ANAHEIM -- The Rangers, overpowered by Angels starter Garrett Richards, had one hit and one unearned run through eight innings Friday night. When they entered the top of the ninth, they had scored just two runs in their last 28 innings.
But starter Cole Hamels and the bullpen gave the team a chance, and the Rangers were able to pull it out. They scored the tying run in the ninth on a bizarre play that left the Angels thinking they had won, only to be overturned by replay.
Then Ronald Guzman won it in the 10th with a one-out RBI single that brought home Rougned Odor and gave the Rangers a 3-2 victory at Angel Stadium. Keone Kela closed out three combined scoreless innings of relief, teaming with Jose Leclerc and Jake Diekman, for his 13th save of the season by getting Michael Trout to fly out to end the game.
"That was a great baseball game," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "The two starting pitchers were exceptional. Richards was nails. His combination of pitches made it extremely challenging. But I thought our guys stayed in the game and grinded offensively, especially later in the game."
The two starters were indeed outstanding in seven-plus innings of work. Richards allowed just one hit and an unearned run, while the only two runs off Hamels were solo homers, by Trout in the first and Ian Kinsler in the sixth.
Hamels left the game trailing, 2-1, in the eighth. The Rangers have scored just 2.87 runs per nine innings with Hamels on the mound, the second-lowest run support average in the American League. He has allowed two or fewer runs in six of his last seven starts and has just two wins to show for it.
"It happens in baseball," Hamels said. "I'm not out there trying to hit. I don't think I would have liked to have been out there tonight. My name of the game is to go out and put up zeros no matter the situation. Whether we have five runs or zero runs, I have to give our team an opportunity. There is always going to be an opportunity to score runs, you just have to give that chance to your team. I was able to do that today."
The Rangers' last chance came in the ninth. They had Jurickson Profar at third and Carlos Tocci -- who was pinch-running for Nomar Mazara -- at first and one out with Adrian Beltre at the plate against Angels reliever Richard Parker. Beltre hit a high fly to left, deep enough to score Profar easily.
However, Tocci tagged up at first and tried for second base and was thrown out by left fielder Justin Upton. Home-plate umpire C.B. Bucknor ruled that Tocci was out before Profar crossed home plate, which would have meant the Angels winning. But the Rangers challenged and the call was overturned. The inning was still over, but the run counted and the game was tied.
"I should have seen the play in front of me and held up," Tocci said. "I was too aggressive. I should have held up and waited for the run to score."
Odor started the 10th-inning rally with a one-out single to right off left-handed reliever Jose Alvarez, then Robinson Chirinos drew a walk. Guzman followed with a single through the left side, and third-base coach Tony Beasley sent Odor home. Upton made a strong, accurate throw, but Odor slid in safely for the go-ahead run.
"Guzman continues to come up in big situations for us and come through, off an extremely tough left-hander," Banister said. "Best at-bat of the night. Stayed calm, able to get it through the infield. Rougie was running as fast as he could."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Hamels left after the first two batters reached in the eighth. Hamels hit Michael Hermosillo, the No. 9 batter, and Kinsler singled to left. Leclerc took over to face the Angels' three top sluggers and got out of the jam. He retired Trout on a popout and struck out Upton and Jose Pujols.
"Fantastic job right there from Leclerc," Banister said. "Huge moment for us."
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Andrelton Simmons was on first base with one out in the fourth when Shohei Ohtani hit a ground ball up the middle. Shortstop Profar made a tremendous diving stop and flipped the ball to Odor covering second. Odor caught the ball barehanded for the force and threw too late to first to complete the double play. However, Simmons slid in hard, and second-base umpire Brian O'Nora ruled his slide illegal, so Ohtani was called out to complete the double play. It was a reversal of a play Friday night, when Odor's slide into Simmons at the end of the game caused a dustup between the two teams.
HE SAID IT
"That guy Richards was nasty. I was fighting every pitch, trying to have good at-bats and stay in the game. We did a better job against their relievers." -- Guzman
MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
After hitting a single to lead off the sixth inning, Trout attempted a steal of second base when Hamels made a pickoff throw to first. Guzman's throw to second arrived in plenty of time for what was initially ruled as an out, but after a review, the call was overturned. Trout had put on an elusive swim move, evading a sure out and creating a run-scoring opportunity.
"I just knew that if I slide regularly, I'm gonna be out by a lot," Trout said. "Just told myself I gotta avoid a tag somehow. ... As soon as the ball beat me there, I knew that I had to kinda trick him. It was a tough play. [I was] just trying to be safe."
Right-hander Doug Fister can expect to face an Angels lineup that will be predominantly right-handed, which could be a challenge for him. Righty hitters are batting .333 with a .509 slugging percentage off Fister this season, those marks up from .208 and .318, respectively, last season. He is 0-3 with a 5.10 ERA in his last five starts. First pitch is at 3:07 p.m. CT, and lefty Tyler Skaggs is set to start for the Angels.