Anaheim, CA – Adrian Beltre hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the top of the ninth inning and the Texas Rangers downed the LA Angels of Anaheim, 3-1, in the rubber match of a three-game set.
Michael Young led off the ninth with a single before Beltre clubbed a 2-1 Ernesto Frieri (3-2) hanging slider over the short wall in left field.
"I faced Frieri a couple of times before and I didn't have much luck. Tonight, he threw me a breaking ball over the plate and it went over the fence," Beltre said.
It was Frieri's second loss of the week. He allowed two home runs in the Angels' 3-2 loss to the Kansas City Royals on Saturday.
Joe Nathan worked a scoreless bottom half and notched his 34th save of the season.
Yu Darvish (16-9), who has won four straight decisions to go along with a minuscule 1.46 ERA, fanned nine and surrendered a run on just four hits over eight frames.
Zack Greinke struck out eight and allowed just a run on five hits in eight innings for the Angels, who fell 4 1/2 games behind the Oakland Athletics and Baltimore Orioles for the two AL wild-card spots.
"Zack pitched well, losses are tough now. They're tough anytime. The guys know they have to come out the next game with a sense of purpose," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.
The Rangers struck first in the fifth.
Back-to-back singles by Nelson Cruz and David Murphy put runners on the corners with no outs before Cruz scored on Geovany Soto's sacrifice fly to right field.
But the Angels got the run back in the sixth.
Mark Trumbo and Chris Iannetta smacked consecutive singles to center field, which put runners on first and third with none away. After Mike Trout struck out, pinch-runner Peter Bourjos, replacing Trumbo, scampered home when Torii Hunter grounded into a fielder's choice to shortstop.
This is the first time in 11 meetings this season that the winning team did not score at least six runs ... Darvish improved to 3-1 this year against the Angels ... The season series is tied, 8-8.