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Wednesday August 22, 2001
Yankees 1 @ Rangers 8

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ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- While so much else has gone wrong this season, the Texas Rangers are finally beating the New York Yankees.

Darren Oliver outpitched Mike Mussina Wednesday night and the Rangers went on to beat the Yankees 8-1 to clinch a season series against the World Series champions for the first time since 1996.

"We know what's happened in the past," said Bill Haselman, who had two RBI singles after coming off the bench. "It is good to play good, solid baseball. That's the only way to beat them."

The Rangers, who won Tuesday night 13-3, have won four of six against the Yankees this season. They play for the last time Thursday night.

Since winning the season series in 1996 and beating the Yankees in Game 1 of the playoffs that fall, the Rangers had been 13-42 against New York until this year.

"Any time you can play spoiler to anybody when they are in the race, it's definitely great," Oliver said.

New York has been in first place in the AL East for 49 straight days. The Rangers have been in last place in the AL West all season.

Texas went ahead to stay with three runs in the fourth, when Mussina (12-11) walked two and threw a pair of wild pitches.

In his other five innings, Mussina allowed just two hits and one walk.

"Moose had that one bad inning and that was it," said Yankees manager Joe Torre. "It was weird, but we're not playing well."

Oliver (10-8), who has struggled since the end of June, allowed just one run while scattering four hits over six innings. He is 3-6 his last 11 starts since starting the season 7-2.

"I concentrated on throwing strikes, keeping the ball down and staying aggressive," Oliver said. "I've been feeling good every time I've gone out there. Sometimes things just haven't gone my way."

The Rangers made the score lopsided with five runs after two outs in the seventh off reliever Mike Stanton.

Mussina struck out Randy Velarde to start the Texas fourth, but he then issued consecutive walks to Alex Rodriguez and Rafael Palmeiro and threw his first wild pitch.

Haselman, who took over when All-Star catcher Ivan Rodriguez left with a sore right knee, then got an RBI single on a dribbler down the third-base line that Mussina thought would go foul. After another wild pitch allowed Palmeiro to score, Mike Lamb hit a run-scoring single.

David Justice scored for New York in the sixth when Oliver threw a wild pitch, which was the third strike on Alfonso Soriano and would have been the third out.

The Yankees blew a chance in the seventh after loading the bases with one out off reliever Danny Kolb.

When Mike Venafro took over, Justice popped out and Jorge Posada hit an inning-ending grounder. Earlier in the inning, Derek Jeter struck out in a 13-pitch at-bat that lasted seven minutes.

After Stanton took over in the seventh, Chad Curtis had an RBI single and Randy Velarde hit a two-run double. Alex Rodriguez and Palmeiro were intentionally walked before reliever Mark Wohlers allowed another infield RBI single by Haselman.

"I struggled with my mechanics," Stanton said. "It all started with a walk. There's no excuse for that."

Jeter went into the hole to field Haselman's ball, but the shortstop threw it away trying to get the force at second. The error ended his streak of 36 games without an error, the longest in his career.

Game notes
Ivan Rodriguez came out of the game after two innings with a sore right knee. He will be examined Thursday. ... Soriano stole his 38th base, the most by a Yankees rookie in the "live ball" era that began in 1921. Willie Randolph, now New York's third base coach, stole 37 bases as a rookie in 1976. ... Nick Johnson, filling in for injured Yankees 1B Tino Martinez, turned a 3-6-3 double play in the sixth inning. ... The Rangers failed to homer for the first time in nine games. They had 18 homers the previous eight games. ... Rangers LF Frank Catalanotto, a New York native, went 2-for-5 to extend his hitting streak to eight games. He is hitting major league-best .479 (35-for-73) in August.