Anaheim at Texas

Scoreboard
L.A. Angels (89-60) «02010331010122
Texas (81-67)301010000570

Matthews' tiebreaking shot helps Angels double up Rangers

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- Maybe John Lackey was already thinking about his plans for the evening.

Despite struggling through six innings, Lackey was good enough to pitch the AL West-leading Los Angeles Angels closer to the postseason with a 10-5 victory Sunday over second-place Texas that stretched their division lead to 7½ games with 13 to play.

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"I was a little off. I stunk even in the bullpen. It was one of those days," said Lackey, the native Texan who was headed across the street for the Dallas Cowboys' home opener in their new stadium Sunday night. "But the boys took care of me for sure and I appreciate it."

Gary Matthews Jr. snapped out of his September slump with a tiebreaking homer and a two-run single, and Howie Kendrick drove in five runs with a two-run homer and a bases-loaded triple. Juan Rivera and Chone Figgins also homered for the Angels (89-60), who won two of three in the series.

"It's important to reach our first goal and today got us closer to that," manager Mike Scioscia said. "To beat the team chasing you is a positive."

Los Angeles is closing in on its third straight division title and fifth in six years. The last team to win the AL West three consecutive seasons was Oakland from 1988-90.

The Rangers (81-67), who last went to the playoffs 10 years ago, wrapped up a 2-7 homestand during which they had four shutout losses and dropped 2½ games in the division standings.

"We're not mathematically out of it, but our chances aren't very good right now," Ian Kinsler said. "We had a rough homestand. We all knew that it was important. We just didn't play well."

Boston leads the Rangers by eight games in the AL wild-card race. Texas' loss also cleared the way for the New York Yankees to clinch a playoff berth, but they lost 7-1 at Seattle.

After scoring only four runs combined in its previous six games, Texas took a 3-0 lead in the first off Lackey (11-8), who had allowed only three earned runs in his previous four starts. But Los Angeles immediately responded with runs each time after the Rangers scored.

Lackey allowed five runs, four earned, in six innings with four strikeouts and two walks.

"He kept pitching," Scioscia said. "That's what makes him good."

Matthews was 1 for 13 in his seven games this month before a two-run single in the second that got Los Angeles to 3-2.

His baserunning mistake led to an inning-ending double play, when he started running on a fly ball thinking that there were already two outs. But he made up for that with his two-out solo homer in the sixth that broke a 5-all tie and chased rookie left-hander Derek Holland (7-12), who lost his fifth consecutive start.

"It's a bad play. That can't happen," Matthews said. "Luckily, it didn't come back to haunt us."

Kendrick's two-run homer tied the game earlier in the sixth. He finished with three hits and is batting .420 (34 of 81) in his last 20 games.

An inning later, after Los Angeles loaded the bases following two quick outs, Kendrick hit a liner that glanced off the stretched-out glove of center fielder Marlon Byrd and rolled to the wall.

Hank Blalock had an RBI single in the Texas first before a two-run single by Nelson Cruz, who was 3 for 30 in his previous nine games. David Murphy had a leadoff double and scored on Kinsler's sacrifice fly in the third, but Rivera's solo homer came in the fourth.

Byrd's RBI single in the fifth put Texas up 5-3, but the Angels homered twice in the following inning to go ahead for good.

Notes

  • The first pitch was moved up two hours from the originally scheduled start time because of the Cowboys' game Sunday night at their adjacent new stadium. The 12:08 p.m. CDT start matched the earliest at Rangers Ballpark, in its 16th season.
  • Lackey's 102nd victory with the Angels matched Frank Tanana for fourth on the team list.
  • Angels starters have a 2.20 ERA over their past 22 games.
  • Rangers 3B Michael Young acknowledged that he aggravated his strained left hamstring when he returned early. He has missed 15 of 16 games, with the only appearance since getting hurt on Sept. 1 being his one at-bat Tuesday.
  • Rivera's 23 homers tie a career high.
 
