ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Kenny Rogers refused to feel comfortable
-- even after his Rangers teammates gave him an eight-run lead after
just one inning.
Rogers became the oldest Texas pitcher to throw a shutout since
Nolan Ryan in 1991, and the Rangers cruised to its fifth straight
victory, 9-0 over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays on Monday night.
"I didn't even look at the scoreboard after the second,"
Rogers said. "I knew I had the lead and had to keep throwing
The 39-year-old Rogers (4-1) gave up four hits, struck out four,
walked one and helped protect his eighth career shutout when he
made a lunging grab of a line drive by Rocco Baldelli with runners
at first and second to end the third inning. It was the 34th
complete game of Rogers' career.
Ryan was 44 when he pitched his last shutout on June 11, 1991.
"Kenny was in command the whole way," Rangers manager Buck
Showalter said. "He's always a good guy to have on the mound, but
especially when you can put up that many runs early. He can use all
Rogers got his 105th victory with the Rangers, moving ahead of
Bobby Witt for second place in team history behind Charlie Hough's
Carl Crawford led off the game with a single, Rey Sanchez and
Jose Cruz Jr. singled in the third, and Cruz had a leadoff double
in the ninth for the Devil Rays' hits. Crawford was the only runner
to reach third base.
Tampa Bay catcher Toby Hall called Rogers' variety of offspeed
pitches, "slop, but good slop. It makes his fastball look faster.
It wasn't a good night for us."
The Devil Rays, the only team in the majors without consecutive
victories this season, have lost nine of 11. Tampa Bay, coming off
an 8-2 win over Oakland on Sunday, has gone 25 games without
back-to-back victories. That's the longest such streak since
Baltimore failed to win two straight over the first 25 games in
After sweeping a three-game series from the Boston Red Sox over
the weekend, the Rangers weren't about to have a letdown against
the lowly Devil Rays.
"The Boston series is over," Michael Young said after Texas
improved to a major league-best 17-9. "Our focus is on the team
Texas, which has won nine of 10, sent 11 to the plate in the
first against Paul Abbott (2-3).
Hank Blalock had a one-out single and Soriano followed with his
third homer and second in as many at-bats. Brad Fullmer walked and
Eric Young had a bunt single before Dellucci hit his fifth homer in
his last 26 at-bats for a 5-0 advantage.
Abbott got his pitches up, and he paid for his mistakes.
"If you pitch this team out over the plate, you'd better get it
down," manager Lou Piniella said.
Texas made it 9-0 in the fourth when Michael Young scored from
third on reliever Dicky Gonzalez's wild pitch.
Abbott, who started the night 6-1 with a 3.83 ERA lifetime
against Texas, allowed a career-high nine runs and eight hits over
3 1-3 innings.
Rogers' last shutout came on April 19, 2002, at Seattle.
... Texas tied a team record with three homers in an inning. The
Rangers have accomplished the feat 26 times, including this season
on April 25 against Seattle. ... Eric Young had his third bunt
single of the season in the first. ... Tampa Bay has allowed 15
runs in the first inning of its last two road games. ... The
longest streak of games to start a season without consecutive wins
was 42 by the Florida Marlins in 1999.