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Matthews' 3-run jack the difference in Texas' win

BALTIMORE (AP) -- First, the Texas Rangers bounced back from a
milestone homer by Sammy Sosa.

Then, nearly four hours later, they reacted passionately to a
spikes-high slide by the Baltimore Orioles' slugger.

Gary Matthews hit a three-run homer in the 11th inning to
complete his first career two-homer game and lead Texas to an 11-8
victory Wednesday night.

Sosa hit his 587th home run to take over sole possession of
fifth place on the career list and give Baltimore a 4-0
first-inning lead. The Orioles increased the margin to 5-0 in the
second, but the Rangers used home runs by Rod Barajas, Matthews and
Mark Teixeira to pull even in the fourth.

Teixeira's homer was the switch-hitter's 28th of the season, but
first from the right side of the plate.

It was 8-all in the 10th when Sosa was thrown out at the plate
by Matthews trying to score on a two-out single to center by Luis
Matos. Sosa slid into Barajas with his right leg up in the air,
causing both benches to empty before order was quickly restored.

"Rod has a pretty ugly bruise on his right arm," Rangers
manager Buck Showalter said. "That was a great throw by Gary and a
bad slide. That play at the plate got us juiced back up. It was a
gutsy play by Rod, and I think we responded to the play real
well."

In the 11th, Matthews connected off Jorge Julio (3-3) after
Richard Hidalgo reached on a walk and Mark DeRosa singled.

"The play at the plate definitely fired us up," Teixeira said.
"I'm not sure it was the difference in the game, because anytime
you're in extra innings anything can happen. But it got us fired
up."

Sosa refused to talk after the game, saying only, "I'm not in
the mood today."

Sosa's 13th homer, his third in four games, broke a tie on the
career chart with Frank Robinson that had lasted about 24 hours.
The opposite-field solo shot to right came on a 2-1 pitch from
rookie Chris Young.

Miguel Tejada and Javy Lopez also homered for the Orioles, whose
seventh loss in eight games dropped them a season-high 4½ games
behind first-place Boston in the AL East.

Baltimore stranded 16 and was 4-for-15 with runners in scoring
position.

"We had chances to win the game numerous times," Orioles
manager Lee Mazzilli said.

Francisco Cordero (2-1), who blew a two-run lead in the ninth,
pitched two innings and James Baldwin worked the 11th for his first
save since 2003.

With the score at 6, Alfonso Soriano led off the Texas ninth
with a single off B.J. Ryan. Soriano stole second and Hidalgo was
intentionally walked before DeRosa, who started the game batting
.170, hit a two-run double.

But Cordero couldn't hold the lead. Sosa reached on an error and
Lopez followed with his ninth homer and second in two games, to tie
it. Baltimore then loaded the bases with one out before Cordero
struck out Melvin Mora and retired Tejada on a fly ball.

"You come back in the ninth and then get the bases loaded with
your top guys up, you'll take that every day of the week,"
Mazzilli said.

The Rangers took their first lead in the fifth, going up 6-5
when Kevin Mench hit a one-out double off Todd Williams and scored
on a single by DeRosa.

After loading the bases in the fifth and sixth innings with two
outs but failing to score, the Orioles pulled even in the eighth
when Mora hit a bases-loaded single off Kameron Loe, who then
struck out Tejada and retired Rafael Palmeiro on a grounder.

Baltimore starter Bruce Chen was staked to 5-0 lead, but the
left-hander lost it in the fourth. After Barajas hit a two-run
drive, Matthews homered two pitches later, the sixth time this
season Texas connected on successive at-bats. Michael Young
followed with a single, and Teixeira capped the rally with a shot
to right.

Game notes
The start of the game was delayed by rain for 1 hour, 37
minutes. ... Sosa's homer came on a night in which the Orioles gave
out Sammy Sosa bobblehead dolls. ... Texas increased its major
league-leading home run total to 168.