ARLINGTON -- Kole Calhoun's two-run single in the 10th inning completed the Angels' comeback as they rallied for a 7-4 win over the Rangers on Saturday night. C.J. Cron set it all up with a two-run home run with two outs in the ninth to send the game into extra
ARLINGTON -- Kole Calhoun's two-run single in the 10th inning completed the Angels' comeback as they rallied for a 7-4 win over the Rangers on Saturday night. C.J. Cron set it all up with a two-run home run with two outs in the ninth to send the game into extra innings.
The Angels win leaves them 1 1/2 games behind the Twins in the race for the second American League Wild Card spot and 2 1/2 games behind the Yankees. The Rangers are now four games behind the Twins and five behind the Yankees.
"Especially in this situation, every game is important, and especially against the Angels," Rangers designated hitter Shin-Soo Choo said. "We are both battling for the Wild Card, so it's a tough loss. There are still a lot of games left so we need put this behind us and look forward to the next game."
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The Angels' winning rally started when Michael Trout drew a walk off rookie reliever Jose Leclerc and advanced to second on catcher Robinson Chirinos' passed ball with Justin Upton at the plate.
Leclerc then walked both Upton and Jose Pujols, forcing Rangers manager Jeff Banister, with Calhoun at the plate, to bring in right-hander Austin Bibens-Dirkx. The Angels' right fielder came through with a soft line drive over a drawn-in infield to bring home two runs. Cron added another run with a sacrifice fly.
The Rangers led, 4-2, into the ninth inning before turning it over to rookie right-hander Ricardo Rodriguez. He retired the first two hitters, but Luis Valbuena doubled to right-center to keep the inning alive.
Cron followed by hooking a line drive down the line and it disappeared just over the left-field wall for a two-run home run to tie the game.
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"We kept playing and got some key hits from Luis and then C.J. there at the end to keep us in the game," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "Obviously, Crony's was huge. I think we did a lot of good things out there and put ourselves in a position and got some clutch hits late and then had a really good 10th inning."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Cron makes up for rough night: Cron was having a rough night, having struck out three times in his first three at-bats. But the home run was more in keeping with what he has been doing lately at the plate. Cron entered the game hitting .301 with ten home runs, 27 RBIs and a .602 slugging percentage in 36 games since the All-Star break.
"It's baseball," Cron said. "I tend to look pretty bad at some at-bats, but fortunately enough, I was able to put a good enough swing on that last pitch."
Trout, Pujols get it done early: Trout and Pujols provided the Angels' early offense. Trout doubled in the fourth and sixth innings, and scored both times on singles by Pujols. He has scored nine runs in the past three games. Pujols has 21 RBIs in his past 19 games.
"We've got to finish that game out. They have a good lineup but it's one of those things, we've got to get over the hump." -- Rangers starter A.J. Griffin, who allowed two runs in 5 2/3 innings
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
In the eighth, Joey Gallo was initially called safe after trying to advance to third on a throwing error by Valbuena. The Angels challenged the call after Gallo appeared to come off the bag while Valbuena applied the tag, and the ruling was ultimately overturned following a replay review.
Angels: Left-hander Andrew Heaney (1-0, 5.63 ERA) will take the mound against the Rangers in Sunday's series finale at 12:05 p.m. PT at Globe Life Park. In three career games against Texas, Heaney is 1-1 with a 5.87 ERA.
Rangers: Left-hander Martin Perez puts his five-game winning streak on the line against the Angels at 2:05 p.m. CT. Perez needs one more win to tie his career-high winning streak. He is 3-4 with a 3.15 ERA in 11 career outings against the Angels.
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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.
Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com.