Rapid Reaction: Angels 7, Rangers 4
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Angels got four runs off Rangers starter Ryan Dempster and then added more off the Texas bullpen in a 7-4 win. Jered Weaver had another solid start, giving up just two runs in seven innings for his fourth straight win over Texas.
What it means: The loss means the Rangers didn't reduce the magic number on their own tonight. They'll wait and see if it goes down from three if the A's lose. ... In the race for the No. 1 seed in the AL, the Rangers' loss combined with the Yankees' win means Texas is one game up on New York. Baltimore also won, so the Rangers are two games up on them.
Dempster falls to Angels again: Dempster has struggled against the Angels since getting traded to the Rangers on July 31. He gave up four runs on seven hits in 5 2/3 innings Friday, which was his best start against them in 2012. ... In three starts, Dempster has a 11.19 ERA and an 0-2 mark. He had allowed 13 earned runs in his previous eight innings against the Halos. ... He gave up two solo home runs and issued four walks. He also had seven strikeouts and couldn't get through the sixth. It was a 4-1 game when he left.
Dempster splits vs. contenders/non-contenders: Dempster has made five starts against teams contending for playoff spots (once against the Yankees and Orioles, three against the Angels). In those starts, he's 1-3 with an 8.46 ERA (against just the Angels and Yankees, the ERA is 11.44). He's started in six other games for Texas (vs. Boston, Minnesota, Cleveland twice, Kansas City and Seattle), all wins, and has a 2.32 ERA.
Weaver shuts the door: The Angels' ace got his fourth straight win over Texas. Nelson Cruz was the only Ranger able to drive in runs off him in seven innings. Weaver gave up five hits and had five strikeouts with two walks. ... All five of Weaver's strikeouts came in his final three innings.
Leadoff homer: One night after Ian Kinsler led off the game for the Rangers with a homer, Mike Trout did the trick for the Angels. It was Trout's fifth leadoff home run this season and his 29th long ball of 2012. ... He also scored his 125th run on the homer, a new Angels' season record. ... He is one homer and three stolen bases away from becoming just the third 30/50 player in MLB history. The others: Eric Davis and Barry Bonds. ... Mark Trumbo had 29 homers in 2011, second-most by a rookie in Angels history. Tim Salmon had 31 in 1993.
Another solo shot: The No. 9 hitter, Chris Iannetta, hit a one-out solo homer off Dempster in the third. It was Iannetta's ninth home run of the season. He's hit two homers against Texas this year.
Great catch over the fans: Rangers fans didn't exactly make an effort to keep Alberto Callaspo from getting a foul ball in the seats near third base. Still, Callaspo did a terrific job of catching it, leaning over and snagged it for an out on Ian Kinsler in the third.
Over 100: Josh Hamilton and Kinsler both have more than 100 runs scored this season. Kinsler is at 102 and Hamilton got to 101 after hitting a double and then scoring on Nelson Cruz's sac fly.
Overaggressive: Adrian Beltre tried to get to second after a throw came home following his single. But Iannetta made a good throw to get Beltre. So instead of runners on the corners and no outs, it was a runner at third (Hamilton) and one out. Cruz got the run home with a sac fly, but the out hurt the club's chances to get more.
100 RBIs: Beltre hit a two-run homer in the eighth, giving him 100 RBIs for the season. That's the third straight season Beltre has had at least 100 RBIs. It was also his 36th home run.
Koji K: Koji Uehara has now retired 20 straight batters, getting all three he faced in the ninth Friday. He has retired 12 of those batters via the strikeout.
|Rangers play-by-play voice Eric Nadel looks ahead to the Rangers' potential playoff opponents, the health of the bullpen and more.
Boomstick: Nelson Cruz hit his 23rd home run, a solo shot, and now has 88 RBIs on the season, a career-high (one better than 2011). ... The homer ended a streak of 21 games without one. ... That was Cruz's second home run this season off Weaver. He hit a grand slam off Weaver on May 13. ... Cruz may be heating up. He was 2-for-3 on Thursday with a double and an RBI and had two more hits Friday with two RBIs. ... Cruz was thrown out at second base trying to turn a single into a double and stayed down briefly after he was tagged. He got up after manager Ron Washington and the trainer checked on him and stayed in the game. He was holding his back a bit.
Up next: LHP Derek Holland (11-6, 4.50 ERA) goes up against the Angels and RHP Ervin Santana (9-12, 4.93 ERA) at 3:05 p.m. on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and Fox. Join us for a live in-game chat.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
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Play Podcast ESPN Insider and senior MLB analyst Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the wild-card race and the Rangers' chances of making the playoffs.
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Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss the latest Rangers news, including the team's struggles, Ron Washington's job security and a rumored trade with the Braves.
Play Podcast Ron Washington joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Rangers' dismal September, who's to blame for their September struggles and his status as the team's manager.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss how some people are calling for the Rangers to fire manager Ron Washington.