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Updated: Saturday, July 19, 2003 11:24 PM EDT
MLB RECAP
Texas Rangers
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Stats: Batting | Pitching
R H E
7 11 1
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
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Stats: Batting | Pitching
R H E
3 7 2
W Benoit (5-4)
L Zambrano (6-5)
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TEXAS 7, TAMPA BAY 3
 

ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (Ticker) -- Victor Zambrano tied a major league record by hitting four batters and the Texas Rangers took advantage of his wildness to post a 7-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays .

The Rangers jumped on Zambrano early as Doug Glanville 's two-run double ingited a four-run uprising in the second inning that staked Texas starter Joaquin Benoit to a 4-0 lead.

Benoit (5-4) allowed three runs and six hits in five innings with two walks and two strikeouts.

The loss snapped a personal four-game winning streak for Zambrano (6-7), who gave up four runs and seven hits in five innings. He also walked three.

Zambrano became the 24th pitcher to hit four batters in one game and the first since Anaheim's Scott Schoeneweis on June 27, 2001.

"That's not intentional," Rangers second baseman Michael Young said. "He's just trying to throw inside. It makes it difficult to get comfortable in there, but that's why he's been good. That's just part of the game."

Zambrano was 4-0 with a 2.66 ERA in his previous six starts, but he was pitching on seven days' rest and Devil Rays manager Lou Piniella thought that might have had something to do with his ineffectiveness.

"It's been seven days because of the All-Star break," Piniella said. "Maybe he'll be better when we get him back on a regular rotation."

"I pitch inside every game," Zambrano added. "My ball had a lot of movement tonight. I don't want to hit anybody but I am not going to change what I do."

Zambrano's problems began when he hit Juan Gonzalez to start the second. After Glanville put the Rangers ahead, Zambrano also gave up an RBI single to Einar Diaz and a sacrifice fly to Hank Blalock .

Zambrano hit Diaz and Young on back-to-back at-bats in the fourth, then plunked Diaz again in the fifth.

"I don't really think any of them were intentional," Rangers manager Buck Showalter said. "You can tell by the body language. It is, regardless of intent, something you don't like to see."

The Devil Rays climbed back into the game in the third, scoring three runs on four hits. Rookie Rocco Baldelli 's RBI single pulled Tampa Bay within 5-3.

But Benoit worked out of a first-and-third jam in the fourth, then got Baldelli to ground into an inning-ending double play in the fifth.

"He (Benoit) gave up three (runs) there, but righted himself and got through five," Showalter said. "It was a little laborious, but that's the thing you see young pitchers do."

The Rangers scored on an unearned run off Al Levine in the eighth, then made it 7-3 in the ninth on Young's two-run double off Jesus Colome .

Gonzalez left the game in the second with a strain in his right calf. He felt tightness in his leg while running to third on rookie Mark Teixeira 's double.

"It's day-to-day, but right now it's just pain," Gonzalez said.


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