1996 Game Recap: Record 30th Home Run
(7th 30-Homer Season)
Rangers 8, Athletics 1
OAKLAND, Calif. (Jul 14, 1996 - 03:41 EST) -- The Texas Rangers score runs in bunches every time Roger Pavlik pitches, whether he needs them or not.
The Rangers backed him with four home runs Saturday night, and that was plenty for Pavlik in an 8-1 win over the Oakland Athletics.
"Let our bats go to work, pretty much," is how Pavlik described the essence of his 12-2 start, the best in Rangers history.
Pavlik gave up three hits in eight innings and surpassed the 11-2 start by Danny Darwin in 1980. Mark Brandenburg pitched a hitless ninth for Texas.
"I'm just glad to get off to such a good start," Pavlik said, "because usually it's the second half when I start to get my numbers somewhat respectable."
The Rangers average nearly eight runs each time Pavlik starts, so his 4.85 ERA is more than enough to get him 10 games above .500 so far.
Juan Gonzalez extended his career-high hitting streak to 15 games with his 23rd home run. Mickey Tettleton, Kevin Elster and Mark McLemore also connected, and all four Rangers homers came against Don Wengert (3-7).
Pavlik struck out five, worked around a season-high five walks and blanked the A's on two singles until Mark McGwire hit his 30th home run in the eighth. McGwire hit his 25th home run in his last 46 games.
"They flat beat us tonight in every category," said Oakland manager Art Howe. "It's been a long time since we've been beaten that soundly. Donny got hit soundly."
All four of the homers Wengert allowed came with none out.
"Well, I gave up four home runs," Wengert said. "I made some mistakes and they capitalized on them. They made me pay."
Elster singled to start the third and McLemore followed with his third homer. Gonzalez extended the longest hitting streak of his career with a leadoff shot in the sixth and Elster homered in the seventh.
Texas added two runs in the seventh on a home run by Elster, his 14th, and a sacrifice fly by Rusty Greer. The Rangers scored twice in the ninth on an RBI double by Greer and a sacrifice by Gonzalez.
Notes: The Rangers won consecutive games for the first time since June 25-26. ... Since 1995, Pavlik is 18-1 in 23 starts when allowing two runs or fewer. ... Pavlik allowed more than three walks for the first time since walking five on April 24 at Boston. ... The A's have turned an AL-leading 113 double plays and are on pace to be the first team since the 1985 California Angels to make 200 in a season. ... Wengert is 1-5 in his last seven starts. ... McGwire's 30th home run gives him seven 30-homer seasons, tying Jimmie Foxx's all-time A's record.
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