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AL: Palmeiro earplugs don't help in O's loss

Associated Press
Published August 31, 2005


TORONTO - Earplugs didn't help Rafael Palmeiro stop his slump.

Palmeiro inserted earplugs after he was loudly booed during his first at-bat in the Baltimore Orioles' 7-2 loss to the Blue Jays on Tuesday night. He went 0-for-4 and has two hits in 26 at-bats, an .077 average, since a 10-day suspension for testing positive for steroids.

Palmeiro struck out swinging in the first inning, popped out to the pitcher in the fourth, lined out to first base in the sixth and struck out in the eighth. His average has dropped from .280 at the time of his suspension to .266.

Fans have jeered him since his return. He is the most prominent major-league player punished for taking banned drugs.

Palmeiro was the designated hitter, a day after interim manager Sam Perlozzo suggested he has lost his job as the regular first baseman.

Palmeiro expressed disbelief when Orioles spokesman Kevin Behan told him the first few questions to Perlozzo were about his earplugs. Palmeiro declined to talk to reporters, saying through Behan that he'll speak today.

He added what appeared to be tape to one earplug, apparently to further drown out the boos.

"You want to be accepted by people," teammate Brian Roberts said. "For 99 percent of his career he has been and for that to completely change now, I think is something I don't know if any of us can comprehend what he's going through. By his expressions you can tell that it is definitely beating him up."

Shea Hillenbrand tripled during a four-run second inning, and hit a run-scoring double in a three-run fifth.

RANGERS 8-0, WHITE SOX 6-8: Brandon McCarthy allowed two hits in 72/3 innings for his first major-league win, Jermaine Dye had two homers and six RBIs, and visiting Chicago won the second game 8-0 for a doubleheader split.

McCarthy was called up from Triple-A Charlotte to make his sixth major-league start.

In the first game, rookie left-hander C.J. Wilson allowed one run and two hits in five innings of relief for his first major-league win, Mark Teixeira drove in six runs and hit a pair of two-run homers off 16-game winner Jon Garland, and the Rangers won 8-6.

MARINERS 8, YANKEES 3: Ichiro Suzuki hit a three-run homer in a five-run second for host Seattle. Shawn Chacon, one of the pitchers imported by the Yankees to patch their rotation, had his worst start with New York, allowing eight runs, eight hits and four walks in six innings. He also hit two batters and threw a run-scoring wild pitch as his ERA with the Yankees rose from 1.80 to 3.13. Alex Rodriguez hit his AL-leading 40th homer and joined Joe DiMaggio as the only right-handed hitters to reach 40 homers with the Yankees. DiMaggio hit 46 in 1937. Mark Bellhorn, signed earlier in the day by New York, took over at third and went 0-for-4.

ATHLETICS 2, ANGELS 1 (11): Bobby Kielty homered leading off the 11th for visiting Oakland, which won in extra innings for the second straight day and is 10-3 in extra-inning games. Oakland's Barry Zito and Los Angeles' Bartolo Colon each allowed just one run over the first nine innings. Colon pitched into the 10th. Huston Street got his 18th save. With runners on second and first, Street got Vladimir Guerrero on a game-ending grounder to second.

TWINS 7, ROYALS 4: Joe Mauer singled, doubled and tripled and Justin Morneau hit a three-run homer for visiting Minnesota. Morneau, who came in on a 2-for-21 slide, hit a 3-and-2 pitch from Jimmy Gobble an estimated 423 feet, capping a five-run sixth. Gobble had just come in for starter Jose Lima. Needing a home run for the cycle, Mauer grounded out in the seventh and bounced into a double play in the ninth.