No question, Rafael Palmeiro is having a special year for the Texas Rangers. And the Rangers are going along for the ride.
Palmeiro homered and drove in two runs, and Aaron Sele scattered eight hits as the host Rangers beat the playoff-hopeful Boston Red Sox, 6-0, last night for the third straight time.
"I'm just enjoying the streak I'm in right now," said Palmeiro, who tied single-season club records for homers and RBI by a left-handed hitter. "I don't know anything about these records until you guys [reporters] tell me. I have no idea why [he's on such a streak]. I just want to keep winning."
Palmeiro's sixth-inning solo homer was his 37th of the season, matching his Rangers record for a left-handed hitter set in 1993. His 117 RBI equals Al Oliver's team left-handed mark set in 1980.
Palmeiro also set a team record with 29 RBI in August, and tied Juan Gonzalez's 1992 team record with his 12th homer in August. His 351st homer, which extended the Rangers' lead to 4-0, tied him with Dick Allen for 53rd place on the all-time list.
In his last seven games, he has seven homers and 17 RBI. Over the three-game series with Boston, Palmeiro finished with four homers and nine RBI.
"Good month?" Rangers Manager Johnny Oates commented. "How about a good year. He's right on everything, whether it's a knuckleball or a fastball. It's a great time for him to have it."
ATHLETICS 4, BLUE JAYS 3: Right fielder Matt Stairs preserved a tie by going to the wall and catching Shawn Green's one-on, two-out drive in the ninth. Then in the bottom of the inning, Randy Velarde delivered a two-out RBI single off bullpen ace Billy Koch as Oakland beat visiting Toronto.
DEVIL RAYS 2, ROYALS 1: Honored in pregame festivities for reaching 3,000 hits, Wade Boggs singled in the eighth inning to set up the go-ahead run that gave Tampa Bay the win over visiting Kansas City. The Devil Rays are 12-5 since Aug. 4, the best record in the AL over that span.
YANKEES 5, TWINS 3: Jorge Posada drove in three runs with a homer, triple and double, and Orlando Hernandez (14-7) allowed four hits in seven innings as New York won its eighth in its last 10 road games. Chuck Knoblauch also had three hits in the Yankees' 13-hit attack.
TIGERS 12, ANGELS 3: Juan Encarnacion hit a three-run homer and drove in a career-high five runs, and Dave Mlicki won his fourth straight start as Detroit beat host Anaheim. Mlicki (9-10) allowed three runs and six hits in six-plus innings as the Tigers won consecutive games for only the second time in a month.
INDIANS 7, MARINERS 4: Richie Sexson hit a two-run homer in the 10th inning off Jose Mesa as visiting Cleveland got Manager Mike Hargrove his 700th victory. Mesa (1-5), who gave up a run to the Indians in the ninth to tie the score for his fourth blown save, walked Manny Ramirez with one out before Sexson hit a 1-1 pitch 381 feet over the right field fence. Mariners Manager Lou Piniella was ejected after a heated argument with second-base umpire Bill Welke after Carlos Baerga stole second base.