|Texas (88-60) «||0||0||3||0||0||0||0||3||0||6||10||0|
|L.A. Angels (81-68)||0||0||0||0||2||0||0||0||0||2||8||0|
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Michael Young thinks the Texas Rangers have done more than enough winning over the past few Septembers to know how to pay attention to what's happening on the scoreboard and in their own game.
The Rangers got great news in both areas Wednesday night.
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One night after the Angels scored 11 runs without Albert Pujols, the Rangers dominated offensively and improved the AL's best record to 88-60 without sluggers Josh Hamilton and Adrian Beltre, who sat with injuries. Texas also moved 7½ games ahead of Los Angeles -- and four ahead of second-place Oakland (84-64) in the AL West standings with the Athletics' loss at Detroit.
"Of course we look at the scoreboard," said Young, who has an eight-game hitting streak. "It's that time of year. I'm a baseball fan. You can do both, though. Obviously, what we do on the field trumps scoreboard-watching, but you can be aware of what's going on."
Hamilton, the majors' leader with 42 homers, sat out with a recurring sinus condition that affects his vision, while Beltre had abdominal trouble. Hamilton and Beltre both had MRI exams, but the results won't be available until Thursday.
But Soto homered and Nelson Cruz had an RBI double in a three-run eighth for the majors' most potent offense.
Holland (11-6) struck out four and walked just one batter to remain unbeaten since July 31 while getting his first victory of the season over the Angels. Working in harmony with Soto, the catcher with a curious habit of singing to his pitcher, Holland went at least seven innings for the fourth straight start.
"We didn't have Hamilton, we didn't have Beltre, but I knew if I made my pitches, the other guys would make plays for me," Holland said. "I'm really happy with my teammates. They've been carrying us, and now I feel like I've got to step up."
Alberto Callaspo hit a two-run homer for the Angels (81-68), who had won 15 of 20. Wilson and his teammates blew a chance to pull within 2½ games of the slumping A's for the second AL wild-card slot, instead sitting 3½ back with 13 games to go.
"You can make it whatever you want to," said Mark Trumbo, who went 0 for 3. "I mean, if you treat it like a dire situation, I doubt that's going to do too much good for us. We're actually pretty loose right now, and I think that's the right way to go about it, as opposed to stressing out and trying to do too much."
Wilson (12-10) went winless in five starts this season against the Rangers after leaving Texas to sign a $77.5 million deal with his hometown team last December. He walked the bases loaded in the first inning and gave up three runs on four hits in the third, forcing Angels manager Mike Scioscia to pull him early for Jerome Williams.
"I wasn't happy to get pulled out of the game, but I wasn't doing well, either," Wilson said. "So it's my own fault. We're trying to win the game, so I understand. ... You've seen their lineup, right? They have a lot of good hitters, not just two guys. Everybody can drive in runs on that team and everybody can go deep."
The high-priced left-hander had pitched at least three innings in every outing for Los Angeles except his first start of the season against Texas, when he didn't return after a nearly two-hour rain delay.
"We know C.J. knows that we are a very aggressive bunch of guys," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "Tonight, we waited and made him throw the ball in the strike zone, and it worked for us."
Williams yielded one hit over 4 1/3 innings of excellent relief.
Pujols went 2 for 4, but made two significant mental blunders in his return to the Angels after missing Tuesday's game to be with his wife, who delivered their fifth child Sunday morning.
Pujols hit a long single in the sixth, but got thrown out by 15 feet foolishly trying to stretch it into a double - a decision made even worse when Torii Hunter doubled immediately afterward. Pujols then dived in front of second baseman Howie Kendrick to field a routine grounder in the eighth, allowing Young to reach base and eventually score.
|Derek Holland tosses seven innings of six-hit ball, allowing two runs and striking out four, as the Rangers defeat the Angels. (Getty Images)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Ian Kinsler, 2B||3||1||2||0||1||0||0||.265|
|Elvis Andrus, SS||5||1||1||1||0||0||1||.291|
|Michael Young, 3B||5||2||2||1||0||2||1||.275|
|Nelson Cruz, RF||3||0||2||1||1||0||1||.258|
|David Murphy, LF||3||0||0||0||1||1||2||.308|
|Mike Napoli, DH||3||0||1||1||1||1||3||.230|
|Leonys Martin, PR-DH||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||.178|
|Geovany Soto, C||4||1||1||2||0||0||1||.203|
|Craig Gentry, CF||4||0||1||0||0||2||0||.308|
|Mitch Moreland, 1B||4||0||0||0||0||2||1||.279|
|2B - Michael Young (24, Wilson), Nelson Cruz (38, Richards), Mike Napoli (8, Wilson)|
|3B - Elvis Andrus (9, Wilson)|
|HR - Geovany Soto (10, Walden)|
|RBI - Elvis Andrus (58), Michael Young (63), Nelson Cruz (85), Mike Napoli (45), Geovany Soto 2 (35)|
|2-OUT RBI - Mike Napoli (10), Geovany Soto 2 (9)|
|PK - Ian Kinsler (6, Isringhausen)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|Outfield Assists - Craig Gentry 2|
|DP - Gentry-Kinsler-Moreland|
|Derek Holland (W,11-6)||7||6||2||2||1||4||1||4.42|
|Pitches-Strikes - Derek Holland 104-71, Mike Adams 15-12, Joe Nathan 10-9|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Derek Holland 7-8, Mike Adams 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Derek Holland 26, Mike Adams 5, Joe Nathan 3|
|Los Angeles Angels|
|Mike Trout, CF||4||0||1||0||0||0||1||.327|
|Erick Aybar, SS||3||0||1||0||0||0||0||.295|
|Albert Pujols, 1B||4||0||2||0||0||0||1||.283|
|Torii Hunter, RF||4||0||1||0||0||2||3||.308|
|Howard Kendrick, 2B||4||1||1||0||0||2||1||.280|
|Vernon Wells, LF||3||0||0||0||1||1||1||.231|
|Alberto Callaspo, 3B||4||1||1||2||0||0||1||.251|
|Mark Trumbo, DH||3||0||0||0||0||1||0||.264|
|Chris Iannetta, C||3||0||1||0||0||0||0||.247|
|2B - Torii Hunter (22, Holland), Howard Kendrick (29, Holland)|
|HR - Alberto Callaspo (10, Holland)|
|SH - Erick Aybar (5)|
|RBI - Alberto Callaspo 2 (51)|
|Team LOB - 5|
|Outfield Assists - Mike Trout 1|
|DP - Kendrick-Aybar-Pujols|
|Los Angeles Angels|
|C.J. Wilson (L,12-10)||2.2||4||3||3||3||2||0||3.82|
|IBB - Cruz by C.J. Wilson|
|HBP - Kinsler (by Jerome Williams)|
|Pitches-Strikes - C.J. Wilson 66-35, Jerome Williams 43-30, Garrett Richards 21-12, Jordan Walden 9-5, Jason Isringhausen 15-8|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - C.J. Wilson 4-2, Jerome Williams 3-5, Jason Isringhausen 1-0|
|Batters Faced - C.J. Wilson 15, Jerome Williams 14, Garrett Richards 4, Jordan Walden 3, Jason Isringhausen 3|
|Attendance - 37093|
|Game Time - 3:03|
|Temperature - 78|
|Umpires - Home - Jeff Nelson, First Base - Bill Welke, Second Base - Cory Blaser, Third Base - Jim Wolf|