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Texas at Anaheim

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Texas (47-36) «2021300008120
L.A. Angels (46-37)001000000180

Jones' three HRs help Rangers rout Angels, take first in AL West

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Andruw Jones had two shots at matching one of baseball's most famous records.

Jones homered in his first three at-bats of Texas' 8-1 victory against the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday night. He had two shots at becoming the first player in six years to hit four home runs in a game, but he popped out and struck out.

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"I was thinking about it. I tried. I just didn't get it done," Jones said. "I'm just happy we won."

Rangers manager Ron Washington was impressed with what he saw from Jones.

"I saw Kirby Puckett do some great stuff. I saw Dave Engle do some great stuff. Matter fact, I saw Mickey Hatcher get nine hits in a row -- nine straight in three straight days," Washington said. "This ranks as one of the highest because he got us a win for it."

The Rangers got to Angels starter Ervin Santana early, with Jones hitting home runs off him in the first and third, the latter sailing over the left-field pole to give Texas a 4-0 lead.

Jones added a solo shot in the fifth off reliever Rich Thompson.

"My fastball was way better, and I had good command with my off-speed pitches," Santana said. "They were very good pitches, but when you're hot, no matter what a pitcher throws, you're going to hit it."

With a chance to tie the major league record for home runs in a game, Jones popped out in the sixth against Kevin Jepsen and struck out against Jason Bulger in the ninth.

In, all the Rangers hit five home runs as Taylor Teagarden and Marlon Byrd also connected. That matched a season high for the Rangers, who regained the divisional lead for the first time since June 26.

It's the second career three-homer game for Jones, who last did it September 25, 2007, against Philadelphia. He's also the second player to hit three home runs in a game in the past two days. Paul Konerko of the Chicago White Sox went deep three times against Cleveland on Tuesday night.

"Andrew put us on his back and everyone followed," Washington said.

Jones also had a three-run homer in an 8-5 victory against the Angels on Tuesday.

"He's having a terrific season for them," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He's obviously much more comfortable in the batter's box than he was last year when we saw him with the Dodgers."

Vicente Padilla (7-4) struck out four and gave up one run in six-plus innings before leaving the game because of a bruised right palm. Pitching on eight days of rest, Padilla gave up seven hits against the short-handed Angels, who were missing center fielder Torii Hunter and slugger Vladimir Guerrero because of injuries.

Jason Grilli, Eddie Guardado and Darren O'Day combined to shut out the Angels in the final three innings.

Bobby Abreu drove in the lone run for Los Angeles, which has lost all three series against the Rangers this season.

The oft-injured Santana -- he has had two DL stints this season -- has failed to show the All-Star form of 2008 when he won 16 games.

"There's concern. We've been talking about this for a while. I'm sure he's healthy, because if he wasn't, I don't think he'd be able to throw the ball 94 miles an hour like he did. He's hitting 90-94 and he has plenty to pitch with, if you can make some pitches. And that's what his challenge is right now. He's not getting the ball where he needs to and not being able to repeat pitches," Scioscia said.

"It's simple pitching. It's getting ahead and putting guys away and tonight he struggled with that. Pitchers are going to go through stages like that, but they still find ways to win. That's what Ervin is searching for."

Santana (1-5) had trouble in every inning but the second and allowed Omar Vizquel to score in the third on a wild pitch. He then gave up the home run to Jones, a first-pitch hit that was driven over the left-center-field wall into the grassy knoll alongside the rocks in center field.

"I was just patient enough to put a good wood on the bat and drive it," Jones said.

Notes

  • The last Rangers player to hit three home runs was Brad Wilkerson on July 3, 2007.
  • Hunter and Guerrero underwent MRI tests on Wednesday morning for their injuries. Hunter, who is out with a strained adductor, could miss the All-Star game in St. Louis. "It's cloudy," Hunter said, "hopefully the next couple of days we'll see some signs of healing."
  • Angels 1B Kendry Morales extended his career-high 12-game hitting streak when he singled in the second.
 
Copyright 2014 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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Andruw Jones provides plenty of power for the Rangers in the form of three homers -- in his first three at-bats.  (AP)
Andruw Jones provides plenty of power for the Rangers in the form of three homers -- in his first three at-bats. (AP)

Players of the Game
Texas

A. Jones
AB 5
R 3
H 3
HR 3
RBI 4
Texas

V. Padilla
IP 6.0
H 8
ER 1
BB 1
K 4
 
Texas Rangers
Omar Vizquel, 2B4110100 .295
Michael Young, 3B5020011 .314
Josh Hamilton, RF5100023 .254
Andruw Jones, DH5334012 .250
Hank Blalock, 1B3120210 .254
Marlon Byrd, CF5112013 .287
David Murphy, LF3020100 .280
Taylor Teagarden, C4111014 .233
Elvis Andrus, SS4000022 .262
Totals38812749  
Batting
2B - Omar Vizquel (5, Santana), Michael Young (27, Thompson)
HR - Andruw Jones 3 (14, Santana, Santana, Thompson), Marlon Byrd (8, Thompson), Taylor Teagarden (1, Santana)
RBI - Andruw Jones 4 (34), Marlon Byrd 2 (44), Taylor Teagarden (12)
2-OUT RBI - Andruw Jones 4 (16), Marlon Byrd 2 (20)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Vizquel-Andrus-Blalock, Vizquel-Andrus-Blalock
Texas Rangers
Vicente Padilla (W,7-4) 6811140 4.53
Jason Grilli 1000110 4.40
Eddie Guardado 1000010 4.38
Darren O'Day 1000020 1.21
Pitches-Strikes - Vicente Padilla 100-67, Jason Grilli 17-9, Eddie Guardado 10-6, Darren O'Day 14-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Vicente Padilla 3-9, Jason Grilli 1-1
Batters Faced - Vicente Padilla 25, Jason Grilli 4, Eddie Guardado 3, Darren O'Day 3
Los Angeles Angels
Chone Figgins, 3B3010111 .310
    Robb Quinlan, 3B0000000 .213
Maicer Izturis, 2B4010005 .302
Bobby Abreu, RF4021021 .304
    Reggie Willits, RF0000000 .222
Juan Rivera, LF4000003 .313
Kendry Morales, 1B4010010 .283
Gary Matthews Jr., CF3000121 .223
Howie Kendrick, DH4010002 .228
Jeff Mathis, C4000012 .198
Erick Aybar, SS3120010 .282
Totals3318128  
Batting
2B - Maicer Izturis (11, Padilla)
RBI - Bobby Abreu (52)
2-OUT RBI - Bobby Abreu (16)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Aybar-Izturis-Morales
Los Angeles Angels
Ervin Santana (L,1-5) 4755143 7.81
Rich Thompson 1.1433222 5.40
Kevin Jepsen 0.2000010 9.00
Matt Palmer 2100100 4.86
Jason Bulger 1000020 4.10
WP - Ervin Santana 2 (3), Matt Palmer (5)
Pitches-Strikes - Ervin Santana 79-50, Rich Thompson 35-19, Kevin Jepsen 10-6, Matt Palmer 32-16, Jason Bulger 10-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ervin Santana 5-2, Rich Thompson 2-0, Matt Palmer 3-3, Jason Bulger 1-0
Batters Faced - Ervin Santana 19, Rich Thompson 10, Kevin Jepsen 2, Matt Palmer 8, Jason Bulger 3
Game Information
Attendance - 37364
Game Time - 2:51
Temperature - 70
Umpires - Home - Mike Reilly, First Base - Chuck Meriwether, Second Base - Laz Diaz, Third Base - Eric Cooper