Rangers 6, Angels 3

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ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP)—Texas Rangers pitching coach Orel Hershiser, one of baseball’s deep thinkers during his playing career, gave John Thomson a valuable piece of advice: Stop thinking so much.

Thomson held the Anaheim Angels to three hits over seven innings in a 6-3 victory Monday night.

The right-hander apparently has straightened himself out after going 2-7 with a 6.64 ERA in his previous 11 starts.

“Me and Orel sat down and we talked about my being too methodical when I was out there,” Thomson said. “He told me, `Just go out there, get your sign and throw. Get your sign and throw.’ That way it keeps me from thinking about my mechanics.”

Thomson (5-9) is in his first AL season. He began his big league career in 1997 with Colorado, pitching half of his games each year at hitter-friendly Coors Field. He came to the Rangers last January as a free agent after finishing last season with the New York Mets.

“John has started to learn a lot. He came to us as a sinker-slider guy who needed to develop a changeup, and he has done that,” Hershiser said. “He pitched in Colorado, where the ball carried a lot, so he was used to having a high ERA. And he’s still learning how to be a winning pitcher. John hasn’t had a winning record or a win total in double figures yet, so he is trying to cross through that barrier.”

Alex Rodriguez homered and drove in three runs and Mark Teixeira also homered for the Rangers, who despite a reversed home run call that led to the ejection of third-base coach Steve Smith.

Rodriguez, who won his first Gold Glove at shortstop last year, robbed Tim Salmon of a hit in the seventh when he made a diving backhanded play in the hole and sidearmed the ball to second for the force on Darin Erstad. The play loomed larger when Garret Anderson followed with a two-run homer on his 31st birthday to cut Texas’ lead to 4-3.

Rodriguez drove in Texas’ final two runs in the eighth with a home run to center against reliever Ben Weber, the eighth straight season Rodriguez has hit at least 20 homers.

Ugueth Urbina pitched the ninth for his 22nd save.

Michael Young and Hank Blalock opened the game with singles, both scoring on sacrifice flies by Rodriguez and Kevin Mench against Ramon Ortiz (9-6). Teixeira, who missed the previous two games because of tightness in his lower back, made it 3-0 in the third with his 11th home run—the most among rookies.

Doug Glanville then singled and Einar Diaz followed with a towering drive toward the left-field pole. Third-base ump Gary Cederstrom ruled it a home run, eliciting outbursts from the Angels’ dugout. Manager Mike Scioscia ran toward Cederstrom and implored him to ask for a second opinion, which he got from plate ump Mark Wegner.

Wegner reversed the home-run call in the Angels’ favor. It resulted in a confrontation with Smith and manager Buck Showalter.

“I knew they got it right when I went out there,” Showalter said. “I’m not going to argue about something they got right, but I was just a little upset that we couldn’t have kept my third base coach in the game before I got there.”

Smith also admitted the umpires got the play correct after watching the television replay.

“We both saw the same thing, so he thought it was fair and I thought it was fair,” Smith said. “But they ended up getting it right. That’s what they’re supposed to do—confer with the rest of the crew. Buck and everyone else thought it was foul, too. But I didn’t, and I just snapped.”

Thomson retired the Angels in order the first time through the lineup before Jeff DaVanon led off the fourth with his 10th home run, trimming the Rangers’ lead to 3-1.

Ortiz allowed four runs—three earned—and eight hits in 4 1-3 innings. Ortiz lost for the second time in 12 career decisions against Texas.

“Ramon wasn’t hitting his spots very well, and he was leaving everything middle-up,” catcher Bengie Molina said. “With a lineup like that, they’re not going to miss many pitches like that. But once he got the ball down a littlebit, he started to pitch better.”

Notes

Angels DH Brad Fullmer is scheduled to undergo surgery Tuesday to repair the ruptured patella tendon in his right knee, but Dr. Lewis Yocum will wait to see if the swelling goes down before deciding whether to operate. … Rodriguez’ 38 homers and 85 RBIs against the Angels are his highest totals against any team. … Anderson became the sixth player this season to homer on his birthday—joining Adrian Beltre, Jeromy Burnitz, Jim Edmonds, Ryan Klesko and Corey Koskie. … Texas finished the month 6-21 and set a club record forlosses in June.

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