ARLINGTON, Texas – Mark Teixeira hit two of Texas’ four home runs – all in the first two innings – and the Rangers beat the Washington Nationals 7-4 Saturday night.

Teixeira had a two-run homer in each of the first two innings, and later added a double. His second homer of the game and 19th of the season gave the Rangers a 7-0 lead against Tony Armas (3-4).

Alfonso Soriano and Gary Matthews Jr. also connected for Texas, which has won five of six since a season-long five-game losing streak.

Teixeira had his third multihomer game this season and the seventh of his career. He and Soriano are tied with three other players for the major league with 19 homers.

Ricardo Rodriguez (2-0) has won both of his starts since taking over in the rotation for Ryan Drese, the opening-day starter who was claimed off waivers by Washington last week after being designated for assignment by the Rangers. Rodriguez pitched into the eighth, allowing three runs and six hits with no walks.

Ryan Church homered twice and Cristian Guzman also connected for Washington, which has lost consecutive games and three of five since winning 10 in a row. Guzman’s two-run shot with none out in the eighth, his second in two games and third this season, ended Rodriguez’s night.

The three-game series between the new and old Washington teams wraps up Sunday. The Rangers were the expansion Washington Senators from 1961-71, and the last team to play in the nation’s capital until the Montreal Expos moved there this season.

Rodriguez was 3-1 with a 2.03 ERA in five starts last season for Texas before his right elbow was fractured by a line drive on July 22. He went 7-3 with a 2.91 ERA in 12 games for Triple-A Oklahoma to start this season.

Texas hitters quickly gave the right-hander a big lead.

Teixeira pulled his first homer down the right-field line, and it caromed off the foul pole. One out later, Soriano hit his 19th homer.

Laynce Nix drew a leadoff walk in the second and Matthews followed with his second homer. Teixeira later hit a ball into the seats in left.

Armas allowed five home runs over 41 2-3 innings in his first seven starts.

Though he didn’t give up another run after the early outburst, Armas yielded seven runs and seven hits in five innings. He threw two wild pitches and walked four.

Notes: The Rangers have 210 home runs in interleague history, most in the major leagues. … Armas has lost six straight decisions over his last 10 road starts since April 10, 2003. … Rangers SS Michael Young was 2-for-5, his fourth straight multihit game. He is hitting .413 (52-of-126) over his last 30 games, raising his season average from .243 to .321. … Teixeira also made an impressive defensive play, backhanding a short-hop grounder and then beating Guzman to first base for the final out of the fifth. … It was Church’s first career multihomer game.

AP-ES-06-18-05 2244EDT


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