Rangers rally late to upend Angels
Anaheim, CA – Elvis Andrus went 3-for-5 with three runs scored and an RBI and played a role in a late offensive surge that helped the Texas Rangers continue their recent success against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim with an 8-3 victory.
Adrian Beltre's go-ahead single in the eighth inning coupled with a four-run ninth made a winner of Yu Darvish (11-5), who lasted seven frames after giving up home runs to the first two batters he faced.
Darvish only allowed six more hits and one more run the rest of his outing as Texas pulled out a sixth consecutive win against its AL West rival, including the first two in this three-game set.
"He didn't have his best stuff, but he found a way to make pitches when he had to," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "We got base hits at the right time. Tonight we came together."
Beltre finished with two RBI, while Leonys Martin added two hits, scored twice and knocked in another run for the Rangers, who have won eight of their last nine to pull within a game of the Oakland Athletics in the AL West race.
The Rangers stole six bases, three of them coming from Martin.
"We took advantage of their pitchers," Andrus said. "They were slow and we stole bases. We didn't need a home run to score runs. We took advantage today and it was fun."
Kole Calhoun and Mike Trout hit back-to-back homers in the first inning for the Angels, whose starter, Garrett Richards, recorded a quality start but did not factor in the decision.
Darvish escaped the seventh when he got Josh Hamilton to fly out with runners on the corners, and the Angels' bullpen couldn't keep it a 3-3 game.
Andrus opened the eighth with a single off Kevin Jepsen (1-3), stole second and advance to third on Ian Kinsler's groundout to short. Beltre followed with a single through a drawn-in infield to break the tie, and the Rangers added four insurance runs in the ninth -- all with two outs, three of them coming off Ernesto Frieri.
Calhoun's error allowed Craig Gentry to score, Andrus tacked on another run with a base hit, Beltre chipped in an RBI single and A.J. Pierzynski capped the barrage by bringing in Kinsler with a line-drive single to right.
"Frieri's confidence is shaken right now. He's hitting a lot of bats. He'll get it back," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "The Rangers took advantage of our pitchers in stealing bases. We just couldn't get the key hit. We're sliding back to things we need to take care of."
Tanner Scheppers worked the eighth and ninth innings to close out the victory.
The Rangers scratched out two runs in the first inning, only to have the Angels answer quickly in the bottom half. Kinsler put Texas on the board with a sacrifice fly, and Andrus scored on a wild pitch later in the frame.
Darvish served up two long balls in his first five pitches, as Calhoun took a 2-1 fastball over the right-field wall and Trout took the next pitch into the center-field bleachers. It was his third homer off Darvish.
It was the second time in Angels history the team led off a game with back-to- back home runs, the other coming on May 21, 1996 when Rex Hudler and Don Slaught pulled off the feat.
J.B. Shuck singled in Erick Aybar in the home fourth, and the Rangers evened things in their next at-bat on Martin's run-scoring groundout.
The last time the Rangers won six straight against the Angels came during the 1987 season ... Darvish improved to 6-1 lifetime against the Angels ... Richards gave up three runs on six hits over six innings ... Trout set a record by an Angels outfielder by reaching base in 37 straight games ... Grant Green was recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake on Tuesday, and the infielder went 2-for-4 in his first game with the Angels ... Before the game, the Rangers announced pitcher Colby Lewis will have season-ending surgery on his right hip in the near future ... Texas leads the season series, 9-2.