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Gonzalez knocks in 8 Texas runs

A dropped fly ball and a streak of wildness resulted in a career night for Juan Gonzalez. The hard-hitting outfielder knocked in a major-league season-high eight RBI _ all coming with two outs _ as the Texas Rangers clobbered the California Angels 18-2 Thursday night in Anaheim, Calif. Gonzalez did have help. One out after a sacrifice fly by Dan Peltier bounced off the glove of Angels centerfielder Chad Curtis, Gonzalez drove in his first three runs with a double to right-center. Two innings later, last year's major-league home run champion hit his second career grand slam after Angels reliever Ken Patterson issued three consecutive walks with two out. In the sixth, Gonzalez completed his 4-for-4 night with an RBI single off Gene Nelson to increase the margin to 18-1. The only reason he remained in the game that long was because manager Kevin Kennedy wanted him to get the club record. "It never entered my mind that I'd go 4-for-4 with eight RBI," Gonzalez said. "I'm just looking for a good game."

Angels: Chili Davis, California's 33-year-old designated hitter, made his mound debut in Thursday's loss. Davis, who earlier in the night had thrown 15 minutes of batting practice, hurled two hitless innings, marred only by a throw that plunked the Rangers' Jose Canseco on the arm in the ninth. Davis retired six of the seven batters he faced, throwing just 17 pitches.

Dodgers: Darryl Strawberry was returned to the disabled list. It was the second time this season Strawberry was placed on the 15-day disabled list. He has played in just 32 of the Dodgers' 63 games, hitting just .140 with five home runs and 12 RBI. The team has submitted a bid to play host to the 1996 All-Star game.

Indians: Right-hander Mike Bielecki was released and right-hander Mark Clark was recalled from Class AAA Charlotte. Bielecki, 33, who was attempting to come back from elbow surgery last July, was 4-5 with a 5.90 ERA in 13 starts for the Indians. He was 2-4 with a 2.57 ERA for Atlanta last season before hurting his elbow. Clark takes Bielecki's place in the rotation and will start today.

Yankees: Left-handed pitcher Paul Gibson, released last week by the Mets, signed a minor-league contract with the Yankees. Gibson, 33, will report to Rochester on Sunday to join the Yankees' Class AAA Columbus team.

Orioles: Tennis star Pam Shriver and veteran sportscaster Jim McKay are among six people to join a group of Maryland investors who are trying to buy the team. The group, which is led by Baltimore lawyer Peter G. Angelos, announced the new investors.

Reds: Starter John Roper left a game against the Dodgers in the third inning after straining muscles in his left side. Roper jumped to try to catch Brett Butler's bouncer over the mound in the first inning, and grabbed his side after landing. He stayed in the game until the third, when he appeared to aggravate the injury on another pitch to Butler. Roper walked a few steps to the side of the mound then doubled over. Tim Pugh replaced him.

Morgan jersey retired: Joe Morgan became the first player in the history of the Durham Bulls to have his jersey retired when the team held ceremonies honoring the Hall of Fame second baseman. "The life of a professional athlete seems to go very quickly," Morgan said Thursday night. "It seems like only yesterday I was standing in the batter's box here at Durham (N.C.) Athletic Park." Morgan, who wore No. 18, was a member of the Bulls for part of 1963, hitting .332 with 13 homers and 43 RBI in the then-Class B Carolina League.

_ TIMES WIRES

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