Texas at Anaheim

Texas (45-36)200000200470
L.A. Angels (46-35) «03204000x9101

Angels' bats spoil return of Rangers' Hamilton in first-place showdown

CBSSports.com wire reports

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Playing with first place in the AL West on the line, the Los Angeles Angels showed why they have won three division titles in the past four years.

Jeff Mathis hit a go-ahead three-run homer, Torii Hunter and Juan Rivera added two-run singles, and the Angels beat Texas 9-4 on Monday night to spoil the return of Josh Hamilton to the Rangers' lineup.

The victory gave the Angels a one-game lead on the Rangers, who led Los Angeles by 4½ games when Hamilton went on the DL for the second time this season on June 2.

"You have to play well against whatever team shows up on the schedule," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "If we were playing any other team but Texas, it doesn't mean we don't have to bring the focus and intensity. When we're playing well as a team, we can do this against anyone. But it's still July, there's still a lot of baseball left, and we're still trying to evolve as a team."

Jered Weaver (9-3), who had hoped to be selected to the All-Star Game, allowed four runs and seven hits and struck out nine through seven innings after the Angels staked him to a 9-2 lead.

"Obviously, it's one of those things that could have gone either way," Weaver said of the snub. "Either way, it's a win-win situation. You're either going to St. Louis, or you get some days off. But I'm not going to let it bother me. It's been a fun season so far, and I've got to keep it rolling."

Weaver gave up a two-run homer in the seventh to Ian Kinsler, which snapped a career-worst 0-for-24 drought by the Rangers' second baseman.

"It's hard to take Kins out for the teams we've been playing," manager Ron Washington said. "I mean, how can you tell Kins: 'I'm going to sit you against Anaheim?' or 'I'm going to sit you against Tampa Bay?' I wasn't going to do that. He's got seven days left, and he's going to learn how to grind."

  Rangers: Hamilton activated

Hamilton, who was 2 for 4 with a double and two strikeouts, missed 30 games after undergoing abdominal surgery and the Rangers went 15-15 in his absence.

"I would have stayed down longer if I didn't feel like I was ready," said Hamilton, who will play in his second successive All-Star Game. "It's good to be back up here and be around the guys again and actually feel like part of the team, instead of just a guy hanging out."

Kevin Millwood (8-6) gave up nine runs and nine hits over five innings in the shortest of his 18 starts this season. He has given up 13 runs and 17 hits in 11 1/3 innings in his past two starts -- both against the Angels -- after giving up only seven runs in 40 2/3 innings spanning his previous six outings.

"I didn't hit my spots. When I tried to go away, it would drift over the middle of the plate. And when I didn't hit my spots, they hit those mistakes," Millwood said.

Mathis gave Los Angeles a 3-2 lead, hitting his third home run of the season to left-center with two outs in the second.

The Angels made it 5-2 in the third with RBI singles by Hunter and Rivera. They tacked on four more in the fifth when Hunter singled home a run, Vladimir Guerrero followed with an RBI double, Rivera an RBI single and Kendry Morales capped the rally with a sacrifice fly.

"We've seen him a few times. And when you see somebody that many times, you tend to have a plan and you try to stick with it," Mathis said. "The guys were having good at-bats tonight, finding some holes and producing runs."

The Rangers, coming off a three-game sweep of Tampa Bay and looking to improve on their 5-1 record against the Angels, took a 2-0 lead in the first.


  • The Rangers led the Angels by as many as 5½ games on May 30. The Angels have never overcome a deficit of more than six games to win any of their six division titles.
  • Weaver allowed 16 earned runs and four home runs in 16 2/3 innings over his previous three starts -- a skid that began with a 6-4 loss to the Dodgers in which he and brother Jeff started against each other for the first time.
  • Both teams reached the midway point of their respective schedules. The Angels (46-35) were 48-33 at this stage last season and the Rangers (45-36) were 41-40.
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Juan Rivera awaits Jeff Mathis (5), who smacks a go-ahead three-run blast in the second inning.  (US Presswire)
Juan Rivera awaits Jeff Mathis (5), who smacks a go-ahead three-run blast in the second inning. (US Presswire)

Players of the Game

T. Hunter
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 0

J. Hamilton
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0

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Texas Rangers
Ian Kinsler, 2B4112001 .253
Michael Young, 3B4110011 .313
Josh Hamilton, CF4120020 .248
Andruw Jones, DH3000113 .240
Hank Blalock, 1B4011001 .242
Marlon Byrd, LF4000012 .285
Nelson Cruz, RF4000030 .262
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C4010010 .245
Elvis Andrus, SS3110021 .268
2B - Josh Hamilton (6, Jer. Weaver)
HR - Ian Kinsler (20, Jer. Weaver)
RBI - Ian Kinsler 2 (53), Hank Blalock (39)
2-OUT RBI - Ian Kinsler 2 (17), Hank Blalock (13)
Team LOB - 4
Outfield Assists - Nelson Cruz 1
DP - Kinsler-Andrus-Blalock
Texas Rangers
Kevin Millwood (L,8-6) 5999301 3.34
Jason Grilli 1000110 4.55
Doug Mathis 2100000 2.16
Pitches-Strikes - Kevin Millwood 78-48, Jason Grilli 18-9, Doug Mathis 26-18
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kevin Millwood 7-7, Jason Grilli 1-0, Doug Mathis 3-3
Batters Faced - Kevin Millwood 26, Jason Grilli 3, Doug Mathis 7
Los Angeles Angels
Chone Figgins, 3B1200300 .311
Bobby Abreu, RF4110001 .302
Torii Hunter, CF4222000 .307
Vladimir Guerrero, DH4121000 .291
Juan Rivera, LF4132000 .312
Kendry Morales, 1B2111101 .285
Maicer Izturis, SS4000003 .303
Jeff Mathis, C4113001 .205
Howie Kendrick, 2B4000011 .227
2B - Vladimir Guerrero (8, Millwood), Kendry Morales (23, Mathis)
HR - Jeff Mathis (3, Millwood)
SF - Kendry Morales (5)
RBI - Torii Hunter 2 (65), Vladimir Guerrero (21), Juan Rivera 2 (50), Kendry Morales (45), Jeff Mathis 3 (19)
2-OUT RBI - Jeff Mathis 3 (10)
Team LOB - 3
E - Chone Figgins (9, Missed catch of throw)
Los Angeles Angels
Jered Weaver (W,9-3) 7743191 3.15
Justin Speier 1000010 4.31
Kevin Jepsen 1000010 9.39
Pitches-Strikes - Jered Weaver 118-79, Justin Speier 11-7, Kevin Jepsen 16-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jered Weaver 3-9, Justin Speier 1-1, Kevin Jepsen 2-0
Batters Faced - Jered Weaver 29, Justin Speier 3, Kevin Jepsen 3
Game Information
Attendance - 35691
Game Time - 2:28
Temperature - 75
Umpires - Home - Laz Diaz, First Base - Eric Cooper, Second Base - Mike Reilly, Third Base - Chuck Meriwether