Washburn wins eighth straight decision

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Anaheim starter Jarrod Washburn has been
unbeatable since he quit trying to overpower every batter he faced.

Washburn won his eighth decision in a row as the Angels beat the
Texas Rangers 6-3 Thursday night. He gave up one run on four hits
over six innings.

Since losing April 13 against Oakland in his third start of the
season, the left-hander has a 3.02 earned-run average in a 13-game unbeaten

"Coming out of the spring, he felt strong and overthrew the
ball,'' Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He had a lot of
trouble getting in the zone and paid the price.

"But he has gotten in the flow of the season and pitched
better,'' he said. "The results are obvious.''

Tim Salmon hit a two-run single in the fifth off Rob Bell (3-3)
to break a 1-1 tie and put Anaheim ahead to stay.

The Angels finished their season-long 14-game roadtrip at 7-7.

Washburn allowed more than one baserunner in an inning only
once. He got out of a bases-loaded jam in the second by striking
out Ryan Ludwick.

While he still throws a lot of fastballs, Washburn knows his
change in mental approach has made a real difference.

"I'm not trying to overpower hitters. I felt so good early in
the season, I thought I could do that, throw fastballs as hard I
could and get away with it,'' Washburn said. "I'm very pleased.
I'm giving the team a chance to win.''

Even though he hasn't lost in 2½ months, Washburn won
consecutive starts for the first time since May 1. He had four wins
and four no-decisions his previous eight starts.

Troy Percival worked a perfect ninth for his 19th save in 21

The Rangers loaded the bases in the eighth against Ben Weber,
who then hit Kevin Mench with a pitch to score a run. Dennis Cook
then walked pinch-hitter Mike Lamb, the only batter he faced,
before Scot Shields got Ludwick to ground into an inning-ending
double play.

"We just didn't get a big hit when we needed it,'' Rangers
manager Jerry Narron said.

The Angels scored two in the ninth on Darin Erstad's RBI double
and shortstop Alex Rodriguez's throwing error.

Ivan Rodriguez homered for the second straight night, a 417-foot
solo shot to left-center in the third that put the Rangers ahead
1-0. It was just his third homer in 120 at-bats this season.

Anaheim started the fifth with three straight singles. Adam
Kennedy's drove in a run to tie it at 1-all. After a fielder's
choice and a groundout, Salmon singled to left.

The Angels added a run in the sixth when right fielder Juan
Gonzalez lost sight of Brad Fullmer's flyball that dropped about
five feet from him. Fullmer was credited with a double and scored
on a hit by Scott Spiezio, who was thrown out by Gonzalez while
going for a double.

Bell pitched 7 1-3 innings, allowing four runs on eight hits. He
struck out seven, including four in a row in the second and third

"He gave us a chance to win the game,'' Narron said.

After their two weeks on the road, the Angels play their next
nine games at home before the All-Star break.

"We had our ups and downs on this trip, but it was good to
bounce back these last couple of nights,'' Scioscia said. "I hope
the guys can get their second wind as we head to the break.''

Game notes
Washburn is 4-1 in his career against Texas with a 3.22 ERA
in eight appearances -- seven starts. ... Ludwick, the Rangers'
rookie center fielder, made two nice running catches. He tracked
down Garret Anderson's flyball at the wall to end the first and
went a long way for the ball Troy Glaus hit to start the second.
... Texas played the fifth game of its season-long 14-game
homestand. The Rangers wrapped up their first five-game series
since July 1-4, 1994 against Detroit. ... Anderson is the only
player to start all 77 games for Anaheim. ... Gonzalez went
2-for-4, but has gone 17 games since his last homer, June 6 at