ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Chan Ho Park pitched six strong innings
in his return from the disabled list and the Texas Rangers equaled
their win total from last year by beating the Minnesota Twins 8-3
Hank Blalock homered for the fifth time in six games. He and
Alfonso Soriano each had three RBI for the Rangers, who are 2½
games behind first-place Oakland in the AL West. Texas (71-55) also
remained two games behind Boston in the wild-card race.
Park (3-4) allowed two runs and four hits to win for the first
time since May 12 against Tampa Bay. He struck out four and walked
three. The 31-year-old right-hander went on the disabled list May
20 with a sore back.
Minnesota loaded the bases against Park in the first inning with
two singles and a walk. He then retired nine a row and did not
allow another hit until the Twins touched him for two runs in the
Park, who had not won at home since Sept. 12, 2002, warmed up to
start the seventh and was relieved by Ron Mahay. As Park walked
toward the dugout, he received a standing ovation.
Park has been on the disabled list five times in three seasons
with Texas since signing a $65 million, five-year contract. He
never was on the DL in six full seasons with Los Angeles before
Justin Morneau had an RBI double and Corey Koskie added a
run-scoring single for Minnesota in the sixth. Mahay pitched two
scoreless innings, and Frank Francisco gave up an RBI double to
Luis Rivas in the ninth.
Terry Mulholland (4-7) allowed seven runs and nine hits in 3 2-3
innings for the AL Central-leading Twins.
Blalock hit a two-run homer-- his 29th -- and Soriano added a
two-run triple as Texas scored four runs in the fourth to take a
7-0 lead in support of Park.
Soriano was hit in the helmet by a pitch in the eighth inning.
Texas manager Buck Showalter and trainer Jaime Reed immediately
came out of the dugout and walked with Soriano to first base -- but
he was smiling and appeared to be fine before leaving for a
But Lew Ford struck out and Koskie flied out to the warning
track in center as Park got out of the jam.
Texas scored in the bottom of the first on Soriano's RBI double.
The Rangers added two in the second on Blalock's RBI single and
Eric Young's sacrifice fly. Blalock has 12 RBI in his past seven
Texas' Rod Barajas had an RBI single in the fifth. ...
Koskie went 1-for-4 to extend his career-best hitting streak to 14