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A-Rod starting to catch fire
By Chris Ruddick, MLB Contributing Editor
Rangers team report
(Sports Network) - Before Alex Rodriguez arrived in Toronto for his team's
three-game set against the Blue Jays, the high-priced shortstop announced
that he would be spending all of his free time in his hotel room in an effort
to avoid the dreaded SARS virus that has gripped the Toronto area.
"If you need me, I'll be in my room," Rodriguez said.
Well he must have gotten plenty of rest, because A-Rod delivered four hits,
including a homer, three RBI and scored three times in his team's 16-11
slugfest at SkyDome Tuesday night.
"This is one of my favorite parks to hit in," Rodriguez said. "It's just a
place where I feel really comfortable and feel good energy. I've always
enjoyed my time in Toronto and really like playing here."
Last season Rodriguez hit .462 against the Blue Jays and after Tuesday's
effort the 27-year-old superstar is hitting .357 in his career against Toronto
with 28 homers and 77 RBI. Of those home runs 19 have come inside the
SkyDome, making him the all-time leader among Toronto opponents.
Rodriguez, who was greeted with loud boos each time he stepped to the box in
Tuesday's game, still leads the league in strikeouts with 32, but it has not
slowed down any of his production at the plate.
A-Rod is 9-for-11 in his last two games with nine RBI and is tied for the
league-lead in home runs with nine along with teammate Carl Everett and New
York Yankees second baseman Alfonso Soriano.
Everett belted a pair of homers and drove in four runs, as well in Tuesday's
contest, including a shot in the ninth that reached the third deck in right
field. The 31-year-old outfielder, who has had a history of volatile blowups,
is hitting .329 on the year with nine homers and 18 RBI.
"It's good to show the pitching we can score some runs," Everett said.
Juan Gonzalez also hit a pair of home runs in the win for Texas, which hit six
as a team. The Rangers are now tied for the league lead with the Yankees with
After failing to reach double-digits in its previous 21 games, the Rangers
have scored 10 or more runs in three of their last five contests. However, at
10-14, Texas is still in the cellar of the ultra-competitive AL West, five
games behind the Seattle Mariners.
Rodriguez is second on the team with a .347 batting average and has hit safely
in 11 of his last 13 games. He also has 11 RBI in his last four games and
leads the Rangers with 23.
Einar Diaz has just four hits in his last nine games and is hitting .245 on
the season with four RBI.
After completing their three-game trip in Toronto, the Rangers will head to
Cleveland for three games before hosting the same two teams in Arlington in a
pair of three-game series.
04/30 12:26:12 ET
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