Soriano Hits Two HRs Again As Rangers Win

By Off the BASN Sports Wire
Updated: May 8, 2005

ARLINGTON, Texas — Alfonso Soriano had his second straight two-homer game, this one in a victory as the Texas Rangers beat the Cleveland Indians 6-1 on Saturday night. That’s five home runs in three games to give him a tie for the major league lead with 10.

Not bad for a player who keeps saying he’s not a home run hitter.

”That makes sense to me. If I think I’m a home run hitter, I think about it too much,” Soriano said. ”I feel comfortable, I feel great.”

After leading off for the Rangers his first 22 games this season, Soriano was in the No. 5 spot for the eighth straight game. He’s adjusting to the role, though his mind-set hasn’t changed.

”I feel comfortable because I think now like I’m leading off,” he said. ”I think about it being the first at-bat of the game. I like leading off, and that’s what I have in my mind.”

Soriano led off the second and sixth innings Saturday with home runs. In between, he had an RBI double in the third that gave the Rangers a 4-1 lead.

The homer in the second was Soriano’s third in three at-bats, after a pair of two-run homers Friday in an 8-6 loss to the Indians.

”I don’t overanalyze it. He’s seeing the ball good and putting some good swings on a variety of pitches,” manager Buck Showalter said. ”Obviously, his contact-to-damage ratio is pretty good.”

Soriano is 9-for-14 with 10 RBIs his last three games. Twelve of his last 15 hits have gone for extra bases. He even made a diving catch at second base for the final out of his ninth multihomer game.

The last Texas player with consecutive multihomer games was Alex Rodriguez in August 2002 against Toronto. A-Rod, traded to the New York Yankees for Soriano, followed a three-homer game with two more shots the next night against the Blue Jays.

Soriano and Rodriguez both have 10 homers this season.

”It’s a little weird, especially for me,” Soriano said. ”It’s not my game. I like to hit home runs, but that’s not really what I do all the time.”

Soriano has an American League-high 21 extra-base hits, with five straight in as many at-bats until he popped out to short right field against David Riske to end the seventh inning.

Ryan Drese (3-3) limited the Indians to six hits in throwing the Rangers’ first complete game of the season. He made 100 pitches, 63

for strikes, in his fourth career complete game.