© St. Petersburg Times, published August 18, 2002
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Alex Rodriguez wasn't thinking about being in last place or the possibility of another strike. He just kept hitting the ball hard.
Rodriguez hit three home runs, becoming the sixth player with five consecutive 40-homer seasons as Texas beat Toronto 9-5 on Saturday.
"When you have nights like (Saturday), you don't really think much about the past or the future," Rodriguez said. "I was pretty much possessed by the moment, and it was a great feeling."
Rodriguez hit a two-run homer in the first, his 40th of the season. He added Nos. 41 and 42 leading off the third and seventh.
Rafael Palmeiro and Herbert Perry also homered for the Rangers.
Rodriguez leads the majors with 107 RBIs and is second in homers to Sammy Sosa, who hit his 43rd for the Cubs on Saturday. This also is Sosa's fifth consecutive 40-homer season.
Babe Ruth holds the major-league record with seven consecutive 40-homer seasons from 1926-32. Ralph Kiner, Duke Snider and Ken Griffey Jr. have had five.
Before striking out to lead off the fifth, Rodriguez had reached base in eight consecutive plate appearances, including three consecutive homers.
His homer in the ninth Friday gave the Rangers a 6-5 victory and capped a 4-for-4 night in which he also walked. He singled in his final at-bat Wednesday in an 11-6 victory against the White Sox.
SEATTLE -- Bernie Williams just missed his record, but the Yankees beat the Mariners 8-3.
Alfonso Soriano homered to become the only second baseman to post a 30-30 season, and Williams' streak ended at 11 consecutive hits, one short of the record.
"I think it was a great run," Williams said. "I had a lot of fun with it. And obviously, you don't expect those things to last. "It just wasn't meant to be."
Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada and John Vander Wal also homered as the Yankees won their sixth in a row.
Williams singled in the first off Ryan Franklin, then grounded out to third baseman Jeff Cirillo in the third.
Williams was one shy of tying the major-league mark of 12 consecutive hits held by Mike "Pinky" Higgins of the 1938 Red Sox and Walt Dropo of the 1952 Tigers.
He reached base safely in 13 consecutive plate appearances, three shy of the mark set by Ted Williams in 1957.
ATHLETICS 9, WHITE SOX 2: Mark Ellis hit a three-run homer and Miguel Tejada drove in his 100th run of the season as host Oakland won its fourth in a row.
Tejada drove in two runs with a single and a groundout to move past Chicago's Magglio Ordonez, who has 99 RBIs, for second in the AL behind Rodriguez. It's Tejada's third consecutive 100-RBI season.
Tejada was hit on the top of his batting helmet by Garland's pitch in the third. The All-Star shortstop wasn't injured, but he was hit again by reliever Damaso Marte in the eighth. Home plate umpire Rob Drake warned both benches.
Oakland reliever Jim Mecir was ejected after hitting Royce Clayton with a pitch with two outs in the ninth. A's manager Art Howe also was tossed.
INDIANS 9, ANGELS 4: Jim Thome and Travis Fryman homered and Omar Vizquel triggered a six-run seventh as visiting Cleveland prevented Anaheim from moving into first in the West.
The Indians had two on and two out when Vizquel drove in John McDonald with a single to make it 4-3. Ellis Burks followed with an infield single, and Coco Crisp and Vizquel scored on David Eckstein's throwing error. After a walk, Fryman's three-run homer capped the rally.
RED SOX 5, TWINS 2: Tim Wakefield allowed four hits in six innings for visiting Boston. Wakefield, who allowed four hits in his last outing against the Twins, walked three and struck out four to send Minnesota to its ninth loss in 12 games.
Rickey Henderson went 3-for-4, including a home run and a double.
ORIOLES 7, TIGERS 3: Mike Bordick returned from the disabled list and singled in the tiebreaking run in the seventh, and John Stephens earned his first major-league win as host Baltimore rallied.
The Orioles trailed 3-1 before sending nine men to the plate in a four-run seventh.