Rangers rally late to stun Angels
ANAHEIM -- The Rangers rallied from two runs down in the eighth inning, getting clutch RBI singles from Robinson Chirinos and Delino DeShields to beat the Angels, 7-6, on Saturday night at Angel Stadium. Texas clinched a series win with its fourth straight victory and sent the Halos to a third straight loss following a stretch in which they won 17 of 20.
The Rangers entered the eighth inning trailing, 6-4, but scored three times off usually reliable Angels setup man Joe Smith, who allowed four hits and a walk while only recording one out.
"Weird inning -- a lot of ground balls, and some not right at people," Smith said. "It's one of those innings I've just got to forget about and go out there and do the same thing. Go out, face the same guys, they hit ground balls right at people and move on. But that's kind of how a ground-ball pitcher struggles."
Hector Santiago and Yovani Gallardo entered the game with ERAs of 2.30 and 2.91, respectively, but they gave up a combined nine runs. Gallardo allowed five in his four-plus innings, and Santiago went five innings and allowed four runs for just the third time this season to raise his ERA to 2.43.
"Obviously this was a huge win," Rangers closer Shawn Tolleson said after earning his 17th save. "Every win in the division is huge, but this was a good team win, the way the guys battled. It was fun to watch and be a part of."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Andrus loses head, glove: Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus almost got the playground penalty for throwing his glove at a batted ball. The Angels had a runner at third with two outs and Kole Calhoun at the plate. Andrus was shifted to the right side of second base when Calhoun hit a live drive well over Andrus' head for a base hit. As the ball soared over him, Andrus threw his glove in the air. He missed. If Andrus' glove had hit the ball, it would have been three bases for Calhoun.
"We have talked to the player," manager Jeff Banister said. "It won't happen again." More >
Aybar's mental lapse: The Angels botched an opportunity to turn a double play in the Rangers' three-run eighth. With runners on the corners and no outs with the Angels leading, 6-4, Albert Pujols fielded Shin-Soo Choo's hard ground ball, stepped on first base and threw to shortstop Erick Aybar, covering second. Rather than putting a tag down on Mitch Moreland, Aybar threw home in an attempt to cut down Andrus, who slid in safely. Rather than holding a 6-5 lead with two outs and the bases empty, the tying run remained on second and the inning snowballed on Smith from there.
"Erick's got a good head out there, he understands the game and he just reacted," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "It happens. These guys are playing aggressively -- it's just a play that, yeah, you want to get the out and get the double play." More >
Scheppers comes through: Rangers reliever Tanner Scheppers had a rough time in Colorado earlier this week but was much more effective at sea level. After the Rangers took the lead with a three-run eighth, Scheppers delivered a scoreless bottom of the inning, striking out two.
"I just went out there and trusted my stuff," Scheppers said. "It was good to get out there after a bad outing and move forward."
Have a day, Conor: Making his Angels debut in place of injured third baseman David Freese, newly acquired Conor Gillaspie went 2-for-4 with an RBI double and a run scored. Gillaspie also made a nice play in the seventh inning, gloving Prince Fielder's chopper down the third-base line and throwing him out from foul territory.
"Conor looked relaxed. He looked good at the plate, hit the ball hard a couple of times and made some nice plays in the field," Scioscia said. "He's gonna get an opportunity to play with David out, no doubt about that, and hopefully he'll be able to contribute and do some of the things you saw tonight." More >
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor was 2-for-4 with a double and a home run. In 31 games since being recalled from Triple-A Round Rock, Odor is hitting .365 with six home runs and 22 RBIs.
Rangers: Nick Martinez pitches for the Rangers at 12:35 p.m. PT on Sunday in the series finale at Angel Stadium. He faced the Angels twice in April and did not allow an earned run in 13 innings, but he is winless in his last five starts.
Angels: Andrew Heaney will get the ball for the Angels. The young left-hander improved to 4-0 by holding the Red Sox to two runs over seven innings his last time out. He has a 1.57 ERA in his five starts this season.
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