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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Gary Matthews snaps a 1-for-13 skid, going 2 for 3 with a homer and three RBI.  (AP)
Gary Matthews snaps a 1-for-13 skid, going 2 for 3 with a homer and three RBI. (AP)

Players of the Game
Anaheim

H. Kendrick
AB 5
R 1
H 3
HR 1
RBI 5
Anaheim

G. Matthews
AB 3
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
 

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Los Angeles Angels
Chone Figgins, 3B5111011 .295
Erick Aybar, SS4020010 .308
Torii Hunter, CF4100124 .308
Vladimir Guerrero, DH4220101 .299
    Chris Pettit, PR-DH0000000 .000
Juan Rivera, LF3311202 .291
Howie Kendrick, 2B5135011 .302
Kendry Morales, 1B5110042 .298
Gary Matthews Jr., RF3123000 .242
Jeff Mathis, C4000002 .206
Totals3710121049  
Batting
2B - Kendry Morales (41, Holland)
3B - Howie Kendrick (3, Grilli)
HR - Chone Figgins (4, Mathis), Juan Rivera (23, Holland), Howie Kendrick (10, Holland), Gary Matthews Jr. (4, Holland)
RBI - Chone Figgins (50), Juan Rivera (82), Howie Kendrick 5 (60), Gary Matthews Jr. 3 (44)
2-OUT RBI - Chone Figgins (23), Howie Kendrick 3 (24), Gary Matthews Jr. (31)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
PB - Jeff Mathis (6)
E - Erick Aybar (11, Misplayed grounder), Kendry Morales (8, Misplayed grounder)
Los Angeles Angels
John Lackey (W,11-8) 6754240 3.56
Jason Bulger 1000000 3.30
Matt Palmer 1000000 4.02
Kevin Jepsen 1000000 4.26
Pitches-Strikes - John Lackey 102-64, Jason Bulger 9-6, Matt Palmer 19-11, Kevin Jepsen 16-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - John Lackey 10-6, Jason Bulger 1-2, Matt Palmer 1-2, Kevin Jepsen 2-1
Batters Faced - John Lackey 29, Jason Bulger 3, Matt Palmer 3, Kevin Jepsen 3
Texas Rangers
Julio Borbon, LF5110000 .308
Elvis Andrus, SS4110011 .272
David Murphy, DH3210101 .268
Marlon Byrd, CF4011013 .281
Hank Blalock, 1B4111001 .237
Ian Kinsler, 2B2011100 .253
Nelson Cruz, RF4012013 .262
Chris Davis, 3B4000012 .214
Ivan Rodriguez, C4000000 .251
Totals3457524  
Batting
2B - David Murphy (20, Lackey)
SF - Ian Kinsler (6)
SH - Elvis Andrus (11)
RBI - Marlon Byrd (78), Hank Blalock (60), Ian Kinsler (80), Nelson Cruz 2 (73)
2-OUT RBI - Hank Blalock (23), Nelson Cruz 2 (31)
SB - Julio Borbon (15, 2nd base off Lackey/Mathis), Elvis Andrus (28, 2nd base off Lackey/Mathis)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Marlon Byrd 1
DP - Byrd-Blalock, Andrus-Kinsler-Blalock
Texas Rangers
Derek Holland (L,7-12) 5.2866153 6.17
Neftali Feliz 1122110 1.95
Jason Grilli 0.1111110 5.06
Doug Mathis 1111011 2.85
Willie Eyre 1100110 2.35
HBP - Matthews (by Derek Holland), Aybar (by Doug Mathis)
Pitches-Strikes - Derek Holland 93-58, Neftali Feliz 23-12, Jason Grilli 14-7, Doug Mathis 25-12, Willie Eyre 16-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Derek Holland 1-10, Willie Eyre 1-0
Batters Faced - Derek Holland 26, Neftali Feliz 5, Jason Grilli 3, Doug Mathis 5, Willie Eyre 4
Game Information
Attendance - 33688
Game Time - 3:06
Temperature - 83
Umpires - Home - Mike DiMuro, First Base - Ron Kulpa, Second Base - Dale Scott, Third Base - Rob Drake