Texas at Los Angeles

Scoreboard
Texas (64-50) «2000100148120
L.A. Angels (51-61)200100000391

Surging Rangers win again, move within one game of first

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The Texas Rangers realize they'll have to be resourceful on offense to make the postseason without suspended slugger Nelson Cruz.

When they scored eight runs without an extra-base hit Tuesday night, manager Ron Washington was thrilled -- but not at all surprised.

"What's the difference between small-ball and winning baseball?" he asked. "Aggression is always going to be our game."

Adrian Beltre drove in the tiebreaking run in the eighth, Yu Darvish pitched seven solid innings, and the Rangers beat the Los Angeles Angels 8-3 for their eighth victory in nine games.

Elvis Andrus had three hits and scored the go-ahead run as the Rangers won their third straight and moved within one game of AL West-leading Oakland, which lost at Cincinnati.

The Rangers broke open a tight game with Beltre's single against Kevin Jepsen (1-3), and they poured it on with a symphony of small-ball brilliance with a four-run ninth. Texas pounded out 12 singles, stole six bases, capitalized on errors and wild pitches, and got a crafty effort from Darvish (11-5) without his best stuff.

To Washington, that's Rangers baseball in its purest form.

"It was quite exciting to be able to go out there and play the game we love to play," Washington said. "It was a night when it all came together, but it's always been an emphasis. I call that winning baseball."

Texas batted around in the ninth against Los Angeles' hapless bullpen -- with help from two more stolen bases. Craig Gentry scored all the way from second base when Calhoun botched a grounder at first, and Andrus singled home Leonys Martin -- who had just stolen second even as the Angels pitched out -- before Beltre added another RBI single.

"We have to create opportunities for ourselves," Andrus said. "We have to put balance in our offense. We lost a power guy [in Cruz], but we know we can create opportunities and score runs. You don't always win games hitting homers."

Darvish allowed eight hits in his least effective start since returning from the disabled list late last month, but the majors' strikeouts leader still escaped a seventh-inning jam and got the victory.

Darvish added six more strikeouts to his total, but also walked three after allowing multiple homers in the same inning for the first time in his major-league career. The Japanese right-hander had allowed only one earned run in his previous three starts combined.

Tanner Scheppers pitched two scoreless innings for his first save of the season.

Kole Calhoun and Mike Trout led off the first inning with back-to-back home runs for the Angels, who have lost nine of 12. Los Angeles held a closed-doors team meeting after the Rangers schooled them in practically every fine aspect of the game -- particularly with those season-worst six stolen bases allowed, which manager Mike Scioscia blamed on the Angels' pitchers, not catcher Chris Iannetta.

"This is about the inability of some of our pitchers to make some adjustments they need to make," Scioscia said. "And the reality of it is, if this is going to become an instructional league, we have to make some changes, because guys up here should be able to do a better job."

Grant Green had his first two major-league hits in his debut for the Angels, who have lost nine of 11 meetings with the division rival Rangers this season. Los Angeles has struggled against aggressive baserunning teams all season, but the Rangers turned it up another notch.

"We've got to do a better job of shutting down the running game as a team," Iannetta said. "That's our focus. They picked their spots really well."

Calhoun and Trout delivered two-out singles against Darvish in the seventh, but Josh Hamilton flied to center on Darvish's 113th pitch.

Hamilton went 0 for 4 against his former Texas teammates, dropping his average below .220 and making him 2 for 21 on the Angels' homestand. The $125 million outfielder is batting .167 (15 for 90) with runners in scoring position in his first season with Los Angeles.

Garrett Richards allowed six hits and three runs in a decent six-inning start for the Angels, striking out five.

After the Rangers stole two bases and took a 2-0 lead in the first inning on Richards' second wild pitch of the inning, Calhoun and Trout quickly evened it with just the second back-to-back leadoff home runs in Angels franchise history. Calhoun's home run was the rookie's third in a week, while Trout reached base in his 37th consecutive game with his 19th home run.

Green got his first major league hit in his first plate appearance for the Angels, who acquired the Anaheim native from Oakland last week in a trade for Alberto Callaspo.

With Howie Kendrick sidelined at least until the weekend with a sprained left knee, Green came up from the minors and immediately started at second base.

