|L.A. Angels (44-35) «||1||0||0||1||0||4||0||0||x||6||11||1|
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Vladimir Guerrero's standing ovation had been replaced by boos when he stepped to the plate in the ninth inning. Although Angels fans will always have a soft spot for the slugger, they realized Los Angeles' one-run lead could vanish with just one of his enormous swings.
Guerrero's home run and three RBI earlier Tuesday night were classic Vlad -- and so was the late strikeout that helped his former Angels teammates wrap up a big win in the AL West race.
Abreu delivered with a full count and two outs in the sixth for the second-place Angels, who ended Texas' eight-game road winning streak one shy of the franchise record. The Rangers lost for just the second time in 15 games despite a big night from Guerrero, who wasn't re-signed by Los Angeles last winter after six seasons.
"How do you think he looked? Vladdy looked good," said Angels center fielder Torii Hunter, whose sprinting catch in the eighth kept Los Angeles' lead barely intact. "He helped those guys the best way he could."
After exchanging pregame greetings and jokes with his former teammates in batting practice, Guerrero got the standing ovation he acknowledged craving when he stood at the plate for the first time. The 2004 AL MVP, who had 616 RBI during six seasons with the Angels, stepped out of the box and acknowledged the ovation with a wave of his batting helmet before lining a single.
"I got chills," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "It was a very nice moment. He did a lot of good things for the Angels, and they just showed their respect right there."
Guerrero drove in a run with a third-inning sacrifice fly before hitting an impressive two-run homer to center in the seventh off reliever Kevin Jepsen. But closer Brian Fuentes had the last word, fanning Guerrero for the second out of the ninth inning with a high 90 mph fastball on the way to his 14th save.
Mike Napoli hit a home run and Joel Pineiro (8-6) allowed eight hits over six innings to win his fifth consecutive start for the Angels, who improved to 18-8 in June. Even after starting the season with two months of near-.500 play, the three-time defending division champions are 3½ games behind Texas, which had the best record in team history through its first 75 games.
"Offensively, defensively, pitching-wise, these guys are the real deal, and we see that," Hunter said.
Ian Kinsler hit a home run for the Rangers, whose road winning streak ended just short of the club record set in 1977. With a 20-6 mark in June, Texas must win Wednesday to set a franchise mark for victories in a month.
Josh Hamilton went 1 for 5, but his third-inning single was his 48th hit of June, setting a club record for hits in a month and extending his hitting streak to 22 games.
While Pineiro set a personal best with five victories in June, his bullpen nearly gave it away. Jepsen and Fernando Rodney both barely escaped big trouble, but Fuentes was perfect in his eighth consecutive save.
"This is a tough ballclub," Pineiro said. "They're swinging the bats well. It's a mental grind against these guys. I didn't have my best stuff, and it was a battle from the first pitch."
Scott Feldman (5-7) yielded nine hits and five runs but pitched well until the sixth, when he and reliever Darren Oliver couldn't escape the Rangers' most serious jam.
Oliver also returned to Anaheim after spending the past three seasons with the Angels, but got only boos when he came out of the bullpen. Oliver walked Howie Kendrick to load the bases before Abreu smacked a double down the right-field line.
"I threw a curveball 3-2, but I hung it a little bit, and he did what he was supposed to do with it," Oliver said. "But we've got a lot of season left, so I'm sure there are going to be other matchups between me and him. Sometimes I'm going to get him, and sometimes he's going to get me. That's what makes this game so much fun."
Guerrero trimmed Los Angeles' lead to one run, and the Rangers quickly got two runners on in the eighth against Rodney, but Hunter ran down Julio Borbon's long fly to center and Michael Young grounded out with the bases loaded.
