Gary Matthews Jr. and closer Francisco Cordero also played big
roles in the victory.
Matthews, starting in center field for the first time this
season, made a running catch in the sixth inning that prevented two
runs from scoring. Cordero struck out two with runners on first and
second to end the eighth, then pitched a perfect ninth for his 20th
save in 21 chances.
"I'd like to give a save to both of them," Rangers manager
Buck Showalter said.
The Rangers led 5-0 and 7-3 before Florida's late rally.
Miguel Cabrera had a two-run triple in the fourth that made it
5-2 and added an RBI single in the eighth that almost cleared the
wall in left.
His fly ball in the eighth bounced off Young's glove, hit the
top of the wall and ricocheted back into play. That cut the lead to
7-6 and left runners on first and second with no outs.
"It was good to get out of that spot without allowing any more
damage," said Cordero, who rebounded from his first blown save of
Young and Mench gave the Ranger an early lead.
Young had a two-run double in the second and an RBI single in
the fifth. Mench, back in the lineup after sitting out three games,
homered in the third to make it 5-0. It was his sixth of the season
and first since May 20.
The Rangers also got help from the Marlins. Florida committed
three errors, including one by Gonzalez in the second that led to
three unearned runs.
Matthews reached base on Gonzalez's one-out throwing error and
later scored on Young's double. Michael Young followed with a
single that made it 3-0.
Texas added to the sloppy game with two blunders on the same
play in the seventh, helping Florida score twice to cut the lead to
Gonzalez doubled to left-center and might have been out at
second, but Alfonso Soriano missed the relay throw and Conine
scored. Catcher Rod Barajas then picked up the loose ball and threw
wildly home, allowing Gonzalez to score.
"We had as many opportunities or more than they did," Marlins
manager Jack McKeon said.
The teams combined for five errors that led to five unearned
Dontrelle Willis (6-4) had one of his shortest outings of the
season, giving up nine hits and seven runs -- four earned -- in 4 2-3
innings. Only starts in San Francisco and against Houston were
Willis was 2-0 with a 1.55 ERA in his previous four starts.
Texas starter Joaquin Benoit allowed two hits and three runs in
four innings, but didn't return after an 87-minute rain delay. He
struck out seven and walked one.
Reliever R.A. Dickey (5-6) allowed two hits and struck out two
in two scoreless innings.
"You don't see many games like this," Texas first baseman Mark
Teixeira said. "This was a weird one. But as long as we win, it's
OK, no matter how strange it is."
Conine snapped a 76-game errorless streak when he booted a
ball in the first inning. It was his first error since getting
traded to Florida late last year. ... Florida's three errors were
its most since having four against the Dodgers on May 4. ... Mench
ended an 0-for-13 skid with a single in the second inning.