Friday, September 21, 2012
Texas Rangers 3, Los Angeles Angels 1
Rangers take tough road series with ninth-inning heroics.
The Texas Rangers took a tough divisional road series Thursday night at Angels Stadium, defeating the LA Angels 3-1. The win improved Texas to 89-60, four games ahead of the Oakland A's for first place in the AL West. Los Angeles fell to 81-69, four and a half games behind the A's and the Baltimore Orioles for the wild card.
With the score tied at 1-1 heading into the top of the ninth, Texas faced Angels reliever Ernesto Frieri. Michael Young led off the inning with a single, then Adrian Beltre took Frieri deep to left field for his 34th home run of the season. Joe Nathan pitched a scoreless ninth for his 34th save.
Rangers starter Yu Darvish was stellar, allowing just one run on four hits over eight innings. Darvish, who walked just one while striking out nine, improved to 16-9 on the year with a 3.90 ERA.
Angels starter Zack Greinke was just as good as Darvish, giving up just one run on five hits over eight innings, walking none while striking out eight. Greinke has given up just seven total runs in his last six starts, four of which were wins.
Texas opened the scoring in the top of the fifth when Nelson Cruz led off the inning with a single. Cruz advanced to third on David Murphy's single, then scored on Geovany Soto's sacrifice fly. Greinke struck out the final two batters to end the inning, and retired 11 of the final 13 batters he faced to keep the Rangers offense off the board.
LA tied it in the bottom of the sixth. Left fielder Mark Trumbo led off the inning with a single and was replaced by pinchrunner Peter Bourjos. Bourjos advanced to third on catcher Chris Iannetta's single, then scored on Torii Hunter's groundout to make it 1-1. Following that, Darvish retired the final seven batters he faced in the tense pitcher's duel.
Texas next heads to Seattle for a three-game road series against the 70-80 Mariners, starting Friday night.