Arlington, TX – Pinch-hitter Jurickson Profar clubbed a leadoff home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to send the Texas Rangers to a 6-5 win in the opener of a four-game home set against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
Profar launched a 1-1 offering from Michael Kohn (1-4) to right field, helping keep the Rangers' playoff hopes alive. Texas, winners of four straight, remained one game behind Cleveland for the second AL wild-card spot.
"I was just trying to have a good at-bat, get on base," Profar said. "I made a perfect swing, it went out."
The Angels are all too familiar with this ending. During the Angels' last visit to Arlington from July 29-31, the Rangers swept the three-game series, with all the wins coming via a walk-off homer.
Joe Nathan (6-2) preserved the tie in the top of the ninth by striking out Mark Trumbo with the go-ahead run on third base.
"Those guys battled back and beat us. We haven't held leads the way we can in this ballpark at times, and that's what happens," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "There are some times we've come in here and played well and held leads. It's just this year has been rough on us."
The Rangers had a 3-1 lead after one inning, but a copious amount of miscues resulted in three second-inning runs for Los Angeles. Texas was charged with four errors, all coming after starting pitcher Matt Garza had gotten two quick outs.
Andrew Romine reached on a misplay by first baseman Mitch Moreland, took second on a J.B. Shuck single and scored when second baseman Ian Kinsler botched a routine grounder. In his haste to get Shuck at third, Kinsler made a poor throw that allowed Erick Aybar to take second. Mike Trout then hit a soft grounder and third baseman Adrian Beltre's throw to first was off the mark, allowing Shuck and Aybar to score for a 4-3 Halos lead.
Following the early barrage of runs, scoring became scarce until a two-out, two-run double by Leonys Martin to the gap in right-center field put the Rangers up 5-4 in the sixth.
It didn't take the Angels long, however, to tie the game. Kole Calhoun tripled to begin the seventh and scored on a Trumbo single.
Garza gave up a season-high 11 hits and walked two in 5 1/3 innings, while his Los Angeles counterpart, Jerome Williams, gave way to the bullpen after pitching out of a no-out, bases-loaded jam in the fifth.
The Angels threatened in the top of the fifth, but left the bases full after having a runner thrown out at home earlier in the frame.
Texas shortstop Elvis Andrus has now hit safely in 13 straight games against the Angels ... LA designated hitter Josh Hamilton extended his hitting streak to 11 games ... Shuck left in the fifth inning with a sprained right ankle ... Trumbo snapped the longest hitless stretch of his career (0-for-25) with a third-inning single ... The Angels were 3-for-15 with runners in scoring position and left 11 men on base.