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Gonzalez, Lamb both go 3-for-5 for Texas

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The Anaheim Angels and their rally monkey
were one run short of another impressive comeback against the worst
bullpen in the American League.

The Texas Rangers staked Kenny Rogers to an early seven-run lead
Thursday night and hung on for a 9-8 victory, ending the Angels'
four-game winning streak.

With video of the monkey -- the Angels' late-inning mascot -- cavorting on the scoreboard, the Angels closed to a run and
got the tying run to third before Anthony Telford retired Orlando
Palmiero for his first American League save.

''They don't die,'' said Telford, whose other seven major league
saves were with Montreal. ''They've got a good group of players who
are free swingers and don't take many pitches.''

Garret Anderson hit a two-run homer in the ninth off Telford and
Tim Salmon doubled. Pinch-runner Julio Ramirez advanced on a
fielder's choice before Palmiero hit a dribbler to Telford, who
tagged him out.

Juan Gonzalez highlighted a seven-run third inning with a
three-run homer and went 3-for-5. Mike Lamb also went 3-for-5 with
a solo homer.

Texas ended a six-game road losing streak and avoided what would
have been the Angels' first-ever four-game sweep of the Rangers.

''They were down 7-0. A lot of teams would have just quit, and
some of those guys could have been taken out of the game,'' Rangers
designated hitter Rafael Palmeiro said. ''But they were all still in there with a
chance to win it at the end.''

Rogers (7-3) threw 102 pitches over five innings, allowing four
runs on six hits and escaping a bases-loaded jam in the fifth.

The 37-year-old left-hander, who made a season-high 127 pitches
in a complete-game victory over Kansas City last Saturday night,
has won consecutive starts for the first time since the end of
April despite a four-run third by the Angels.

Rogers handed an 8-4 lead to the bullpen, which entered with a
league-worst 5.69 ERA. Todd Van Poppel was charged with two runs in
the eighth after rookie Juan Alvarez gave up a run-scoring double by
pinch-hitter Palmeiro and a run-scoring groundout by Bengie Molina.

Alvarez then fanned Adam Kennedy and sprinted toward the dugout,
forgetting it was only the second out. That was his last batter,
anyway, as manager Jerry Narron replaced him with Telford, who
retired David Eckstein with the tying run on deck.

After watching closer Hideki Irabu surrender three home runs
Wednesday night -- including the game-winner by Troy Glaus -- Narron
said before the game that he ''wouldn't be afraid one bit to put
him out there again.''

But Irabu wasn't available because of stiffness in his back, so
it was up to Telford to nail it down.

Kevin Appier (5-4) was charged with seven runs -- four earned -- and eight hits over 2 2/3 innings, matching his shortest outing of
the season. The right-hander has lost three consecutive starts
after going 5-0 in his previous seven.

''My breaking ball was inconsistent,'' Appier said. ''At times
it was great, at other times it was just hanging there. I didn't
have a good feel for it, and it got worse and worse over time.''

Alex Rodriguez singled home Jason Romano for his major
league-leading 57th RBI, and Gonzalez drove in the next three with
his fourth home run and second in two nights. It was his 401st
career homer.

Palmeiro walked and took third when Ryan Ludwick doubled down
the left field line for his first major league hit. Third baseman
Troy Glaus' fielding error on Bill Haselman's grounder brought home
another run, and the Rangers capped the inning with run-scoring singles
from Michael Young and Romano -- whose one-out double ignited the
rally.

The seven runs were the most in one inning this season against
the Angels, who got four of them back in the bottom of the third.

Eckstein had a run-scoring double, Darin Erstad drove in Jose Nieves
with a groundout, and Anderson hit a two-out, two-run homer -- his
first in 58 career at-bats against Rogers to that point.

But Lamb, who played college ball about 10 miles north of
Anaheim at California State-Fullerton, led off the fourth with his fourth
homer and second of his career at Edison Field. Gonzalez's run-scoing single made it 9-4 in the sixth.

Game notes
Appier has not allowed a first-inning run in his 12 starts
with the Angels. But he has surrendered 16 in the third inning -- six of them April 20 at Oakland in a no-decision. ... Gonzalez's
114 career RBI against the Angels are the most he's had against
any opponent. So are Rodriguez's 69 RBI against them. ... Rogers
is 9-8 with a 4.59 ERA in 24 starts against the Angels since his
perfect game against them July 28, 1994. ... Ludwick, called up
Wednesday when Carl Everett was placed on the disabled list, is the fifth
player to start in center field for the Rangers in the last seven games.