Rangers Take 3-of-4 from Angels

Texas takes 3-of-4 from Angels

View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print

    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Getty Images
    Tommy Hunter #35 poses for a portrait during the Texas rangers Photo Day at Surprise on March 2, 2010 in Surprise, Arizona.

    It was Tommy Hunter's turn, and he gave the Texas Rangers another solid pitching performance.

    Hunter worked into the seventh inning to remain unbeaten, Josh Hamilton drove in three runs and the Rangers edged the Los Angeles Angels 6-4 on Sunday night.

    AL West-leading Texas won three of four in the series to build a seven-game lead over the second-place Angels, who got a boost earlier in the day when they acquired right-hander Dan Haren in a trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

    The Rangers allowed six runs in their three victories over the Angels, with Cliff Lee and C.J. Wilson earning the wins on Thursday and Friday nights.

    "All they've done is put together quality starts one after another," Rangers catcher Bengie Molina said.

    Hunter allowed three runs and three hits over 6 1-3 innings to become the first Rangers pitcher to win his first eight decisions in a season. The right-hander is the second player to accomplish the feat this season, joining Carlos Silva of the Chicago Cubs.

    "Tommy did what he usually does: throw strikes, goes after guys and competes," Texas third baseman Michael Young said. "Our pitching the entire series was great for us."

    Hideki Matsui chased Hunter with a two-run homer and Alberto Callaspo's run-scoring groundout cut it to 6-4 in the ninth but Neftali Feliz got Howie Kendrick and Juan Rivera to ground out to complete his AL-best 28th save.

    The crowd of 38,320 chanted "Beat L.A., beat L.A." in the ninth as Texas bounced back from Saturday night's 6-2 loss and improved to 34-20 at Rangers Ballpark.

    Torii Hunter also went deep for the Angels, who fell to 3-6 against Texas this season and have lost five of seven overall. Los Angeles has 10 games left against the Rangers, including three next weekend in Southern California.

    "We still have a lot of time, a lot of games against each other," Matsui said through an interpreter. "It's too early to quit now."

    Matsui said the difference between this Texas team and the Rangers of the recent past is pitching.

    "Their hitting has always been good," said Matsui, who has homered in three of his last five games. "Certainly their pitching has improved."

    Hunter (8-0) retired 12 in a row after Rivera's leadoff single in the third, throwing only 71 pitches.

    Texas' Chris Davis was cut down at the plate in the second in a violent collision with catcher Jeff Mathis, although neither player was injured. Davis was trying to score from first on Elvis Andrus' double, but Mathis caught second baseman Maicer Izturis' relay throw and held on after Davis launched himself into the air.

    Hamilton hit a two-run triple off Trevor Bell (1-2) in the first and an RBI single in the third. He went 3 for 4 to raise his major league-best batting average to .357.

    Nelson Cruz and Young each had two hits and drove in a run for Texas, which finished with 13 hits. Cruz extended his career-best hitting streak to 14 games.

    Bell allowed four runs and eight hits in 3 1-3 innings. He was called up from Triple-A Salt Lake on Tuesday and was making his fifth major league start, but first since Aug. 28, 2009.

    The trade for Haren cost the Angels left-hander Joe Saunders, a pair of minor league pitchers and a player to be named. Manager Mike Scioscia said he might start Haren in the opener of a three-game series against Boston on Monday night.

    Texas general manager Jon Daniels said he doesn't feel he has to make a deal to match the Angels' acquisition.

    "If there is something that helps us, we'll look to move on it," Daniels said.

    The Rangers already have traded for Lee and Molina, but they could be looking to add a right-handed hitting first baseman to platoon with Davis.

    NOTES: Former President George W. Bush and wife Laura sat in the owner's box to the left of the Texas dugout with team president Nolan Ryan and prospective owner Chuck Greenberg. Bush received a standing ovation when he was introduced to the crowd in the second inning. Bush attended two games last year but hadn't been to a game this season. ... Hunter ran over to Bush and shook his hand before the game. ... Rangers manager Ron Washington said Scott Feldman will remain in the rotation despite his 5-9 record and 5.46 ERA. Feldman was 17-8 in 2009, but hasn't won since June 18. If Feldman continues to struggle, LHP Derek Holland and RHP Rich Harden would be candidates to replace him when they come off the DL next month. ... Ian Kinsler went 2 for 5 for Texas and has reached base via hit or walk in 25 straight games.