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Rangers snap Angels' four-game win streak

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Texas Rangers manager Jerry Narron wants
Joaquin Benoit to bide his time, but the rookie right-hander
doesn't want to wait to stick in the majors.

Benoit was sent back to the minors for the third time this
season, despite beating the Anaheim Angels 8-5 in the opener of a
doubleheader Monday night.

Benoit (2-0) allowed three runs -- two earned -- and five hits in
five innings.

''He's definitely going to get a chance to pitch here,'' Narron
said. ''It's a matter of when. He's got to be patient. But tonight
was big for his future in the organization.''

After the game, the Rangers optioned Benoit to Triple-A Oklahoma
and called up right-hander Aaron Myette from the RedHawks to add
bullpen depth.

''It's hard to wait,'' said Benoit, who threw 53 pitches in the
first two innings before settling down to win his second major
league start. ''It's hard to go back down.''

Rafael Palmeiro and Herbert Perry drove in two runs apiece to
lead the Rangers to their sixth straight win.

Palmeiro had two hits and the go-ahead sacrifice fly in the
fifth inning, and Perry went 3-for-5 as the Rangers snapped
Anaheim's four-game winning streak. Darin Erstad homered twice for
the Angels.

Benoit, called up from the minors before the game, trailed 3-0
after two innings.

''I had to get my pitch count down,'' Benoit said. ''I knew if I
loaded the bases again, I'd be out.''

Texas' bullpen allowed two runs and two hits over the final four
innings. Francisco Cordero recorded the first out in the ninth on a
grounder to first baseman Mike Lamb, with Cordero covering first.
Cordero was lifted with a muscle strain behind his right shoulder
after throwing one pitch to the next batter, David Eckstein.

The Rangers said Cordero, their most recent in a series of
closers, is day to day.

''He hasn't had trouble there before,'' Narron said. ''Hopefully
he'll be back in a few days.''

Hideki Irabu got the last two outs, allowing Erstad's second
homer of the game. Erstad has six homers on the season and seven
career multihomer games.

Anaheim scored in the first when first baseman Mike Lamb threw
high to the plate for an error on Tim Salmon's bases-loaded
grounder.

The Angels left the bases loaded in the first but scored twice
in the second when Jorge Fabregas doubled and Erstad homered.

Texas reduced the deficit to 3-2 in the second on Michael
Young's two-run single, then tied it at 3 in the third on
Palmeiro's RBI single off Aaron Sele (6-5).

The Rangers knocked out Sele with two runs in the fifth.
Palmeiro hit a sacrifice fly and Perry's RBI single made it 5-3.

Sele allowed five runs and nine hits over 4 1-3 innings.

''I was falling behind hitters and it doesn't take a rocket
scientist to figure out that's not the way to pitch,'' Sele said.
''I was a little off here, a little off there.''

Texas extended its lead to 7-3 in the sixth with the help of
Anaheim shortstop David Eckstein's error. The Rangers loaded the
bases with one out against reliever Scot Shields, then Perry's
grounder went through the legs of Eckstein allowing Ivan Rodriguez
and Alex Rodriguez to cross the plate.

Garrett Anderson's 15th homer, a solo shot in the seventh off
Anthony Telford, pulled Anaheim within 7-4.

Juan Gonzalez's RBI double in the eighth pushed Texas's lead to
8-4.

Game notes
After the game, the Angels sent reliever Brendan Donnelly to
their Triple A farm team in Salt Lake City and called up rookie
John Lackey to make the Game 2 start. Donnelly pitched 2 2-3
innings in the opener. ...The Rangers matched their longest winning
streak of the season. ...The doubleheader was the makeup for an
April 7 rainout. ...Both Sele and Benoit threw 96 pitches with the
same breakdown of 53 strikes and 43 balls.