Angels 9, Rangers 8: Three Up, Three Down

July, 20, 2011
7/20/11
10:25
PM PT
ANAHEIM -- The Angels snapped out of their post-All Star break fog and scored six runs in the sixth inning to snap the Texas Rangers' 12-game winning streak with a stirring 9-8 win Wednesday night.

The Good:
[+] EnlargeLos Angeles Angels fan
Jeff Gross/Getty ImagesThe Angels obliged their fans and snapped their losing streak while ending the Rangers' amazing winning streak.
Explosiveness. What happened in that inning -- when the Angels jumped all over a fading starting pitcher and a rusty reliever -- just hasn't been happening for this team. The six runs were the most the Angels had scored in an inning all year, equaling their output in a May 20 game vs. Atlanta.

Flash of lightning. That big inning wouldn't have happened if Mike Trout hadn't stunned Elvis Andrus by beating out his throw from shortstop for an infield hit. The rest of the West might want to get used to that. Trout has been timed going from home to first as fast as Ichiro Suzuki used to do it. The Angels have been waiting for one of these Trout moments since he got up 11 days ago.

Late relief. Before the game, Mike Scioscia called Scott Downs and Jordan Walden "season savers," and the Angels only two reliable relievers continued to shut down the late innings. Downs worked two scoreless innings -- that's all he seems to do lately -- and Walden finished it off for his 22nd save. They're sort of an Odd Couple duo, as Walden throws about 100 mph with his right hand and Downs tops out at about 89 with his left.

The Bad:

Short start. Even when he's bad, Dan Haren doesn't have many starts that are this short (4 1/3 innings). He tends to gobble up innings, but the Rangers batted around in the fifth inning and got him out of the game, bunching three straight hits. Haren finished the first half on a roll, but he has admitted his stuff hasn't been premium for several weeks. He'll get it back eventually, but the Angels could use it now.

Early relief. If you're a reliever, often your first several pitches are your most important. The first two batters to face Hisanori Takahashi reached on a bloop single and a two-run double. It's been that kind of year for Angels middle relievers. Takahashi pitched a scoreless sixth to set up the Angels' comeback (and earn the win), but he allowed another inherited runner to score -- the sixth this year off Takahashi.

Defense. These two teams tend to play well in the field, but Wednesday wasn't a great showcase. Vernon Wells lost a line drive in the lights to let two runs scored and Elvis Andrus made a throwing error, his 16th error of the season. On the other hand, Adrian Beltre did what he normally does, gobble up everything he can possibly reach.

Mark Saxon

ESPNLosAngeles.com
Mark Saxon is a staff writer for ESPNLosAngeles.com. He spent six years at the Orange County Register, and began his career at the Oakland Tribune, where he started an 11-year journey covering Major League Baseball. He has also covered colleges, including USC football and UCLA basketball.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Howie Kendrick
BA HR RBI R
.293 7 75 85
OTHER LEADERS
HRM. Trout 36
RBIM. Trout 111
RM. Trout 115
OPSM. Trout .939
WJ. Weaver 18
ERAG. Richards 2.61
SOJ. Weaver 169