Rapid Reaction: Rangers 2, Angels 1
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers walked off again. Adrian Beltre slammed a 2-2 pitch off Los Angeles Angels reliever Michael Kohn over the left-field fence for a 2-1 victory, the Rangers' third walk-off win in three nights.
The Rangers moved within four games of the Oakland Athletics in the American League West.
Beltre does it: Beltre cranked his 23rd home run of the season, hammering a fastball and creating another home plate celebration at Rangers Ballpark.
Perez rebounds: Left-hander Martin Perez pitched a tremendous game, allowing a run in 7 1/3 innings. The lone run scored in the top of the seventh when he tried to get a first-pitch fastball by former Ranger Josh Hamilton. Hamilton crushed it over the center-field fence to tie the score at 1-all. Perez allowed four hits and walked two. He had four strikeouts and needed only 95 pitches to work into the eighth inning.
Cruz homers again: Nelson Cruz crushed his 25th home run of the season with two outs in the bottom of the second to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead. The home run to left field traveled 389 feet. Cruz has feasted on Angels starter Jerome Williams during his career. Cruz has four home runs and 10 RBIs against him.
On Hamilton: Hamilton's home run was his longest of the season at 442 feet, according to ESPN Stats & Information. In his career with the Rangers, Hamilton hit 20 home runs at or past that distance at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, seven more than anyone else over that span (Nelson Cruz, 13).
Outs on the bases: The Rangers could have had more than a 1-0 lead after three innings if not for three outs on the bases. Leonys Martin probably shouldn't have taken a risk on Elvis Andrus' bloop single to right field and was called out at third base (Martin did appear to slide under the tag of Angels third baseman Chris Nelson). Right after that, Andrus was picked off first base by Williams. In the third inning, catcher Geovany Soto was picked off second base with runners at first and second and no outs.
Andrus extends streak: Andrus extended his hitting streak to a major league-best 13 games with his single in the first inning. Andrus also walked in the bottom of the eighth. He has reached base in 26 of his 28 games.
Murphy/Moreland update: Manager Ron Washington singled out David Murphy and Mitch Moreland as two hitters the Rangers need to get going for the final two months of the season. Murphy, who had a pinch hit Tuesday, was 0-for-3 with a strikeout Wednesday. Moreland was 1-for-3 with a single in the third inning.
Scheppers bounces back: Tanner Scheppers had a tough outing Tuesday night, but he came back Wednesday night and picked up two crucial outs with the go-ahead run at second base. Scheppers got Collin Cowgill to ground out to first, then after an intentional walk of Mike Trout, he struck out the slumping Mark Trumbo.
Better against Trout: Trout had reached base in all 10 plate appearances in the series entering Wednesday, but Perez shut him down. Trout was 0-for-3 with a tapper in front of home plate and two fly balls to right field.
Up next: The Rangers were scheduled for five consecutive Thursdays off in August, but they will play a makeup game against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday night with an early start of 6:05 CT. Right-hander Yu Darvish (9-5, 2.80 ERA) gets the start for the Rangers while the Diamondbacks have changed starters and will go with right-hander Zeke Spruill (0-0, 2.08). Thursday's game will be broadcast on Fox Sports Southwest and ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and 1540-AM. The Rangers will then head out for a 10-game road trip, starting with three games against AL West-leading Oakland.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Rangers GM Jon Daniels joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to tackle the tough questions after his team failed to advance to the playoffs.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss having Nelson Cruz back in the lineup and how the Rangers are feeling heading into their wild-card play-in game against the Rays.
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.
Play Podcast Chuck Cooperstein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why he feels Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish isn't an ace.
Play Podcast Elvis Andrus joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Rangers' stretch run and the morale level in their clubhouse.
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.