Rangers Offense Squelched by Halos - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Rangers Offense Squelched by Halos



    Rangers Offense Squelched by Halos
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    Vladimir Guerrero #27 of the Texas Rangers scores.

    Jered Weaver has put up numbers worthy of All-Star status over the first half of the season. But he's not picturing himself on the mound in the Midsummer Classic in his home park just yet.

    "It would be a tremendous honor, it's been a goal of mine since I was 9 years old," he said. "I got my hopes up last year and it didn't quite happen. I felt like I put myself in a position a little bit, but I'm not going to get my hopes up."

    Weaver pitched two-hit ball over seven scoreless innings while shutting down Texas slugger Vladimir Guerrero and helping the Los Angeles Angels beat the Rangers 2-1 on Thursday night.

    "Those guys are like the Yankees out there," Weaver said. "They got power up and down their lineup."

    The second-place Angels -- who host the July 13 All-Star game -- took two of three from the Rangers, whose AL West lead was reduced to 3½ games -- still the largest in the American League. Texas had won seven straight series and lost consecutive games for the first time since June 6-7 against Tampa Bay and Seattle.

    "It's a credit to us that we go out there and take down the hottest team in baseball," Angels center fielder Torii Hunter said.

    Weaver (8-3) struck out six and walked two in lowering his ERA to 1.70 in eight home starts. His 124 strikeouts lead the AL, and he has 28 in his last three starts while allowing just three walks.

    "He should be an All-Star," Hunter said.

    Angels manager Mike Scioscia added, "If he's not, something's wrong.

    "He has no fear on the mound. He's going to execute a pitch and live with the consequences."

    The right-hander proved the most effective Angels pitcher in the series against Guerrero, keeping him hitless in three at-bats with a walk Thursday. The former Angel went 6 for 8 with three home runs, including a grand slam, and eight RBI in the first two games.

    Weaver also contained Josh Hamilton, whose career-high 23-game hitting streak ended with an 0 for 3 performance that included an intentional walk. Weaver retired 10 in a row during one stretch.

    "I was able to control all my pitches and get in on a couple of their big hitters," he said. "Me and (catcher) Jeff (Mathis) had a great game plan going into it and we executed it. I don't think I shook him off maybe one time. We were on the same page all night so it was fun."

    Brian Fuentes pitched a perfect ninth to earn his 15th save in 18 chances.

    Texas lefty C.J. Wilson (6-4) gave up two runs and five hits in 5 2-3 innings, struck out four and walked four in losing for the first time since May 29 at Minnesota.

    "They've got a pretty good team and we've got a pretty good team. It's going to come down to pitching and defense all the time, and that's what it came down to tonight," Rangers manager Ron Washington said.

    "Weaver was sharp. He went to his off-speed stuff and he was putting it where he wanted to put it. He was making good pitches with his fastball in good spots when he had to and he didn't make very many mistakes."

    The Rangers pulled to 2-1 in the eighth on Ian Kinsler's RBI single off Fernando Rodney that dropped in shallow left field. With runners on first and second, Guerrero then grounded to third for an apparent inning-ending double play. But second base umpire Bruce Dreckman ruled that Howie Kendrick's foot was off the bag, allowing the runners to move up while Guerrero was retired on the relay. That drew Scioscia onto the field for a heated argument with Dreckman.

    Rodney intentionally walked Hamilton to load the bases before Nelson Cruz popped to second to end the threat. During Cruz's at-bat, Rodney threw a 2-2 pitch over Mathis' head to the backstop, but he played the carom quickly and Michael Young had to stay at third.

    "Because it was a fastball, I wasn't able to get that far off the bag in the first place," Young said. "From third base, you don't really have the luxury of seeing which direction it kicks -- unless it kicks right back to you. And from my angle, I thought it kicked right back to Mathis. If I had an easy read, I would have been gone. But it was a tough read."

    The Angels took a 1-0 lead in the first on Kendrick's double in the left-field corner that scored Erick Aybar, who singled to lead off.

    Their other run came in the sixth on Mike Napoli's double to left-center that followed a leadoff walk by Hunter.

    Notes: C Bengie Molina was traded along with cash to the Rangers on Thursday for reliever Chris Ray, a minor league catcher. Molina is expected to be in the lineup Friday when the Rangers open a 10-game homestand. ... The Angels are 45-36 at the halfway point of the season, having gone 18-9 in June. ... Weaver is on pace to become the second Angels pitcher since 2000 with 200-plus strikeouts. Ervin Santana did so in 2008. ... The Rangers are 47-31 through 81 games, trailing the 48-30 New York Yankees for the best record in the majors.