Rangers Beat Angels 8-3, Tighten AL West Race
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ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Adrian Beltre drove in the tiebreaking run in the eighth, Yu Darvish pitched seven solid innings, and the Texas Rangers beat the Los Angeles Angels 8-3 Tuesday night for their eighth win in nine games.
Elvis Andrus had three hits and scored the go-ahead run as the Rangers won their third straight and moved within one game of AL West-leading Oakland, which lost at Cincinnati.
Darvish (11-5) allowed eight hits in his least effective start since returning from the disabled list late last month.
But the major leagues’ strikeouts leader still escaped a seventh-inning jam, and he got the win when Beltre singled against Kevin Jepsen (1-3).
Kole Calhoun and Mike Trout led off the first inning with back-to-back homers for the Angels, who have lost nine of 12.
Tanner Scheppers pitched two scoreless innings for his first save of the season.
Grant Green had his first two major league hits in his debut for the Angels, who have lost nine of 11 meetings with the division rival Rangers this season.
Los Angeles allowed a season-worst six stolen bases to the speedy Rangers. Andrus led off the eighth with a single, stole second, advanced on a groundout and scored on Beltre’s single through a drawn-in infield.
Texas added four runs in the ninth while batting around against Los Angeles’ hapless bullpen — with help from two more stolen bases. Craig Gentry scored all the way from second base when Calhoun botched a grounder at first, and Andrus singled home Leonys Martin — who had just stolen second even as the Angels pitched out — before Beltre added another RBI single.
Darvish added six more strikeouts to his total, but also walked three after allowing multiple homers in the same inning for the first time in his major league career.
The Japanese right-hander had allowed just one earned run in his previous three starts combined.
The Rangers’ medical staff also went to the mound after Darvish gave up Green’s two-out single in the fourth, but Darvish stayed in the game.
Calhoun and Trout delivered two-out singles against Darvish in the seventh, but Josh Hamilton flied to center on Darvish’s 113th pitch.
Hamilton went 0 for 4 against his former Texas teammates, dropping his average below .220 and making him 2 for 21 on the Angels’ homestand. The $125 million outfielder is batting .167 (15 for 90) with runners in scoring position in his first season with Los Angeles.
Garrett Richards allowed six hits and three runs in a decent six-inning start for the Angels, striking out five.
Richards and catcher Chris Iannetta allowed two stolen bases in the first inning, and the Rangers took a 2-0 lead on Ian Kinsler’s sacrifice fly and Andrus’ score from third on Richards’ second wild pitch of the inning.
But Calhoun and Trout quickly evened it with just the second back-to-back leadoff homers in Angels franchise history. Calhoun’s homer was the rookie’s third in a week, while Trout reached base in his 37th consecutive game with his 19th homer.
Green got his first major league hit in his first plate appearance for the Angels, who acquired the Anaheim native from Oakland last week in a trade for Alberto Callaspo.
With Howie Kendrick sidelined at least until the weekend with a sprained left knee, Green came up from the minors and immediately started at second base.
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