ARLINGTON, Texas – Josh Hamilton drove in three runs, Tommy Hunter pitched into the seventh inning to remain unbeaten and the Texas Rangers edged the Los Angeles Angels 6-4 on Sunday night.
AL West-leading Texas won three of four in the series to build a seven-game lead over the second-place Angels, who got a boost earlier in the day when they acquired right-hander Dan Haren in a trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Hunter allowed three runs and three hits over 6 1-3 innings to become the first Rangers pitcher to win his first eight decisions in a season. The right-hander is the second player to accomplish the feat this season, joining Carlos Silva of the Chicago Cubs.
Hideki Matsui chased Hunter with a two-run homer and Alberto Callaspo's run-scoring groundout cut it to 6-4 in the ninth but Neftali Feliz got Howie Kendrick and Juan Rivera to ground out to complete his AL-best 28th save.
The crowd of 38,320 chanted "Beat L.A., beat L.A." in the ninth as Texas bounced back from Saturday night's 6-2 loss and improved to 34-20 at Rangers Ballpark.
Torii Hunter also went deep for the Angels, who fell to 3-6 against Texas this season and have lost five of seven overall. Los Angeles has 10 games left against the Rangers, including three next weekend in Southern California.
Tommy Hunter (8-0) retired 12 in a row after Rivera's leadoff single in the third. He threw only 71 pitches.
Texas' Chris Davis was cut down at the plate in the second in a violent collision with catcher Jeff Mathis, although neither player was injured. Davis was trying to score from first on Elvis Andrus' double, but Mathis caught second baseman Maicer Izturis' relay throw and held on after Davis launched himself into the air.
Hamilton hit a two-run triple off Trevor Bell (1-2) in the first and an RBI single in the third. He went 3 for 4 to raise his major-league-best batting average to .357.
Nelson Cruz and Michael Young each had two hits and drove in a run for Texas, which finished with 13 hits. Cruz extended his career-best hitting streak to 14 games.
Bell allowed four runs and eight hits in 3 1-3 innings. He was called up from Triple-A Salt Lake on Tuesday and was making his fifth major league start, but first since Aug. 28, 2009.
The trade for Haren cost the Angels left-hander Joe Saunders, a pair of minor leaguer pitchers and a player to be named.
Texas general manager Jon Daniels said he doesn't feel he has to make a deal to match the Angels' acquisition.
"If there is something that helps us, we'll look to move on it," Daniels said.
The Rangers already have traded for ace left-hander Cliff Lee and catcher Bengie Molina, but they could be looking to add a right-handed hitting first baseman to platoon with Davis.
NOTES: Former President George W. Bush and wife Laura sat in the owner's box to the left of the Texas dugout with team president Nolan Ryan and prospective owner Chuck Greenberg. Bush received a standing ovation when he was introduced to the crowd in the second inning. Bush attended two games last year but hadn't been to a game this season. ... Rangers manager Ron Washington said Scott Feldman will remain in the rotation despite his 5-9 record and 5.46 ERA. Feldman was 17-8 in 2009, but hasn't won since June 18. If Feldman continues to struggle, LHP Derek Holland and RHP Rich Harden would be candidates to replace him when they come off the DL next month.