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L.A. Angels (78-82)001020000381
Texas (89-71) «10200020x570

Rangers beat Angels to gain ground on Ray in wild card

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers finally gained some ground in the AL wild-card race with their fifth consecutive victory.

They still don't have a playoff spot with only two games left in the regular season.

"These last two games are going to be exciting. We definitely bettered our chances," closer Joe Nathan said after the Rangers' 5-3 victory over the Los Angeles Angels Friday night. "Today was a crucial game."

Alex Rios had a tiebreaking RBI single in the seventh inning, and the Rangers moved closer in the wild-card standings for the first time during their winning streak.

Wild-card leader Tampa Bay lost at Toronto, dropping the Rays into a tie with Cleveland for the two spots after the Indians beat Minnesota. The Rangers, looking for their fourth consecutive playoff appearance, are a game back.

"We just want an opportunity, just want that shot," Elvis Andrus said.

Ian Kinsler led off the seventh with a walk off Juan Gutierrez (1-5), then moved to second on an errant pickoff throw by the reliever who had taken over after C.J. Wilson threw 121 pitches in six innings. Rios had his run-scoring hit after a sac bunt by Andrus, then scored on a two-out infield single by A.J. Pierzynski.

The Rangers don't have to wait long to play again -- Saturday's game was moved up eight hours to an 11:05 a.m. start. The weather forecast called for moderate showers and thunderstorms in the area by early afternoon and increasing in intensity throughout the day and into the night, when the game was originally scheduled.

"This is where we want to be ... still in the hunt," manager Ron Washington said.

The loss was the 82nd for the Angels, ensuring them of only their second losing record the past 10 seasons -- a period in which they were AL West champions five times.

"To be totally honest with you, whether we had run off and gotten over .500 or not doesn't or can't mask our challenge ahead of how we need to get better," manager Mike Scioscia said. "It is very frustrating. Nothing has changed as far as if you want to talk about the whole season being frustrating. I think that's a pretty good buzzword to put on it."

Alexi Ogando allowed three runs with four strikeouts over 5 1-3 innings. Nathan, the winner Thursday night when the Rangers won on rookie Jurickson Profar's game-ending homer, worked a perfect ninth for his 42nd save in 45 chances.

After Ogando struck out Mark Trumbo to start the sixth, Jason Frasor struck out the next two batters. Neal Cotts (6-3) and Tanner Scheppers both worked perfect innings with two strikeouts.

The Angels didn't even get a runner on base against the four relievers.

Texas went ahead 3-1 after a wild 31-pitch third inning for Wilson, the left-hander who went to the Angels in free agency after being part of the Rangers' only two World Series teams (2010 and 2011).

"I just thought C.J. was off all night," Scioscia said. "He was behind every count. It was just a struggle for C.J. Still he got through six innings giving us a chance, he just wasn't sharp out there."

Andrus had a one-out single and got to third on two wild pitches, the second which came on ball four to Rios. Wilson then hit consecutive batters with pitches -- Adrian Beltre in the left knee to load the bases before getting Pierzynski in the shoulder blade to drive in a run.

Rios scored on another wild pitch, sliding into the plate almost simultaneously with Wilson, who slipped while coming to cover and got tangled up with the runner.

In all, there were three wild pitches by Wilson and two hit batters in the third. But he struck out the last two batters, starting a stretch of retiring 10 in a row before finishing with six strikeouts and four walks.

"One out of every four [balls] was rubbed up, and then three out of every four were basically brand new," Wilson claimed afterward. "The balls were kind of squirting around, a couple of balls got away. If you're a lefty and you hit a lefty with a slider, that's obviously not what you're trying to do right there. ... You going to call it a coincidence? It's not a coincidence. Let's be honest."

Notes

Within minutes after the Rays had lost, the Angels got even 3-all on a two-out single by Josh Hamilton for his 1,000th career hit. ... Rios drove in a run with a fielder's choice in the first, when Kinsler scored after walking and going to third on a perfectly executed hit-and-run play by Andrus. ... Hamilton has a 12-game hitting streak, matching his longest of the season. ... Wilson finished 17-7 with a 3.39 ERA. He was 9-0 his last 12 road starts.

