Rangers ride eight-run fifth to eighth straight win

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Bald heads and the No. 8 reigned for the
Texas Rangers on Tuesday night.

Kevin Mench hit a three-run homer to cap the Rangers' eight-run fifth inning, their biggest of the season, as they beat the Anaheim Angels 11-5 for their eighth straight win.

After Scott Schoeneweis (6-6) walked Mench to start the fifth, Todd Greene homered to tie it at 4-all. The two celebrated by taking off their helmets and bumping their bald heads together at the plate, but Texas was just getting started.

If the Rangers can extend their winning streak to 10, manager
Jerry Narron will be sporting his own clean-shaven look because of
a bet with his players.

"I gave my word,'' Narron said. "I'll keep my word ... I

The Rangers still have to win two more against the Angels, but their eight-game winning is their longest since they won nine straight from July 18-27, 1999.

"We're little more aggressive at the plate and more confident in what we're doing,'' Greene said. "We're playing together as a team.''

Rafael Palmeiro and rookie Ryan Ludwick added solo homers for
the Rangers, who matched a season high with their 11 runs.

Mench's homer, a liner that just cleared the left-field fence, capped the fifth in which the Rangers scored eight runs on just three hits.

After Greene's homer, Texas loaded the bases on two walks and a
single before Juan Gonzalez hit a sacrifice fly to break the tie.
Schoeneweis left after his fourth walk of the inning, to Palmeiro.

"I just lost a lot of the individual battles. When you win those, you don't walk guys and you get outs,'' Schoeneweis said. "It's very frustrating, obviously.''

Reliever Lou Pote gave up a bases-loaded walk to Herbert Perry
and threw a wild pitch that allowed another run to score before
Mench's seventh homer made it 10-4.

"When you go against a good lineup and then put logs on the fire and walk guys, it's going to be tough,'' Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.

Ismael Valdes (5-6) pitched seven innings, allowing four runs on five hits, for just his second win in his last eight starts.

Schoeneweis gave up eight runs on four hits over 4 2/3 innings, with two strikeouts and five walks. He had allowed just five runs over 24 innings in three other starts against Texas this season.

Anaheim led 3-0 after Benji Molina's three-run double in the
second. Adam Kennedy was hit by a pitch after consecutive singles
by Tim Salmon and Brad Fullmer to load the bases.

Kennedy had run-scoring singles in the third and eighth innings.

Palmeiro's homer to center, his 16th of the season and 463rd of his career, came in the bottom of the second. Ludwick hit his first career homer an inning later.

Alex Rodriguez added an RBI single in the sixth.

"We got our tails kicked, plain and simple,'' Schoeneweis said. "I certainly didn't do my job and the rest of the team suffered.''

Game notes
Greene's homer went 431 feet down the left-field line into
the second deck of seats. He was only the fourth player to hit a
ball there. The others are Gonzalez (four times), Alex Rodriguez
(twice) and Mark McGwire (once) ... Over the last two seasons,
Anaheim is 26-57 against the AL West; 92-62 against everyone else.
... Angels SS David Eckstein, the hardest player in the AL to strike out, struck out to lead off the game -- just his fourth in 102 at-bats and 16th in 303 plate appearances. ... When Ivan Rodriguez was hit by a pitch from Matt Wise in the sixth, he took a couple of steps toward the mound, then picked up the ball and tossed it to Wise before going to first base. ... Anaheim 3B Troy Glaus went 0-for-4 and has just 18 hits in his last 110 at-bats.