Thursday, August 18, 2011
Rapid Reaction: Rangers 4, Angels 3
By Richard Durrett
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The Rangers scored two runs in the eighth and held on for a 4-3 victory to push their lead in the AL West to seven games. They are 20 games over .500 and have won every game on this road trip (6-0). Some quick thoughts on the game (more to come from the clubhouse later):
* Ian Kinsler came up with the bases loaded and two outs in the eighth in a tie game and delivered. He got just enough of a two-strike pitch to hit a blooper over the glove of shortstop Erick Aybar to score two runs and give the Rangers a 4-2 lead. Kinsler was fired up when he reached first base (and why not?). He was 0-for-4 off Ervin Santana before that hit.
* Neftali Feliz, who pitched Saturday and Sunday and threw three pitches on Tuesday, came in to close the game with a 4-3 score. He gave up a leadoff single and then got Vernon Wells, Alberto Callaspo and Erick Aybar to end the game and earn the save.
* Santana ended up throwing a career-high 129 pitches. The Angels stuck with him in that eighth inning, but he wasn't able to get Kinsler.
* C.J. Wilson allowed two runs in the first inning but settled down and was solid after that. He allowed just three hits after the first and one walk, getting through seven innings. He left after the seventh with the game tied, but the Rangers got the lead the next inning.
* Wilson retired 13 of his final 15 batters and made sure his team didn't fall too far behind. It was another solid effort by Wilson on a big stage. He knows that with the Rangers' offense, if he can hold the other team to limited runs, he's likely to get some support.
* Mark Trumbo hit a double in the second that scored Torii Hunter following the error with two outs by Elvis Andrus. The play created the odd scene of both managers on the field to argue calls. Ron Washington wasn't sure Hunter was safe on a close play at home plate and Angels skipper Mike Scioscia thought Trumbo's double off the wall was a homer. Both managers lost their arguments. The umpires did review Trumbo's double and didn't overturn it. It was the first review during a Rangers game this season.
* It was strange to see the Rangers not be able to get a runner home from third with one out. Mike Napoli led off with a double and went to third on a ground ball in the second. He tried to score on Yorvit Torrealba's slow roller up the first base line, but Trumbo made a nice throw to home and catcher Bobby Wilson held on as Napoli slid right into him.
* Texas wasted some chances in the first three innings, leaving five men on base. The Angels made some nice defensive plays to end some of those threats (after making some mistakes to help prolong the chances). Still, it was different from the first two games of the series when the Rangers seemed to take advantage of every opportunity.
* Josh Hamilton's back didn't appear to bother him. He stole second base in the third and was able to get around on a ball inside for a hit in the first. He also drove in a run in the fifth, singling home Andrus from second.
* That run was scored thanks to an Angels mistake. Erick Aybar made a big overthrow to first, hitting the top of the dugout. That put Andrus into scoring position and he eventually came home.
* Mitch Moreland's solo homer in the sixth tied the score. It was Moreland's 14th homer of the season. He is having a good road trip and a particularly productive series. Moreland is now 7-for-12 in the last three games. He said he's trying to stay loose at the plate and feels like he's starting to find his rhythm. It appears so.
* Andrus was given an error on a tough play in the first inning. Hunter, who runs well, hit a bouncer and Andrus did well just to get to the ball, but his throw was high, pulling Moreland off the bag.
* It was the second time this series that the Angels have had multiple errors in a game. The infield had trouble making some throws to first base and had two errors. The Rangers, meanwhile, played solid defense, especially in the outfield, where they used their speed.
* Koji Uehara came in for the eighth and allowed a solo home run to Howie Kendrick. It's the eighth homer Uehara has allowed this season.
* Michael Young had his third straight three-hit game of this series. He's is 9-for-14 in the last three games.