|Texas (13-6) «||1||1||0||0||0||1||3||0||1||7||15||0|
|L.A. Angels (7-11)||0||0||0||3||0||3||0||0||0||6||9||2|
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The fans at Angel Stadium already boo A.J. Pierzynski every time he comes to the plate. The Texas catcher figured he might as well give them another good reason.
Shortly after Adrian Beltre's drive fell inches short of the fence in the ninth, Pierzynski hit his fourth home run of the season to right off Angels closer Ernesto Frieri (0-1), capping an offense-dominated meeting between AL West rivals on three-game winning streaks.
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"When I hit mine, I was afraid it wasn't going to go out, either," Pierzynski said. "Luckily it went just far enough."
The Angels had a 6-3 lead after the sixth inning, but Texas tied it with three runs in the seventh -- including an RBI single from Pierzynski right after he fouled a ball off his right kneecap.
Pierzynski is reviled in both of California's AL ballparks largely for his postseason exploits against the Angels and the Oakland Athletics over the years. The boos don't bother the 36-year-old veteran at all.
"I actually love it," he said. "It's an awesome atmosphere. This is one of my favorite ballparks. This is where I played my first big-league game, so this is a special place to me."
"We just kept fighting," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "We had to scratch out some runs there at the end, but I felt like we had a chance all night. ... That's what A.J. is all about. He's an exciting player. I love him. A lot of people hate him, but I love him."
Josh Hamilton had four hits against his former team after getting bumped out of the cleanup spot, and Howie Kendrick had a two-run double for the Angels in the series opener. Los Angeles beat defending AL champion Detroit three times by a combined 22-4, while the Rangers won three straight against Seattle during their only home series in a 19-day span.
Frieri has been a dependable reliever since joining the Angels last season, but his power pitching wasn't enough to get past the Rangers' veterans in the ninth.
"They were all swinging because they know that I use my fastball and I keep doing it," Frieri said. "If I pitch tomorrow, I'm going to go out there with my best stuff. If I'm going to get beat, I'm going to get beat like that -- using my best stuff. I'm not a breaking ball guy."
Albert Pujols was 0 for 5 for the Angels, while Mike Trout went 0 for 4 with a walk and failed to make a potential run-saving catch at the wall in the sixth inning. Mark Trumbo also went 0 for 4 with a walk as the Angels' cleanup hitter, striking out to end the game.
But Hamilton went 4 for 4 after getting dropped to the No. 5 spot in the lineup for the first time in his debut season with the Angels, who gave him $125 million to leave Texas last winter. Mired in a 1-for-21 slump, Hamilton moved down and immediately had his 16th career four-hit game -- his first with the Angels.
"I didn't feel any different tonight than I have in the last three weeks," Hamilton said. "I just got four hits. I'd much rather win a ballgame and get no hits. Sometimes Wash would move me to the five hole. I don't know what it is about the five hole, but it seemed to work."
Derek Holland yielded six hits and six runs for Texas, walking four while pitching into the sixth inning in his rockiest start of a strong season.
Joe Blanton allowed 12 hits while pitching into the seventh for the Angels, leaving with a three-run lead before his bullpen wasted it. The veteran right-hander has struggled mightily in his first month with Los Angeles, starting 0-3.
Iannetta delivered a two-out RBI double to left in the sixth, chasing Holland. Jimenez followed with his two-run single off Jason Frasor for the rookie third baseman's first career RBIs.
