ARLINGTON, Texas – Maicer Izturis hit a two-out RBI single in the ninth inning and the Angels beat the Texas Rangers 3-2 on Saturday in another tough-luck start for Los Angeles right-hander Dan Haren.
Izturis hit a liner to left off Darren Oliver (1-4) that drove home Jeff Mathis, the light-hitting catcher who led off the ninth with a single before a sacrifice bunt by Peter Bourjos.
Angels third baseman Alberto Callaspo had a pair of RBI doubles, along with a couple of nice defensive plays.
Jordan Walden worked a perfect ninth for his seventh save in nine chances. Scott Downs (1-0) faced only one batter to get out of the eighth.
Haren wound up without a decision after allowing only two runs in 7 2-3 innings, and is winless (0-2) in his last five starts despite a 1.93 ERA that is second-best in the American League. He won his first four decisions this season.
After Haren allowed a two-out double to Ian Kinsler in the eighth, the game was tied 2-all by the only batter faced by reliever Fernando Rodney. Michael Young's hard but seemingly playable grounder ricocheted off shortstop Erick Aybar's glove and was ruled a single.
Haren struck out five without a walk, throwing 77 of his 113 pitches for strikes. He gave up six hits, half of those coming in a span of three batters to start the second, when Texas scored its other run against him.
Rangers starter Derek Holland allowed only two runs over six innings, but again was hurt by walks. The left-hander walked three, and two of them came in to score on hits by Callaspo.
The Angels went ahead 2-1 in the sixth when Howie Kendrick drew a walk and scored on Callaspo's double to left.
Los Angeles maintained its lead in the AL West with their 12th win its last 17 road games. A 4-1 loss on Friday night had trimmed the division gap to only a half-game over the defending AL champion Rangers.
Holland, pitching for the first time since walking five batters in three-plus innings the previous Saturday against the New York Yankees, threw eight consecutive balls to start the fourth, walking Izturis and Torii Hunter.
Kendrick then grounded into a double play, but Harrison couldn't escape unscathed. Callaspo followed with an RBI double on a fast-sinker liner that skirted under the glove of third baseman Adrian Beltre on a diving backhanded attempt.
Beltre was then robbed of a hit when Callaspo, the Angels' third baseman, made a nifty defensive play to start the bottom of the fourth. After a backhanded stab on a sharply hit ball, he gathered himself and made a strong throw. Rookie first baseman Mark Trumbo came off the bag stretching to make the catch, but made a sweeping tag on Beltre's lower leg for the out.
Beltre's RBI single put the Rangers up 1-0 after Mitch Moreland led off the second with a double.
In the seventh, Beltre did snag a grounder and threw off his knees to get Bobby Abreu out at first. But Callaspo still had a couple of more nice defensive plays to go.
Callaspo grabbed David Murphy's grounder in the seventh and threw to second to force out Beltre. An inning later, Callaspo was playing in and made a diving stop of a hard one-hopper before getting up and throwing out speedy Elvis Andrus.
When Kinsler followed with his double down the left-field line, a ball that bounced near third base while curling into the corner, Callaspo swatted his right hand in frustration that he didn't get it. He then stared up at the big video board to watch the replay.
Notes: Izturis has a 10-game hitting streak. ... Andrus had a stolen base in the third. It was his 12th this season, the most in the AL without being caught. ... Texas has lost eight of 12 games. ... The temperature was in the mid-60s with clear, bright skies for the mid-afternoon start.