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Thursday August 2, 2001
Rangers 12 @ Yankees 2

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NEW YORK (AP) -- The Texas Rangers might have struggled at Yankee Stadium in recent years. Alex Rodriguez hasn't.

Rodriguez delivered on his pep talk, hitting a three-run homer in Texas' six-run third inning against Mike Mussina as the Rangers won their first series at Yankee Stadium in eight years, beating New York 12-2 Thursday.

"I told the guys before the series that we had success here when I was in Seattle. We always played well here for some reason," Rodriguez said. "It's how you think when you come here. You have to want to play the best."

While the Mariners won nearly half their games in New York with Rodriguez, Yankee Stadium has been a house of horrors for the Rangers.

They lost 34 of 44 games -- including the postseason -- in New York before taking two of three this week for their first series win in the Bronx since August 1993.

It was Texas' first series win of any kind against the Yankees since July 30-Aug. 1, 1996. New York had won 42 of 55 overall games against Texas since losing the opener of the 1996 playoffs.

"We have made some progress," manager Jerry Narron said. "It's been a while since we came up here and won a series. I know that. This shows some improvement."

Gabe Kapler also hit a three-run shot in the third, Frank Catalanotto and Ricky Ledee added solo homers, and Aaron Myette earned his first career victory for Texas. The Rangers matched their season high with 18 hits.

This past week has been a rare bright spot this season for the Rangers and Rodriguez, who signed a $252 million, 10-year contract in the offseason. Despite winning nine of 11 games, Texas is 28 games behind Seattle -- A-Rod's former team -- in the AL West.

"This was very important, especially with the guys we're doing it with," Rodriguez said of the series win. "We have a lot of guys under 25 who if they continue to play well will give the organization the flexibility to get some pitching."

The Yankees' big bats fueled their run of nine wins in 10 games. But Myette (1-1) held them to two hits and Texas provided the only power.

Mussina (11-9) gave up eight runs, nine hits and a season-high three homers in four innings.

"Every fastball I threw they were all over it," Mussina said. "It was just bad."

The Rangers scored in the first inning on Rafael Palmeiro's sacrifice fly before breaking open the game in the third. A leadoff walk to No. 9 hitter Michael Young started the barrage.

Randy Velarde, who played for the Yankees the last time Texas won a series in New York, hit his second of four singles with one out. Rodriguez followed with his 30th homer of the season and second this series.

Ivan Rodriguez and Mike Lamb singled with two outs in front of Kapler's 11th homer. The three-run shots were the first homers the Yankees had allowed with runners on base since July 21.

Catalanotto hit a solo shot in the fourth off Mussina, drawing boos from the crowd of 52,169.

"It was basically command," manager Joe Torre said. "It looked like he was trying to stay down and he was coming up. It was just one of those days."

Myette, winless in his first 14 appearances in the majors, showed no signs of nerves in his first game against the World Series champions. He held the Yankees to just one hit before Bernie Williams' two-run double with one out in the sixth knocked him out.

Myette said he would give the game ball to his father.

"It's exciting," he said. "My team put some runs on the board for me and I was able to take it from there."

Game notes
Myette had been 0-3 with an 8.90 ERA in his first seven starts in the majors. ... Palmeiro and Ivan Rodriguez are the only Rangers who were with the team in 1993. Palmeiro left after that season to play five years in Baltimore before returning in 1999. ... Paul O'Neill's 10-game extra-base hit streak -- tied with Cliff Floyd for the longest in the majors this year -- was snapped. ... Kapler hit his first homer in 36 games. He last homered June 21 against Anaheim. ... The 18 hits allowed were a season high for New York. ... Yankees 3B Scott Brosius went on the 15-day DL with a hairline fracture in his left hand and DH David Justice was activated from the DL and went 0-for-4. Brosius is expected to miss 3-to-4 weeks.