Arlington, TX – The Texas Rangers kept their playoff hopes alive with a 7-4 victory over the LA Angels of Anaheim in the third test of a four-game series Saturday.
The Rangers are tied with Tampa Bay for the second AL wild-card spot, one game behind Cleveland. The Rays lost to the Blue Jays on Saturday and the Indians beat the Twins.
Alex Rios, A.J. Pierzynski and Craig Gentry each had an RBI for Texas, which has won six in a row.
"All this is great, and all this is fun and all this won't matter if we don't win tomorrow," Pierzynski said. "We still got to win tomorrow. That's the biggest thing. To get through today, especially with the weather coming on and an 11 a.m. kickoff, it was good."
Derek Holland got the start for the Rangers and allowed four runs on eight hits over 4 2/3 innings. Joakim Soria (1-0) tossed 1 1/3 scoreless innings of relief to pick up the win.
Mike Trout knocked in two runs for the Angels, who committed five errors. Howie Kendrick and Collin Cowgill added an RBI apiece.
Angels starter Garrett Richards (7-8) gave up six runs -- three earned -- on six hits over 4 1/3 innings.
"We're going to try to come back tomorrow and beat these guys, and hopefully end the year on a positive note," said Richards.
Each team scored once in the first inning. Erick Aybar led off the game with a double to center, moved to third on Cowgill's groundout and crossed the plate on Trout's sacrifice fly.
In the bottom of the first, Ian Kinsler led off with a single to left. He moved to second on a wild pitch and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt. Rios followed with a routine grounder to third baseman Andrew Romine, whose fielding error allowed Kinsler to score.
The Rangers tacked on four more runs in the second. Gentry doubled and David Murphy walked to get things started. The runners moved up one base on a sacrifice bunt. Kinsler hit a line drive that deflected off Richards, whose throwing error to first allowed a run to score. Elvis Andrus followed with an RBI single to shallow left field, and Aybar's throwing error put men on second and third. Rios' sacrifice fly and a wild pitch allowed two more runs to score.
The Angels got one run back in the third. Aybar doubled to left-center field, moved to third on Cowgill's single and scored on Trout's sacrifice fly.
Los Angeles plated two more runs in the fifth. Romine singled, advanced to third on Aybar's double and scored on Cowgill's groundout. Kendrick's RBI double cut the gap to 5-4.
Texas, however, responded with two runs in the bottom half. Rios doubled and moved to third on Adrian Beltre's groundout. Buddy Boshers came in from the bullpen and gave up an RBI single to Pierzynski. Mitch Moreland also singled before Robert Coello took over on the mound. Gentry twisted his right ankle on a bunt single, which scored Pierzynski.
Robbie Ross, Tanner Scheppers and Joe Nathan each tossed a scoreless inning of relief to secure the victory for Texas. Nathan stranded runners on first and second in the ninth for his 43rd save.
Texas is 14-4 versus the Angels this season ... Saturday's game was originally scheduled for 7:05 p.m. CT, but a threat of inclement weather forced officials to move the start time of the third portion of this set ... The Rangers have won seven in a row versus the Angels in Arlington ... Aybar had three doubles.