|Elvis Andrus greets A.J. Pierzynski after the Rangers catcher puts Texas ahead to stay with a home run in the ninth inning. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Ian Kinsler, 2B||5||1||1||0||0||0||2||.296|
|Elvis Andrus, SS||5||1||3||0||0||0||0||.224|
|Lance Berkman, DH||5||1||1||0||0||0||1||.360|
|Adrian Beltre, 3B||4||1||2||0||1||0||1||.239|
|A.J. Pierzynski, C||5||1||2||2||0||0||3||.310|
|Nelson Cruz, RF||4||0||0||1||1||0||0||.274|
|David Murphy, LF||3||2||2||0||0||0||3||.194|
|a- Jeff Baker, PH-LF||1||0||0||1||0||0||0||.333|
|Craig Gentry, CF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.269|
|Mitch Moreland, 1B||4||0||3||1||0||0||1||.203|
|Leonys Martin, CF-LF||4||0||1||1||0||1||2||.243|
|a-grounded out for Murphy in the 7th|
|2B - Adrian Beltre (4, Blanton), David Murphy (3, Blanton), Mitch Moreland (2, Blanton)|
|HR - A.J. Pierzynski (4, Frieri)|
|RBI - A.J. Pierzynski 2 (10), Nelson Cruz (11), Jeff Baker (4), Mitch Moreland (7), Leonys Martin (2)|
|2-OUT RBI - A.J. Pierzynski (3)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|DP - Beltre-Kinsler-Moreland|
|Tanner Scheppers (W,2-0)||2||1||0||0||0||1||0||0.00|
|Joe Nathan (S,6)||1||1||0||0||0||1||0||1.23|
|WP - Derek Holland (2), Jason Frasor (1)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Derek Holland 104-66, Jason Frasor 15-8, Tanner Scheppers 18-15, Joe Nathan 12-9|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Derek Holland 5-4, Tanner Scheppers 3-2|
|Batters Faced - Derek Holland 26, Jason Frasor 3, Tanner Scheppers 7, Joe Nathan 4|
|Los Angeles Angels|
|Peter Bourjos, CF||3||0||1||0||2||0||0||.304|
|Mike Trout, LF||4||0||0||0||1||1||3||.291|
|Albert Pujols, DH||5||0||0||0||0||3||2||.279|
|Mark Trumbo, 1B||4||1||0||0||1||2||1||.311|
|Josh Hamilton, RF||4||2||4||0||0||0||0||.222|
|Howie Kendrick, 2B||3||2||2||2||1||0||1||.275|
|Brendan Harris, SS||3||0||0||0||0||1||5||.276|
|Andrew Romine, SS||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.077|
|a- J.B. Shuck, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.364|
|Thomas Field, SS||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Chris Iannetta, C||3||1||1||2||0||1||2||.275|
|Luis Jimenez, 3B||4||0||1||2||0||1||0||.355|
|a-flied out for Romine in the 8th|
|2B - Howie Kendrick (2, Holland), Chris Iannetta (3, Holland)|
|SF - Chris Iannetta (3)|
|RBI - Howie Kendrick 2 (10), Chris Iannetta 2 (8), Luis Jimenez 2 (2)|
|2-OUT RBI - Chris Iannetta (3), Luis Jimenez 2 (2)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|DP - Jimenez-Trumbo, Harris-Trumbo, Downs-Romine-Trumbo|
|E - Joe Blanton (1, Missed catch of throw), Scott Downs (1, Misplayed grounder)|
|Los Angeles Angels|
|Dane De La Rosa (H,1)||0.1||1||1||1||1||0||0||3.24|
|Scott Downs (BS,1)||1.2||0||0||0||0||1||0||3.24|
|Ernesto Frieri (L,0-1)||1||1||1||1||0||0||1||2.45|
|Pitches-Strikes - Joe Blanton 91-60, Michael Roth 4-3, Dane De La Rosa 15-7, Scott Downs 17-12, Ernesto Frieri 7-6|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Joe Blanton 11-5, Dane De La Rosa 1-0, Scott Downs 4-0, Ernesto Frieri 1-2|
|Batters Faced - Joe Blanton 29, Michael Roth 1, Dane De La Rosa 3, Scott Downs 5, Ernesto Frieri 4|
|Attendance - 36192|
|Game Time - 3:07|
|Temperature - 62|
|Umpires - Home - Jim Reynolds, First Base - James Hoye, Second Base - John Hirschbeck, Third Base - Bob Davidson|