Final

Series: Game 3 of 3

Texas won 2-1

Game 1: Monday, May 3
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Game 2: Tuesday, May 4
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Game 3: Wednesday, May 5
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Devil Rays 1

(9-17, 3-10 away)

Rangers 6

(18-10, 12-4 home)

    8:05 PM ET, May 5, 2004

    Globe Life Park in Arlington, Arlington, Texas 

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    W: R. Drese (2-0)

    L: D. Waechter (1-2)

    MLB hits leader adds 1 HR, 1 triple, 2 doubles

    ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Ryan Drese did such a great job pitching on three days' rest that it gave Texas Rangers manager Buck Showalter an interesting idea.

    "When I went to get him, I said, "I'll give you two games off next time and we'll see how that goes," Showalter said, laughing.

    Drese allowed just five singles in 6 1/3 shutout innings and major league hits leader Michael Young went 4-for-4 with a solo homer to help the Rangers beat the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 6-1 on Wednesday night.

    After ending a five-game winning streak on Tuesday night, Texas rebounded with its 10th win in 12 games to keep at least a share of first place in the AL West.

    Drese (2-0) kept it interesting early. Four days after a 118-pitch outing, he faced two out and two on in each of the first two innings and two on with one out in the third.

    Then everything clicked. He retired 12 of the next 14 batters, with three of his four strikeouts along the way, and was pulled after his 100th pitch.

    "It was just about getting into a groove," Drese said. "I settled into it and got stronger as the game went on. The more the ball is in your hand, the better it feels sometimes."

    Drese was never hit hard. The first six runners included two walks and a hit batter. Of the five hits off him, two stayed in the infield. And only one runner reached third.

    Relievers Ron Mahay and Carlos Almanzar preserved the shutout through eight innings. Doug Brocail blew it with one out in the ninth on a pinch-hit single by Midre Cummings, who was called up earlier in the day. His RBI liner to left came on the first major league pitch he has seen since 2001.

    Cummings' hit was the first manufactured run this series for Tampa Bay. The Devil Rays were shut out Monday and won behind five solo homers Tuesday. The lowest-scoring team in the AL was two outs away from being shut out for the fifth time in 26 games.

    Losing for the eighth time in 10 games was bad enough. Even worse, Tampa tied the seventh-longest drought to start a season without consecutive wins. As a barometer of what could be ahead, Detroit went 30 games last season en route to a 43-119 record.

    "We need to get some hits back-to-back -- a lot of them," shortstop Julio Lugo said. "I hope we can get out of this soon."

    Disappointed at the low output in a hitter's haven, manager Lou Piniella promised some changes for Thursday night's game in Anaheim. He said Cummings would start and Aubrey Huff, in a 4-for-32 slump that has dropped his average to .189, will be dropped from third to the bottom of the lineup.

    "Maybe then we can get him to relax and swing the bat," Piniella said.

    Young seems to be doing exactly that.

    Moving from second base to shortstop to replace Alex Rodriguez only seems to be making him better. With a season-high four hits, he's on an 11-for-23 roll that has raised his average to .377. His 17 multihit games lead the majors, as do his 46 hits.

    "We're just having a good time winning," Young said. "That's what I take pride in."

    Young had two singles, an RBI triple and the second of consecutive homers in the seventh, following Rod Barajas. Mark Teixeira also homered.

    Young's homer, his fifth, tipped off the fingers of center fielder Rocco Baldelli's glove as he leaped above the wall. It wasn't clear whether he'd caught it until Young already had rounded second base.

    Tampa starter Doug Waechter (1-2) allowed four runs on eight hits over 6 1/3 innings. He struck out two and walked two. His last pitch was Barajas' homer, then reliever Chad Gaudin served up Young's homer on his first pitch. His second pitch was a double by Hank Blalock, who later scored.

    Game notes


    A moment of silence was held before the game for Darrell Johnson, Texas' manager for 66 games during the 1982 season. He died Monday of leukemia at his home in California. ... Cummings, who played in 436 previous major league games for the Pirates, Phillies, Red Sox, Twins and Diamondbacks, spent last season with the Chicago Cubs' Triple-A affiliate in Iowa. ... Dallas Cowboys coach Bill Parcells visited both clubhouses before the game and hung around the batting cage, but he left before the first pitch. He has been friends with Piniella and Showalter since they were with the Yankees and he was coaching in New York. ... Showalter got a haircut Wednesday. He'd been holding off while the Rangers were on a five-game winning streak.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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