Anaheim, CA – Adrian Beltre went 3-for-4 with a two-run home run, three RBI and four runs scored as the Texas Rangers thumped the LA Angels of Anaheim, 10-3, to sweep a three-game set.
Mitch Moreland and David Murphy each drove in two runs, while Leonys Martin and Elvis Andrus each scored twice for the Rangers, who have won four straight and nine of 10 to pull into a virtual tie with Oakland for first place in the AL West.
"It's nice to be back in the hunt again," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "We have to continue to play our baseball. To be successful you have to win your division. The whole team is playing tremendous baseball. Tonight was a step forward."
Alexi Ogando (5-3) pitched five innings to get the win, giving up two runs and four hits with two walks and four strikeouts.
The Rangers had seven stolen bases with Martin and Andrus each having three.
"We've been more consistent getting big hits. First place is the place we're supposed to be," Beltre said. "It was fun tonight. We found a way to score runs. We took advantage of a team that is not playing well right now."
Mike Trout hit a two-run home run and Kole Calhoun drove in a run for the Angels, who have lost their past four games.
Tommy Hanson (4-3) continued to struggle as he gave up five runs on seven hits in just 4 2/3 frames to take the loss. He hasn't gone more than 5 1/3 innings in each of his last five starts and has been charged with 22 earned runs over that time.
"There are some areas we are not very good at right now and it starts with our starting pitching," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "We have to do a better job, as simple as that. Our frustration level is there, but it's manageable."
A Moreland sacrifice fly in the first staked the Rangers to an early lead, but the Angels countered in the home half thanks to Trout's two-run shot, his 20th of the year, for a 2-1 advantage.
The Rangers, though, went on top for good in the third as Ian Kinsler singled in a run with men on the corners, and Beltre followed with a run-scoring groundout. Moreland later singled home another run for a 4-2 lead.
Texas added another run in the fifth off a Jurickson Profar RBI single, and Beltre's two-run home run in the sixth made it a 7-2 contest.
Martin's sac fly in the seventh padded Texas' lead to six runs, but Calhoun doubled in Hank Conger in the home seventh for an 8-3 game.
A two-run double by Murphy in the eighth put the game out of reach.
Trout turned 22 Wednesday and became the first player to ever homer on his 21st and 22nd birthdays ... Texas has off on Thursday before starting a four- game set in Houston on Friday ... The Angels hit the road for the next seven games starting in Cleveland on Friday ... The Rangers have won 10 of the 12 games against the Angels this season ... Texas went 6-for-20 with runners in scoring position and left 14 on base.