ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Kenny Rogers turns 41 in November, but he won't act his age despite the wear and tear of 17 major-league seasons.
Rogers extended his shutout streak to 21 innings with seven innings of six-hit ball as the Texas Rangers beat the Cleveland Indians 7-2 on Sunday."Older people can play this game too," said Sandy Alomar Jr., Rogers' 38-year-old catcher.Rogers (3-2) struck out four and walked four while winning his third straight start, stretching the longest shutout streak by a Rangers starter since Rogers' club-record 39 consecutive scoreless innings in 1995.The left-hander didn't allow an extra-base hit and lowered his ERA to 1.79, mixing his pitches to keep the Indians off-balance and benefiting from three double plays."I know how tough it is to do what he does whether you're 20, 30 or 40," Rangers manager Buck Showalter said. "He's so athletic and he reads what people are trying to do against him. He doesn't get into any set pattern and he never gets out of his skin. He
throws strikes when they need to be thrown and he expands the zone when it needs to be expanded."As has been his policy for most of this season, Rogers refused interview requests, but his teammates were more than happy to speak for him."Kenny's on a roll right now," said shortstop Michael Young,
whose two-run homer in the first gave Rogers an early lead. "He's unlike anyone I've ever played behind. He's just not giving up any runs. He's pretty incredible. It seems like he's getting better and better."Cleveland scored in the eighth on Victor Martinez's RBI double off reliever Brian Shouse. Nick Regilio gave up another run in the ninth and left with the bases loaded before Francisco Cordero struck out Travis Hafner for his 10th save in 12 chances.Gary Matthews Jr. went 4-for-4 and Richard Hidalgo, who entered the game batting .167, homered for Texas. The Rangers (17-15) won for the fifth time in six games and moved two games over .500 for the first time this season.Alfonso Soriano, 9-for-14 with five homers and 10 RBI in his previous three games, went 1-for-2 with two walks and an RBI.David Dellucci led off the first with a triple and Young capped an 11-pitch at-bat against starter Jake Westbrook (1-6) with his fourth homer."[Young] kept fouling pitches off until he got a pitch where he wanted it," Westbrook said. "It was a sinker, down where I wanted it, but give him credit, he went down and got it."Soriano's RBI groundout in the third extended Texas' advantage to 3-0. Hidalgo's homer and Dellucci's RBI single in the fourth made it 5-0 and knocked Westbrook out of the game.Mark Teixeira's single off Jason Davis later in the fourth stretched the Rangers' lead to 6-0, and Matthews added a run-scoring single in the fifth.Westbrook, an All-Star last season, allowed six runs and seven hits over 3 1/3 innings."They're a great hitting team," Westbrook said. "That's on your mind when you go out there. The ball flies out of here."The Indians fell 11½ games behind the first-place White Sox in the AL Central, and Cleveland manager Eric Wedge said he's concerned."Chicago has been on a roll since Day 1 and they're still riding it," Wedge said. "We've just got to grind it out."
The Rangers are 7-3 in day games. ... Martinez had three hits. ...Texas outfielder Kevin Mench got the day off after being hit on the wrist by a pitch in Saturday night's game. Mench had been hit in three of his previous five games. Showalter has talked to Mench about adding more protection, but Showalter said "some people don't like body armor, some do." ...Teixeira has a career-high 12-game hitting streak. ... Dellucci has reached base in 19 straight games. ... Cleveland is 1-8 against left-handed starters. ...Texas is 6-1 when Alomar starts behind the plate.