 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Alex Rios and the Rangers need all the wins they can get as the wild-card race hits the stretch run.  (USATSI)
Alex Rios and the Rangers need all the wins they can get as the wild-card race hits the stretch run. (USATSI)

Players of the Game
Los Angeles

A. Romine
AB 3
R 2
H 2
HR 0
RBI 0
Texas

A. Rios
AB 3
R 2
H 1
HR 0
RBI 2
 

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Los Angeles (A.L.) Angels
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Erick Aybar, SS4010011 .268
Kole Calhoun, RF3121010 .282
Mike Trout, DH2000221 .323
Josh Hamilton, CF4012021 .249
Howie Kendrick, 2B4010001 .301
Mark Trumbo, 1B3000120 .235
Hank Conger, C4010011 .252
Collin Cowgill, LF3000013 .211
   a-J.B. Shuck, PH1000000 .292
Andrew Romine, 3B3220000 .255
C.J. Wilson, P0000000 .125
   J.C. Gutierrez, P0000000 .000
   Buddy Boshers, P0000000 .000
   Cory Rasmus, P0000000 .000
   Ryan Brasier, P0000000 .000
Totals31383310  
a-grounded out for Cowgill in the 9th
Batting
SF - Kole Calhoun (5)
RBI - Kole Calhoun (32), Josh Hamilton 2 (78)
CS - Kole Calhoun (2, 2nd base by Ogando/Pierzynski)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Conger-Kendrick
E - J.C. Gutierrez (2, Throwing)
Los Angeles (A.L.) Angels
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
C.J. Wilson 6433460 3.39
J.C. Gutierrez (L,1-5) 0.2122110 4.25
Buddy Boshers 0100000 4.11
Cory Rasmus 1100010 5.40
Ryan Brasier 0.1000100 2.00
WP - C.J. Wilson 3 (14)
HBP - Beltre (by C.J. Wilson)
Pitches-Strikes - C.J. Wilson 121-67, J.C. Gutierrez 18-8, Buddy Boshers 5-5, Cory Rasmus 18-14, Ryan Brasier 14-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - C.J. Wilson 3-8, J.C. Gutierrez 1-0, Cory Rasmus 1-1, Ryan Brasier 1-0
Batters Faced - C.J. Wilson 27, J.C. Gutierrez 4, Buddy Boshers 1, Cory Rasmus 4, Ryan Brasier 2
Texas Rangers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Ian Kinsler, 2B2200300 .276
Elvis Andrus, SS4120002 .273
Alex Rios, RF3212100 .278
Adrian Beltre, 3B3000022 .315
A.J. Pierzynski, C3012010 .273
Jeff Baker, DH2000122 .279
   a-Jurickson Profar, PH-DH1000001 .234
Mitch Moreland, 1B3010122 .232
Craig Gentry, LF4010002 .271
Leonys Martin, CF4010014 .262
Alexi Ogando, P0000000 .000
   Jason Frasor, P0000000 .000
   Neal Cotts, P0000000 .000
   Tanner Scheppers, P0000000 .000
   Joe Nathan, P0000000 .000
Totals2957468  
a-grounded out for Baker in the 7th
Batting
SH - Elvis Andrus (15)
RBI - Alex Rios 2 (79), A.J. Pierzynski 2 (69)
2-OUT RBI - A.J. Pierzynski (25)
SB - Alex Rios 2 (42, 2nd base off Wilson/Conger), Leonys Martin (35, 2nd base off Brasier/Conger)
CS - Alex Rios (7, 2nd base by Wilson/Conger)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Pierzynski-Kinsler, Pierzynski-Kinsler-Kinsler-Andrus-Moreland, Pierzynski-Kinsler-Kinsler-Andrus-Moreland-Beltre-Kinsler-Moreland
Texas Rangers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Alexi Ogando 5.1833340 3.04
Jason Frasor 0.2000020 2.61
Neal Cotts (W,7-3) 1000020 1.13
Tanner Scheppers (H,25) 1000020 1.95
Joe Nathan (S,42) 1000000 1.44
Pitches-Strikes - Alexi Ogando 88-56, Jason Frasor 11-8, Neal Cotts 14-11, Tanner Scheppers 12-9, Joe Nathan 7-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Alexi Ogando 5-4, Neal Cotts 1-0, Tanner Scheppers 1-0, Joe Nathan 2-1
Batters Faced - Alexi Ogando 24, Jason Frasor 2, Neal Cotts 3, Tanner Scheppers 3, Joe Nathan 3
Game Information
Attendance - 37355
Game Time - 3:31
Temperature - 86
Umpires - Home - Mike DiMuro, First Base - Scott Barry, Second Base - Alfonso Marquez, Third Base - Ted Barrett