Texas RHP Omar Beltre will make his major league debut Wednesday night, and RHP Colby Lewis will start Friday for the Rangers at home against the White Sox. ... RF Nelson Cruz threw out Abreu at the plate in the third inning when third-base coach Dino Ebel sent Abreu home from second on Hideki Matsui's single. Two innings earlier, Erick Aybar alertly ran through Ebel's stop sign to score the Angels' first run. ... Los Angeles began the second week of a season-high 12-game homestand. The Angels will play host to the All-Star Game in two weeks.
|Players of the Game|
|Elvis Andrus, SS||5||1||3||0||0||0||0||.296|
|Michael Young, 3B||5||2||2||0||0||1||4||.318|
|Ian Kinsler, 2B||4||1||2||1||1||1||1||.294|
|Vladimir Guerrero, DH||4||1||2||3||0||1||3||.330|
|Josh Hamilton, LF||5||0||1||1||0||0||1||.343|
|Nelson Cruz, RF||4||0||1||0||0||0||4||.321|
|Justin Smoak, 1B||4||0||0||0||0||1||1||.221|
|Matt Treanor, C||2||0||1||0||1||1||0||.237|
|a- David Murphy, PH||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.273|
|Max Ramirez, C||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.227|
|Julio Borbon, CF||4||0||0||0||0||1||3||.287|
|a-awarded first on catcher's interference for Treanor in the 8th|
|HR - Ian Kinsler (3, Pineiro), Vladimir Guerrero (16, Jepsen)|
|SF - Vladimir Guerrero (5)|
|RBI - Ian Kinsler (24), Vladimir Guerrero 3 (63), Josh Hamilton (58)|
|2-OUT RBI - Ian Kinsler (11), Vladimir Guerrero 2 (30)|
|SB - Elvis Andrus (22, 3rd base off Pineiro/Mathis), Michael Young (3, 2nd base off Pineiro/Mathis), Nelson Cruz (8, 2nd base off Rodney/Mathis)|
|CS - Matt Treanor (1, 2nd base by Pineiro/Mathis)|
|Team LOB - 9|
|Outfield Assists - Nelson Cruz 1|
|Scott Feldman (L,5-7)||5.2||9||5||5||3||2||1||5.48|
|IBB - Hunter by Darren Oliver|
|WP - Scott Feldman (10)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Scott Feldman 106-63, Darren Oliver 17-6, Alexi Ogando 12-8, Frank Francisco 15-9|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Feldman 5-9, Darren Oliver 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Scott Feldman 28, Darren Oliver 4, Alexi Ogando 3, Frank Francisco 4|
|Los Angeles Angels|
|Erick Aybar, SS||5||2||2||0||0||1||1||.273|
|Howard Kendrick, 2B||4||1||2||1||1||0||0||.276|
|Bobby Abreu, RF||4||0||1||3||1||0||2||.268|
|Torii Hunter, CF||2||0||2||0||2||0||0||.290|
|Hideki Matsui, DH||4||0||1||0||0||1||7||.262|
|Juan Rivera, LF||4||0||0||0||0||0||2||.239|
|Mike Napoli, 1B||4||1||1||1||0||1||0||.251|
|Kevin Frandsen, 3B||3||1||1||0||1||0||0||.351|
|Jeff Mathis, C||4||1||1||1||0||0||1||.242|
|2B - Bobby Abreu (19, Oliver)|
|HR - Mike Napoli (14, Feldman)|
|RBI - Howard Kendrick (49), Bobby Abreu 3 (42), Mike Napoli (32), Jeff Mathis (6)|
|2-OUT RBI - Bobby Abreu 3 (15), Jeff Mathis (2)|
|SB - Howard Kendrick (7, 2nd base off Francisco/M. Ramirez), Bobby Abreu (13, 2nd base off Feldman/Treanor)|
|Team LOB - 9|
|E - Jeff Mathis (2, Interference)|
|Los Angeles Angels|
|Joel Pineiro (W,8-6)||6||8||3||3||2||4||1||4.23|
|Kevin Jepsen (H,18)||1||2||2||2||0||0||1||4.94|
|Fernando Rodney (H,13)||1||2||0||0||0||0||0||3.16|
|Brian Fuentes (S,14)||1||0||0||0||0||2||0||4.84|
|Pitches-Strikes - Joel Pineiro 91-53, Kevin Jepsen 14-11, Fernando Rodney 23-14, Brian Fuentes 13-10|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Joel Pineiro 5-8, Kevin Jepsen 2-1, Fernando Rodney 1-2, Brian Fuentes 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Joel Pineiro 27, Kevin Jepsen 5, Fernando Rodney 6, Brian Fuentes 3|
|Attendance - 38514|
|Game Time - 3:03|
|Temperature - 70|
|Umpires - Home - Bruce Dreckman, First Base - Paul Emmel, Second Base - Bill Hohn, Third Base - Gary Darling|