loss in his 11th start, most in the American League.

*Royals 4, Brewers 3: Hal McRae bounced a bases-loaded single into left field with one out in the ninth inning, scoring Frank White and lifting Kansas City over visiting Milwaukee.

White reached first base on an infield single leading off the ninth. Jorge Orta attempted a sacrifice bunt that was scored a single. Milwaukee third baseman Dale Sveum threw wildly to first base on the play, allowing White to go to third. After Steve Balboni struck out, Jamie Quirk was given an intentional walk, bringing up McRae.

*Tigers 4, Angels 1: Dan Petry gave up five hits in eight innings and Lance Parrish, Harry Spilman and Lou Whitaker had two-out RBI singles to lead Detroit at California.

It was the Tigers' fourth straight win. The loss was California's sixth in the last seven games.

Petry improved his record to 4-4, struck out three and walked four. Rookie Eric King pitched the ninth for his first major league save.

*Yankees 6, Mariners 5: New York had four home runs for the victory in Seattle.

Rickey Henderson led off with a homer, his ninth of the season. Don Mattingly hit two homers (Nos. 6 and 7), and Mike Easler also hit one for the Yankees, his fourth. Ken Phelps hit two homers for the Mariners.

Seattle pitcher Mike Morgan (3-6) took the loss, leaving after retiring just one batter. New York's Ed Whitson raised his record to 4-1 with 3 1/3 innings of relief.