- Blair Angulo, Reporter, WeAreSC.com
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ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The Texas Rangers erased a three-run deficit in the seventh inning and A.J. Pierzynski delivered the go-ahead home run with two outs in the ninth to beat the Los Angeles Angels 7-6 on Monday night in the opener of a three-game series at Angel Stadium.
The rally: Elvis Andrus and Lance Berkman singled to start the seventh, and Adrian Beltre followed with a walk to load the bases. Pierzynski then singled in Andrus before a fielder's choice and an error allowed the Rangers to plate the tying runs.
Limiting the big bats: Rangers pitchers struck out Albert Pujols three times and got him to ground into a double play. They weren't as successful against Josh Hamilton, who recorded his first four-hit game as an Angel (all were singles).
Sixth-inning struggle: Derek Holland couldn't escape a sixth-inning jam, giving up the go-ahead run on Chris Iannetta's two-out double. The left-hander had recorded five of his previous six outs via strikeout but was unable to put Iannetta away. Jason Frasor relieved him and immediately surrendered a two-run single that gave the Angels a three-run cushion.
Singles party: The Rangers' first eight hits were singles, as they struggled to deliver an early knockout punch against Joe Blanton, who had lost all three of his starts this season. With Texas unable to come up with a key hit, Blanton pitched into the sixth inning for the first time in an Angels uniform.
Rangy Rangers: David Murphy made a diving catch in left field to limit the damage in the fourth, and Andrus followed it up with a spectacular play deep in the hole an inning later to get the speedy Peter Bourjos out by a step.
Up next: Alexi Ogando (2-1, 3.32 ERA) looks to rebound Tuesday night from his forgettable start in Chicago, where he surrendered five runs in 2⅓ innings. The Angels will counter with left-hander Jason Vargas (0-2, 6.75 ERA). First pitch is at 9:05 p.m. CT on Fox Sports Southwest, ESPN-FM 103.3 and 1540-AM.