ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Rangers will spend another day in first place in the AL West.
In the first game of a season-long 10-game homestand, the Rangers knocked off the Los Angeles Angels, 7-1, Monday night to end a two-game losing streak. The game was fueled by the wonderful work of LHP C.J. Wilson, the top of the order and a massive three-run home run by Adrian Beltre.
The Rangers started the day tied for first place with the Angels, who came in with a five-game win streak, but that ended thanks to six runs in innings four and five. The Rangers have been in first place every day this season.
* Wilson, the Rangers' ace, earned his second win of the season by allowing just one run on nine hits in seven innings of work. Wilson struck out a season-high nine batters. He threw 116 pitches. Wilson got into trouble a few times, notably the first inning when two runners reached with one out. But Wilson got Torii Hunter to bounce into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning. Wilson retired 12 of 14 hitters in the middle innings to keep things close before the bats got going.
* Before the game, manager Ron Washington said he wasn't concerned about the top of the batting order, which had struggled of late. Ian Kinsler was hitting .170 and Elvis Andrus was batting .176 to start the day. The pair had gone 2-for-30 the last four games. Monday night, Kinsler reached base four times -- on two walks, a double and a triple -- and scored a run. Andrus reached on three hits. It was Andrus who drove in Kinsler with a suicide squeeze bunt in the fifth inning.
* The big blow was Beltre's three-run homer in the fifth against the wind. Beltre's homer, his fifth, chased Angels starter Ervin Santana, and it traveled 412 feet to dead center. A few of the flyball outs looked as if they were headed out of the park but they stayed in. On a long fly ball to right center, Hunter looked like he misplayed it but the wind kept the it in the park and he jumped up to catch it as if he thought the ball was ging to go over his head. In the eighth, Mitch Moreland hit a home run 410 feet into the Rangers' bullpen in right center as the winds were blowing in.
* On the just completed nine-game road trip, Beltre hit .333 with three home runs and nine RBIs. He started off this 10-game homestand with two hits, a single in the second and the homer in the fifth that put the game out of reach. Beltre has 12 RBIs and four home runs the last 10 games. He seems to be making quite an impact in the early goings of the season.