Notes

  • Engel Beltre moved over to right field after David Murphy misplayed two balls at the position Monday night in the Rangers' first game without Cruz.
  • The Angels hit back-to-back home runs for only the second time all year. Albert Pujols and Hamilton did it July 10.
  • Trout is the first player to hit three career home runs off Darvish.
  • Green went 0 for 15 in his first major-league experience with Oakland last month.
 
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Elvis Andrus completes a 3-for-5 night with an RBI single in the Rangers' four-run ninth inning.  (USATSI)
Elvis Andrus completes a 3-for-5 night with an RBI single in the Rangers' four-run ninth inning. (USATSI)

Players of the Game
Texas

E. Andrus
AB 5
R 3
H 3
HR 0
RBI 1
Los Angeles

M. Trout
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
 

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Texas Rangers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Leonys Martin, CF-RF5221001 .275
Elvis Andrus, SS5331002 .257
Ian Kinsler, DH4111022 .271
Adrian Beltre, 3B4022111 .316
A.J. Pierzynski, C5011022 .273
David Murphy, LF5000014 .224
Mitch Moreland, 1B3110100 .245
Jurickson Profar, 2B4010001 .250
Engel Beltre, RF2010010 .286
   a-Craig Gentry, PH-CF0100100 .241
Totals37812637  
a-walked for E. Beltre in the 9th
Batting
SF - Ian Kinsler (6)
SH - Engel Beltre (1)
RBI - Leonys Martin (23), Elvis Andrus (36), Ian Kinsler (47), Adrian Beltre 2 (67), A.J. Pierzynski (44)
2-OUT RBI - Elvis Andrus (17), Adrian Beltre (32), A.J. Pierzynski (15)
SB - Leonys Martin 3 (23, 2nd base off Richards/Iannetta), Elvis Andrus 2 (27, 2nd base off Richards/Iannetta, 3rd base off Richards/Iannetta), Craig Gentry (11, 2nd base off Maronde/Iannetta)
CS - Engel Beltre (2, 2nd base by Richards/Iannetta)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Andrus-Profar-Moreland
Texas Rangers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Yu Darvish (W,11-5) 7833362 2.72
Tanner Scheppers (S,1) 2100000 1.72
Pitches-Strikes - Yu Darvish 113-66, Tanner Scheppers 21-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Yu Darvish 3-10, Tanner Scheppers 4-2
Batters Faced - Yu Darvish 30, Tanner Scheppers 7
Los Angeles (A.L.) Angels
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Kole Calhoun, 1B5121003 .333
Mike Trout, CF4121000 .331
Josh Hamilton, RF4000022 .219
Mark Trumbo, DH4000020 .242
Erick Aybar, SS3110110 .287
J.B. Shuck, LF2011200 .291
Chris Nelson, 3B4000003 .255
Grant Green, 2B4020000 .105
Chris Iannetta, C3000013 .215
   a-Hank Conger, PH1010000 .240
Totals3439336  
a-singled for Iannetta in the 9th
Batting
2B - Erick Aybar (18, Darvish)
HR - Kole Calhoun (3, Darvish), Mike Trout (19, Darvish)
RBI - Kole Calhoun (4), Mike Trout (68), J.B. Shuck (26)
CS - Erick Aybar (6, 2nd base by Darvish/Pierzynski)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
E - Kole Calhoun (3, Misplayed grounder)
Los Angeles (A.L.) Angels
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Garrett Richards 6633150 4.20
J.C. Gutierrez 1000110 3.86
Kevin Jepsen (L,1-3) 1211010 4.20
Nick Maronde 0.2020100 6.23
Ernesto Frieri 0.1422000 4.79
WP - Garrett Richards 2 (7), J.C. Gutierrez (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Garrett Richards 97-60, J.C. Gutierrez 13-8, Kevin Jepsen 21-15, Nick Maronde 13-7, Ernesto Frieri 16-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Garrett Richards 10-2, J.C. Gutierrez 1-1, Kevin Jepsen 1-1, Nick Maronde 2-1
Batters Faced - Garrett Richards 24, J.C. Gutierrez 4, Kevin Jepsen 5, Nick Maronde 4, Ernesto Frieri 5
Game Information
Attendance - 34233
Game Time - 3:12
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Laz Diaz, First Base - Tim Timmons, Second Base - Mark Wegner, Third Base - Mike Winters