<
>

Young helps Rangers send Halos to sixth straight defeat

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Even with two strikes, Michael Young is
a dangerous hitter.

Young went 3-for-3 and drove in the go-ahead run with a
seventh-inning single to help the Texas Rangers beat the Angels 3-2
on Monday night for Los Angeles' sixth straight loss.

Young had two hits with two strikes, improving his batting
average to .295 (23-for-78) in that situation.

"I feel comfortable hitting with two strikes," said Young
after his 22nd multi-hit game of the season. "I never feel an
at-bat is over."

With the game tied at 2 after Brad Wilkerson's eighth homer
leading off the seventh, Mark DeRosa followed with a double.

DeRosa went to third on Rod Barajas' sacrifice bunt, and scored
on Young's two-out, two-strike single off reliever Scot Shields.

"He's a machine," Rangers starter Kameron Loe said of Young.
"He's absolutely clutch. He does everything right. When he gets a
pitch to hit, he hits it."

Loe (3-4) allowed two runs and eight hits in seven innings. He
struck out four and walked two.

Akinori Otsuka pitched the ninth for his sixth save in seven
chances.

Otsuka walked Adam Kennedy leading off the ninth, retired Chone
Figgins on a fielder's choice, then got Orlando Cabrera to ground
to the mound where Otsuka started a 1-6-3 double play to end the
game with Rangers killer Vladimir Guerrero in the on-deck circle.

Rangers manager said the Rangers were in "Guerrero territory.
What a great play by Aki."

Texas reliever Francisco Cordero allowed a single and a walk in
the eighth, but struck out the side to preserve a 3-2 advantage.

Angels starter Kelvim Escobar (5-4) nearly matched Loe, giving
up three runs and eight hits in 6 1-3 innings. He struck out six
and walked one.

Guerrero continued his torrid hitting against Texas with an RBI
double.

Guerrero has hit safetly in all 40 career games against the
Rangers, the longest streak against one team in the era of
divisional play. Ken Griffey Jr., then playing for the Seattle
Mariners, had a 35-game hitting streak against the Cleveland
Indians from 1992-96.

In those 40 games, Guerrero is batting .446 (70-for-157) with 31
RBI.

Shut out on six hits in the first five innings, Texas broke
through against Escobar in the sixth. The Rangers reduced the
deficit to 2-1 when Young singled, stole second and scored on Hank
Blalock's double.

The Angels got a run in the first with the help of Figgins'
speed when he led off with a single and later scored all the way
from first on Garret Anderson's single.

After striking out in the first inning, Guerrero extended his
streak against the Rangers with a third-inning RBI double to make
it 2-0.

Texas went hitless against Escobar until Barajas' two-out double
in the third.

The Angels continue their nosedive, losing for the eighth time
in nine games and falling to 5-18 in May.

"The game wasn't lost on the mound," Angels manager Mike
Sciosia said. "We did a lot of things well. But we came up short.
We left nine on base. We couldn't get that key hit."

Game notes
Six straight defeats matches the Angles' season-high. ...
After the game, the Angels recalled infielder Kendry Morales from
Class AAA Salt Lake and optioned RHP Mark Bulger to the same club.
... Escobar was making his 150th career start. He is 2-7 lifetime
against Texas. ...The Rangers opened a 10-game homestand. ...
Blalock is batting .440 (11-for-25) with two outs and runners in
scoring position.