Series: Game 2 of 3

Texas leads 2-0 (as of 6/22)

Game 1: Friday, June 21
Texas 2Final
Pittsburgh 0
Game 2: Saturday, June 22
Texas 3Final
Pittsburgh 2
Game 3: Sunday, June 23
Texas 10Final
Pittsburgh 4

Rangers 3

(31-41, 15-23 away)

Pirates 2

(32-41, 16-20 home)

    7:05 PM ET, June 22, 2002

    PNC Park, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 

    123456789 R H E
    TEX 000011100 3 - -
    PIT 200000000 2 - -

    W: R. Bell (3-2)

    L: M. Lincoln (0-2)

    S: H. Irabu (13)

    Ivan Rodriguez knocks in winning run in seventh

    PITTSBURGH (AP) -- This is what the Texas Rangers have been waiting for -- both Alex Rodriguez and Ivan Rodriguez to start hitting and the pitching to come around, all at the same time.

    Ivan Rodriguez
    Ivan Rodriguez

    Ivan Rodriguez drove in the go-ahead run with a double in the seventh inning and the Rangers overcame a two-run deficit to beat the skidding Pittsburgh Pirates 3-2 Saturday night.

    Rodriguez has three of the Rangers' five RBI in the series, driving in both runs of a 2-0 victory Friday night with a homer and a double. The Rangers also got three hits from Alex Rodriguez, who was in a 5-for-39 slump.

    "We have a lot of potential on this team, we just haven't been able to put our full lineup out there,'' Alex Rodriguez said. "Because of that we have to do other things and make sure we execute.''

    Texas starter Rob Bell (3-2), just back from Triple-A Oklahoma, fell behind 2-0 after three batters but settled down to get the victory, the Rangers' fourth in a row and sixth in nine games.

    Bell lasted six innings, giving up four hits and retiring his final 10 hitters. He is 3-0 against the Pirates, beating them twice early in the 2000 season for Cincinnati.

    Bell got encouragement from new pitching coach Orel Hershiser after falling behind 2-0 on Brian Giles' two-run double.

    "Everything was positive,'' Bell said. "He was there saying, `Let's bear down and mix some pitches, you're fine.' It's like a fighter coming back to his corner after a round. You can't say to him, `You're really getting hit, you're in trouble.'''

    Bell has shuttled back and forth between Triple-A and Texas three times, usually going down when the Rangers didn't need a fifth starter for a while.

    "It's tough, but you have to realize those things are business decisions,'' Bell said. "You can let it frustrate you or you can let it motivate you.''

    Despite leading 2-0 and putting a runner on second with no outs in the first, the Pirates were shut out the rest of the way by Bell and three relievers. It was their season-high fifth straight loss and eighth in nine games, and their 36th in 56 games since they were seven games over .500 in mid-April.

    Pittsburgh's last seven losses are by one or two runs.

    "We've hit a little snag, but we'll keep working at it and I'm confident we'll get it turned around,'' manager Lloyd McClendon said. "We're losing a lot of close games, and that's what's frustrating.''

    The Pirates had only two hits over the final seven innings, both by Aramis Ramirez.

    After scoreless innings by Anthony Telford and John Rocker, Hideki Irabu pitched the ninth for his 13th save in 16 chances. He has lost his closer's job to Francisco Cordero, who wasn't used after pitching in three consecutive games.

    Pittsburgh starter Jimmy Anderson, coming off his best start of the season in a 5-1 victory Sunday over Cincinnati, led 2-0 in the fifth but walked Kevin Mench and Bell ahead of Michael Young's two-out RBI single.

    "The only thing I was upset about was walking the pitcher with two outs,'' Anderson said. "If I don't do that, we probably get out of the inning leading 2-0. I thought I was in control and to do that, it's stupid.''

    Anderson has had recurring wildness problems, walking 14 in his last four starts. He has walked at least two batters in every start since his first of the season.

    Texas tied it in the sixth on another two-out single, by Mike Lamb following singles by Alex Rodriguez and Juan Gonzalez. Ivan Rodriguez's run-scoring double off Mike Lincoln (0-2) came after Gabe Kapler, pinch-hitting for Bell, singled to start the seventh. Ivan Rodriguez is 7-for-18 in his last four games and is 19-for-56 (.339) since returning from a herniated disc that kept him out nearly two months.

    Game notes

    Despite their recent streak, the Rangers' 30 victories in their first 71 games were the fifth-fewest in club history. ... Texas is 7-7 in interleague play. The Pirates are 1-7 and have lost the first five games of a nine-game homestand, all to AL clubs Oakland and Texas. ... Bell won for the first time in five appearances since beating Toronto 5-3 on May 2. ... Gonzalez returned after missing three games with a bruised right thumb. ... Lamb has started three straight games at third base after not previously starting there this season. He made 18 errors in 2001 and 33 in 2000. ... The Pirates' two-run first was the only scoring off Texas in 20 innings. ... Kenny Rogers and Bell won on consecutive nights after the Rangers went eight games without a starter winning. ... Neither the Rangers nor Pirates have a grand slam this season.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press